In recent news there has been a lot of noise about the nuclear deal with Iran. This has left many people questioning American strategy in the region, and even American status as a world superpower. Some have said that the money paid out to Iran and allowing them to continue to have a nuclear program is a loss to the U.S. and its allies. While of course this could be one argument, it begs to be asked what are the facts behind the deal that need to be considered when trying to determine who "won." Here are some key factors to consider when thinking about the Iranian Nuclear Deal and the controversy surrounding it.

The main goal of the United States in these negotiations was to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. To do that the agreement puts a limit on the number of nuclear "programs" Iran is allowed to undertake. With many side notes under this general rule such as: Iran's Fardow center will become a research center where Iranian and scientists from around the world will work side by side on various projects, the Arak heavy-water reactor will be rebuild using designs that are agreed upon by an international community, of which the main point would be to make the production of weapons grade nuclear material impossible at that site, and finally Iran has agreed to downsize and give up various centrifuges, reducing the total number to 6,104 within the next ten years.

Another key factor of this deal is that the international community without saying directly has given a nod of approval to the fact that Iran has the right to a nuclear program, something that could be seen as a win not only for Iran but any developing country within the world. That being the case, a provision of this is that Iran agreed to the provision that it would not enrich material past 3.67%. This percentage has been shown by experts to be enough to run peaceful programs, such as power plants and the like, however not enough to be weaponized, therefore still getting at the meat of the deal in that the world community did not want to see Iran obtain nuclear weapons. More than that the deal adds to it that Iran must give up 98% of its current enriched uranium material, allowing for only 300kg to be kept by Iran out of a stockpile of 10,000kg. A very dramatic downsize indeed.

One of the most controversial issues around this deal is the fact that simply it allows Iran to continue to have an produce nuclear material. While some have said that this is the main reason as to why the deal is simply no good, it should be understood that within the international environment things are not always as cut and dry as they are within regulating affairs inside any given country by it's own government. All things being equal Iran took a big step back in allowing outside nations impose restrictions upon any of their governmental programs any realist would argue. This being the case another key point to the deal struck is that it increases the time it would take Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, if the country were to have this aspiration. This for the U.S. and it's allies is a very good thing as it allows more work to be done to work towards and increased trust and cooperation between Iran and the international community.

One of the largest points with the U.S. involvement in this deal is that the United States congress must agree to the various points in the deal. A point that has given congress something to talk about in recent days and months, with many saying that they would do all they can to make sure that the U.S. did not sign off on a deal that is bad for our national security or our country in general. This is a point for politics more than anything, as with other points of the Iran deal this is more complex than it initially looks. In reality congress has only 60 days to review and scrutinize any point in the deal they feel is not up to snuff, during which time they can vote to accept or reject the deal, or do nothing. More than that president Obama has the power to veto any resolution of disapproval whereby to override the veto congress would need a vote of two-thirds majority in each house. In short, to implement the Iran deal president Obama only needs one-third of any of the two houses to stand with him.

With regards to the sanction relief Iran received as a part of the deal, this relief is not guaranteed. The sanctions placed on Iran by the U.N. have always been the ones that Iran had difficulty with, and these are the very sanctions that would be placed back onto Iran should it be found out that they are not upholding their end of the agreement. This is a point which has often been misunderstood and used by both sides, Iran and the western powers, to bolster support and confidence in the strength of their bargaining players. The reality of it is in fact far more complex than either side would like to admit, in that the actual terms of the deal state that should there be a dispute the full U.N. Security Council would "vote on a resolution to continue the sanctions lifting." -- In short it is open to interpenetration until needed. 

Another significant point in the deal is the access which is granted to U.N. nuclear investigators. IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) staff would have access to Iran's nuclear sites around the clock according to president Obama, while others have said that this is a show of Iran's goodwill to provide the international community with full transparency with regards to their nuclear programs peaceful intentions. Again a provision that greatly shows the Iranian willingness to re-enter the global community. Some have said though that this does not actually cover all of the points, in that IAEA inspectors would only have access to officially declared programs, and that it might be possible for Iran to run programs in the background unchecked and not according to the restrictions of the landmark deal. Such arguments at this point are only conjecture, Iran however remains firm in it's promise to allow IAEA inspectors open access to any site that is deemed suspicious. 

Overall the deal struck is anything but air-tight, however it is considered by all parties involved to be the right step on a road toward greater trust and cooperation. While many in the U.S. and Iran both may cry "unfair" there are a great many points to be taken into account when dealing with international sovereignty and international security all of which weigh in differently. The deal struck seems to have given the major players involved the wishes they had most, Iran to be given the green light to simply have and continue to have the right to a nuclear program and the U.S. the denial of Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.

Published by Allen Colombo Jr.