Iranian Deal reached

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KnightExemplar
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Iranian Deal reached

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:46 pm UTC

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/15/world ... .html?_r=0

I was hearing a lot of claims on CSPAN, but I can't seem to find any details about the deal yet. I realize its been less than a day since the deal was reached... maybe it will be better reported on soon?

Does anyone have a breakdown or overview of the deal yet? Benjamin Netanyahu is saying a lot of negative things about the deal, but I have a hard time just trusting what others have to say about it. And obviously, Obama has nothing but good things to say about the deal. So I'm definitely seeing conflicting reports from the politicians.

Ideally, there'd be some primary source material for me to look over. Does anyone know if any exists yet?

EDIT: Apparently Congress has a 60-day review period, under which Obama can veto any new sanctions or policy changes. I've removed the "Awaiting Congressional Approval" bar from the title, since it seems like Obama's deal is set in stone now... unless Congress can overturn a veto with a 2/3rds majority vote.
Last edited by KnightExemplar on Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:35 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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leady
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Re: Iranian Deal reached: Awaiting Congressional Approval

Postby leady » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:28 pm UTC

The top line reads like Iran has agreed to a top level nuclear programme in line with its own realistic timeline aspirations in return for a lifting of sanctions. Not sure what the US gets out of such a deal but...

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:38 pm UTC

leady wrote:The top line reads like Iran has agreed to a top level nuclear programme in line with its own realistic timeline aspirations in return for a lifting of sanctions. Not sure what the US gets out of such a deal but...


Indeed. Which is why I'd like some primary source material to clear up any confusion.

What does the NYTimes actually mean by "significantly limit Tehran’s nuclear ability for more than a decade" ?? Does that mean that Iran can't build centrifuges? Can they still conduct research?

Details matter in these sorts of discussions. Depending on the details, it may mean that Iran gets a nuke 10 years from now vs Iran can start researching a nuke 10 years from now. That's a big difference.

"More than a decade". Is that perpetual? Does the US have the ability to increase that timeframe? At the end of the day, the sanctions regime was collapsing, so maybe this is the best deal that we could have achieved. (IMO: US sanctions don't matter. Chinese, Russian, and European sanctions on the other hand were what hurt the Iranian's economy). In any case, I'd like to know more about "the deal" before criticizing or supporting it.
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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby Chen » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:29 pm UTC

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015 ... an-us.html

From the middle of the article in the OP. Seems to have a more detailed explanation of what was agreed upon.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby cphite » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:38 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/15/world/middleeast/iran-nuclear-deal-is-reached-after-long-negotiations.html?_r=0

I was hearing a lot of claims on CSPAN, but I can't seem to find any details about the deal yet. I realize its been less than a day since the deal was reached... maybe it will be better reported on soon?


To put it bluntly, the US and it's allies just got pwned. The deal is so ultimately useless that it's almost comical.

In short, Iran gets to keep running and developing centrifuges to enrich uranium; as long as it promises not to enrich to levels that are usable in weapons development. Iran gets to continue it's heavy water reactor program, again as long as it promises not to use it to develop weapons grade materials. Iran gets to maintain the weapons facilities that it previously denied even existed, as long as it promises that they aren't being used to develop weapons.

In exchange, Iran is freed from economic sanctions.

In theory, Iran will be held to it's obligations by inspections. The problem is, any and all inspections are subject to Iranian review; which in real world terms means that they can stonewall and slow-roll any request long enough to hide any violations. Which effectively means that Iran gets to continue as long as it's careful, at least until it's too late to do anything about it. The whole deal, as Obama says himself, is built on verification... the problem is that the verification process as been hamstringed at the outset.

I don't hide the fact that I am not an Obama fan; and I've never been fond of Kerry either. But this deal is just f'king awful. The US was desperate for a deal, and it would have been extremely embarrassing for them to walk away with nothing. Iran knew this and used it as leverage very effectively. Iran got everything it could hope for; Obama gets to brag that he made an agreement. And the rest of us... we get to hope that Iran keeps it's word.

There is a very, very slim hope that Congress will nix the whole thing. But not at all likely. They may pass a bill denying the agreement; but Obama will obviously veto that, and there simply aren't enough votes to override a veto.

BTW... for those wondering why the Senate would deliberately setup a scenario where they need a veto-breaking majority to stop this thing, it's actually pretty simple: They're washing their hands of the whole situation. If they'd voted for something under normal circumstances, whether it passed or failed, and Iran successfully joins the Nuclear Club, it's on them. This way, pass or fail, it's on Obama.

Does anyone have a breakdown or overview of the deal yet? Benjamin Netanyahu is saying a lot of negative things about the deal, but I have a hard time just trusting what others have to say about it. And obviously, Obama has nothing but good things to say about the deal. So I'm definitely seeing conflicting reports from the politicians.


You can add Obama's statements about this deal to the same list that includes gems like "If you like your plan you can keep it."

Ideally, there'd be some primary source material for me to look over. Does anyone know if any exists yet?


Google "iran deal text" and there are plenty of links; Document Cloud has a nice printable version.

EDIT: Apparently Congress has a 60-day review period, under which Obama can veto any new sanctions or policy changes. I've removed the "Awaiting Congressional Approval" bar from the title, since it seems like Obama's deal is set in stone now... unless Congress can overturn a veto with a 2/3rds majority vote.


Normally, something like this would require Congress to pass... however, in this case they need veto-busting votes to stop it. Again, this is basically a way for members of Congress to (they hope) absolve themselves politically from any future disaster. Obama wanted to have full control of the process out of hubris; Congress gave it to him out of cowardice.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:41 pm UTC

Considering that Iran's main weapon has been to funnel money to various insurgent and terrorist groups (see Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, etc), this isn't a good idea. Best bet is to keep the sanctions and go off oil, let the Iranian regime collapse in on itself. It's pretty hard to see anyone worse than them taking over.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:51 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Considering that Iran's main weapon has been to funnel money to various insurgent and terrorist groups (see Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, etc), this isn't a good idea. Best bet is to keep the sanctions and go off oil, let the Iranian regime collapse in on itself. It's pretty hard to see anyone worse than them taking over.


Even if the US refuses to buy Iranian Oil, how does that harm their economy if China and Europe simply buys it instead?

cphite wrote:Google "iran deal text" and there are plenty of links; Document Cloud has a nice printable version.


Here's a link that I came up with. Can anyone verify it as legitimate?

http://www.scribd.com/doc/271540181/Nuclear-Deal-Text
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KnightExemplar
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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:15 pm UTC

cphite wrote:In short, Iran gets to keep running and developing centrifuges to enrich uranium; as long as it promises not to enrich to levels that are usable in weapons development. Iran gets to continue it's heavy water reactor program, again as long as it promises not to use it to develop weapons grade materials. Iran gets to maintain the weapons facilities that it previously denied even existed, as long as it promises that they aren't being used to develop weapons.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but the deal wasn't to stop Iran from having any nuclear power at all. It was only about stopping the nuclear weapons program. The deal explicitly states in paragraph 5:

Based on its long-term plan, for 15 years, Iran will carry out its uranium enrichment-related activities, including safeguarded R&D exclusively in the Natanz Enrichment facility, keep its level of uranium enrichment at up to 3.67%, and, at Fordow, refrain from any uranium enrichment and uranium enrichment R&D and from keeping any nuclear material.


My understanding is that 3.67% enriched uranium is completely unable to be used as weapons, and can only be used for peaceful purposes. Considering that Iran has been enriching uranium to 20% recently, their promise to only go to 3.67% greatly stymies any attempt for them to actually build a weapon.

In theory, Iran will be held to it's obligations by inspections. The problem is, any and all inspections are subject to Iranian review; which in real world terms means that they can stonewall and slow-roll any request long enough to hide any violations. Which effectively means that Iran gets to continue as long as it's careful, at least until it's too late to do anything about it. The whole deal, as Obama says himself, is built on verification... the problem is that the verification process as been hamstringed at the outset.


Can you please point out in the deal where this exists?

The Dispute Resolution mechanism is described in paragraph 36.

36. If Iran believed that any or all of the E3/EU+3 were not meeting their commitments under this JCPOA, Iran could refer the issue to the Joint Commission for resolution; similarly, if any of the E3/EU+3 believed that Iran was not meeting its commitments under this JCPOA, any of the E3/EU+3 could do the same. The Joint Commission would have 15 days to resolve the issue, unless the time period was extended by consensus. After Joint Commission consideration, any participant could refer the issue to Ministers of Foreign Affairs, if it believed the compliance issue had not been resolved. Ministers would have 15 days to resolve the issue, unless the time period was extended by consensus. After Joint Commission consideration – in parallel with (or in lieu of) review at the Ministerial level - either the complaining participant or the participant whose performance is in question could request that the issue be considered by an Advisory Board, which would consist of three members (one each appointed by the participants in the dispute and a third independent member). The Advisory Board should provide a non-binding opinion on the compliance issue within 15 days. If, after this 30-day process the issue is not resolved, the Joint Commission would consider the opinion of the Advisory Board for no more than 5 days in order to resolve the issue. If the issue still has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the complaining participant, and if the complaining participant deems the issue to constitute significant non-performance, then that participant could treat the unresolved issue as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part and/or notify the UN Security Council that it believes the issue constitutes significant non-performance.


It appears that either Iran _OR_ the E3/EU+3 are allowed to start dispute resolution.

Maybe the details of the Joint Commission have something horrible? I haven't read through the whole document yet. Anyone know where the details of the Joint Commission are laid out?

It seems like if things are not resolved... then 37 has some pretty harsh consequences for Iran.

37. Upon receipt of the notification from the complaining participant, as described above, including a description of the good-faith efforts the participant made to exhaust the dispute resolution process specified in this JCPOA, the UN Security Council, in accordance with its procedures, shall vote on a resolution to continue the sanctions lifting. If the resolution described above has not been adopted within 30 days of the notification, then the provisions of the old UN Security Council resolutions would be re-imposed, unless the UN Security Council decides otherwise. In such event, these provisions would not apply with retroactive effect to contracts signed between any party and Iran or Iranian individuals and entities prior to the date of application, provided that the activities contemplated under and execution of such contracts are consistent with this JCPOA and the previous and current UN Security Council resolutions. The UN Security Council, expressing its intention to prevent the reapplication of the provisions if the issue giving rise to the notification is resolved within this period, intends to take into account the views of the States involved in the issue and any opinion on the issue of the Advisory Board. Iran has stated that if sanctions are reinstated in whole or in part, Iran will treat that as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part.


So the sanctions regime automatically "snaps back" on failed dispute resolutions, unless overturned by the UN Security Council. (And the US has a free Veto vote there... so... yarrrr. We win if it comes to that.) That seems to be a pretty big point of leverage on behalf of the US and its partners.

So it seems like Iran is pinned here. If Iran "slow-rolls" any disputes, it gets on the hook for automatic UN Approved sanctions.
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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:46 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Considering that Iran's main weapon has been to funnel money to various insurgent and terrorist groups (see Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, etc), this isn't a good idea. Best bet is to keep the sanctions and go off oil, let the Iranian regime collapse in on itself. It's pretty hard to see anyone worse than them taking over.


Even if the US refuses to buy Iranian Oil, how does that harm their economy if China and Europe simply buys it instead?


Yeah, oil's pretty fungible. Unless EVERYONE agrees not to buy it, net results are pretty meh.

I do share general lack of faith in the monitoring/resolution process, though.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby morriswalters » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:25 pm UTC

cphite wrote:BTW... for those wondering why the Senate would deliberately setup a scenario where they need a veto-breaking majority to stop this thing, it's actually pretty simple: They're washing their hands of the whole situation. If they'd voted for something under normal circumstances, whether it passed or failed, and Iran successfully joins the Nuclear Club, it's on them. This way, pass or fail, it's on Obama.
You have more faith in Congress that I do. they could find their a** with a search party.

Your alternative is to go to war. And this isn't Iraq or Afghanistan. No UN resolutions, no coalition of the willing.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby charliepanayi » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:11 pm UTC

Saudi Arabia and Israel are unhappy about it, so it sounds like a good deal to me.
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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby Derek » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:41 pm UTC

Normally, something like this would require Congress to pass... however, in this case they need veto-busting votes to stop it.

How does that work?

charliepanayi wrote:Saudi Arabia and Israel are unhappy about it, so it sounds like a good deal to me.

You want to explain the reasoning behind that? Or is it just "Yeah, fuck those countries!"?

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby sardia » Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:27 am UTC

Derek wrote:
Normally, something like this would require Congress to pass... however, in this case they need veto-busting votes to stop it.

How does that work?


You want to explain the reasoning behind that? Or is it just "Yeah, fuck those countries!"?

You reverse the premise of a "law". Instead of Congressional majority passes, Obama choice to veto, it's the opposite. Deal is happening, Congressional no vote is sent to Obama. He then has the choice to veto the no vote, which requires a super majority to override.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby Derek » Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:27 am UTC

sardia wrote:You reverse the premise of a "law". Instead of Congressional majority passes, Obama choice to veto, it's the opposite. Deal is happening, Congressional no vote is sent to Obama. He then has the choice to veto the no vote, which requires a super majority to override.

And how did that happen? Did Congress pass a law saying that Obama can make any treaty he wants, and now they have to pass a new law to block this treaty? By default, all treaties must be approved by Congress, and if Congress doesn't approve the treaty then the President has nothing he can veto.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby Djehutynakht » Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:53 am UTC

Derek wrote:And how did that happen? Did Congress pass a law saying that Obama can make any treaty he wants, and now they have to pass a new law to block this treaty? By default, all treaties must be approved by Congress, and if Congress doesn't approve the treaty then the President has nothing he can veto.


Treaties must be approved by the Senate (supermajority), not Congress as a whole.

Technically, this isn't a treaty on the US side. It's an executive agreement--something negotiated directly on the President's authority that doesn't require Senate ratification (they can be thrown out by successive Presidents though on whim, though usually aren't).

A few months back, President Obama consented to a law that said that Congress could review the deal and, if they felt necessary, vote to prohibit him from lifting sanctions (which is the US's major concession in the deal).

However, since "prohibiting President from undertaking this action" is a piece of legislation that goes through both Houses, by definition it's subject to the President's approval... or veto.

Therefore it requires a supermajority in order to override the veto.
______________________________________________

I'm not entirely sure how confident I am about the provisions of this particular deal.

On the other hand, I think reaching a deal is basically our best option.

We could invade Iran, which sounds tempting to the nationalist sentiment. But nobody really wants another Middle East War.

And to be completely honest, I don't think keeping sanctions will work. Part of me believes it will only fuel a desperate and crazy regime more towards developing a weapon.

Look at North Korea. We've sanctioned them in every way imaginable. Most of the population is deathly impoverished. Yet the regime still survives and they have nuclear weapons. Sanctions don't necessarily work.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby elasto » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:21 am UTC

Also, Iran is ironically a key ally in our fight against ISIS. The enemy of my enemy and all that.

Since ISIS swept through northern Iraq in June, Tehran has mobilized to protect the Shiite-led government from the Sunni militant threat. General Qassim Suleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, traveled to Baghdad at the start of the crisis to coordinate the defense of the capital with Iraqi politicians and military officials.

He also directed Iranian-trained Shiite militias—including the Badr Brigade and the League of the Righteous, two notorious militias responsible for widespread atrocities against Sunnis—in the fight against ISIS. With a weakened and corrupt Iraqi military, the militias have proven crucial in stopping ISIS' advance.

When Iraq's political elite finally agreed in August to replace the divisive and sectarian Maliki as Prime Minister, the Iranian leadership—along with the United States and most Western powers—threw their weight behind his successor, Haider al-Abadi. Like Maliki, he is a leader of the Dawa Party, a Shiite Islamist group supported by Iran.

In recent months, U.S. officials say, Tehran has provided tons of military equipment to the Iraqi security forces and has been secretly directing surveillance drones from an air base in Baghdad. Iran has also sent hundreds of its Quds Force fighters to train Iraqi forces and coordinate their actions.

But last month was the first time that Iran used its fighter jets to directly bomb ISIS targets inside Iraq, striking in eastern Diyala province where the fighting neared the Iranian border.

Iranian officials have slowly acknowledged their covert operations inside Iraq. "Iran has helped Iraq in an advisory role and has quickly organized Iraqi militias," Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Revolutionary Guards' Aerospace Forces, told the Fars News Agency in September. "Were it not for Iran, the Islamic State would have taken over Iraqi Kurdistan."

In late December, a Revolutionary Guards commander, Brigadier General Hamid Taqavi, was killed by a sniper in the Iraqi city of Samarra while he was training Iraqi troops and Shiite militia fighters. Taqavi was the highest-ranking Iranian official to be killed in Iraq since the Iran-Iraq war. Thousands of Revolutionary Guards gathered for his funeral in Tehran on Dec. 28, where Ali Shamkhani, head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, told mourners: If "people like Taqavi do not shed their blood in Samarra, then we would shed our blood" within Iran.

Iraqi leaders warned that as long as the United States did not provide military assistance, they had no choice but to ask Iran for more help. "When Baghdad was threatened, the Iranians did not hesitate to help us," Abadi, the Iraqi prime minister, said in a recent television interview in Baghdad. He noted that unlike Iran, the United States "hesitated to help us when Baghdad was in danger, and hesitated to help our security forces. And the reason Iran did not hesitate to help us was because they consider ISIS as a threat to them, not only to us."


link

Forbes thinks this new deal is smart:

Iran is the most timeworn oil producer in the Middle East. It discovered oil in 1908, during the era of the first Texas oil boom. Iran’s mature oil fields now need maintenance and technology that can only be supplied by international firms when sanctions are lifted.

That means Iran cannot regain prominence in energy markets unless it abides by the terms of the nuclear deal. The agreement’s clever “snap back” provisions, which call for a quick restoration of sanctions for any violation, will make foreign investors understandably wary. Thus, investors’ bets on Iran’s oil and gas hinge on Tehran’s compliance with an intrusive verification mission. That mission has strong opponents within conservative circles in Iran and Washington.

Therefore the Iranian economy – and, ultimately, popular support for the government – depend upon full compliance with the international bargain just signed in Vienna.

At the end of the day, it is smart incentives like these, rather than political bloviating, that stand the best chance of deterring Iran from nuclear weapons.


link

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby charliepanayi » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:41 am UTC

Derek wrote:
charliepanayi wrote:Saudi Arabia and Israel are unhappy about it, so it sounds like a good deal to me.

You want to explain the reasoning behind that? Or is it just "Yeah, fuck those countries!"?


I think anything that upsets two of the most unpleasant governments/regimes in the world can only be a good thing. Plus both have a cheek to criticise, Israel has had nuclear weapons for years and Saudi Arabia has done more to unsettle the Middle East than Iran ever will.
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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby leady » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:57 am UTC

Ah yes Israel that evil country desperate to exist...

and the argument that just because an allied nation in the area has nukes, that a authoritarian theocracy surrounded by two nations which follow what it considers heretical beliefs, one that already has nukes and other is believed to be able to buy them at will from the other, should also be allowed them - well lets say I consider that a stretch of logic

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby Derek » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:12 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:Treaties must be approved by the Senate (supermajority), not Congress as a whole.

Technically, this isn't a treaty on the US side. It's an executive agreement--something negotiated directly on the President's authority that doesn't require Senate ratification (they can be thrown out by successive Presidents though on whim, though usually aren't).

A few months back, President Obama consented to a law that said that Congress could review the deal and, if they felt necessary, vote to prohibit him from lifting sanctions (which is the US's major concession in the deal).

However, since "prohibiting President from undertaking this action" is a piece of legislation that goes through both Houses, by definition it's subject to the President's approval... or veto.

Therefore it requires a supermajority in order to override the veto.

Thank you, that's the explanation I was looking for.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby iamspen » Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:24 pm UTC

It's rather amazing to me that anyone could see this deal as a net negative. Soon, Iran will be monitored more closely than any nation ever has been, and will suffer real consequences if they try to impede their watchdogs. And though the economic boost will significantly increase their regional political (and, eventually, military) power, this deal is a major victory for Iranian reformists and a crushing defeat for hardliners. This is speculation, but I suspect the Supreme Leader allowed these talks to occur because he thought the moderate section of Iran would blink when the hardliners stood up to them, and that the Obama administration would eventually succumb to political pressure and cancel the deal. Kerry et al. called their bluff and forced the Ayatollah to concede to Rouhani's agenda. And with American goods and culture flowing more freely into Iran, it will be a lot more difficult to paint it as The Great Satan, which has more or less been a rallying cry that has kept the Revolution intact as long as it has.

It'll be interesting to see what the future holds.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby leady » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:00 pm UTC

Or they will just toe the line on paper for a few years using the time to prepare for the consequences of going off piste later. At least that's what I would do if I ran an authoritarian theocracy and I was attempting to develop a weapon that essentially blunts any future external interference to my dictatorship, allowing me to use my resources to suppress internal dissent.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:43 pm UTC

leady wrote:Or they will just toe the line on paper for a few years using the time to prepare for the consequences of going off piste later. At least that's what I would do if I ran an authoritarian theocracy and I was attempting to develop a weapon that essentially blunts any future external interference to my dictatorship, allowing me to use my resources to suppress internal dissent.


This.

Monitored more closely than any nation ever has been...please. This is kid stuff compared to cold war US/Russia paranoia and spy games.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby morriswalters » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:06 pm UTC

leady wrote:Or they will just toe the line on paper for a few years using the time to prepare for the consequences of going off piste later. At least that's what I would do if I ran an authoritarian theocracy and I was attempting to develop a weapon that essentially blunts any future external interference to my dictatorship, allowing me to use my resources to suppress internal dissent.
I believe the West are the good guys, but just looking at it dispassionately, it seems that Iran is a second class nation according to you. That they shouldn't have the capacities that the "good" guys have. They aren't truly independent. They must ask permission. Now I'm okay with that. But you do see that they just might see it differently.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby JudeMorrigan » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:37 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
leady wrote:Or they will just toe the line on paper for a few years using the time to prepare for the consequences of going off piste later. At least that's what I would do if I ran an authoritarian theocracy and I was attempting to develop a weapon that essentially blunts any future external interference to my dictatorship, allowing me to use my resources to suppress internal dissent.


This.

Monitored more closely than any nation ever has been...please. This is kid stuff compared to cold war US/Russia paranoia and spy games.

I think one can reasonably assume that the US will [continue to] engage in spy games in addition to the official monitoring that comes with the agreement. SALT/START are the appropriate Cold War comparisons, not any additional activities we may have engaged in.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby sardia » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:38 pm UTC

China and Russia were pressing to end sanctions if the deal fell through, how important is their cooperation?

As predicted ideological shifts, the regime will try to suppress any challenges to its power. That's no guarantee of anything but the Chinese and cuba are a good examples of what to expect.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby Djehutynakht » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:48 pm UTC

My god this press conference is dry.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby Thesh » Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:23 pm UTC

Here's an analysis by someone who 1) actually read the deal and 2) is actually an expert in arms control.

http://www.vox.com/2015/7/15/8967147/ir ... frey-lewis
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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby Chen » Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:37 pm UTC

The snapback thing is really clever, I had to read it a couple of times to make sure it said what I think it said.

According to the deal, the way this is going to work is that sanctions will be lifted, but in a conditional fashion. If any party to the deal — and, not to spill the beans, that means the United States — is dissatisfied with Iran's compliance, then first it has to go to the joint commission [of the seven states that signed the Iran deal plus the European Union]. If they don't get satisfaction, then they go to the UN Security Council. And they can notify them that they're not satisfied with the compliance of another party.

That starts a 30-day clock ticking. The Security Council must act to resolve the concerns of the state. If the Security Council does nothing — which could include them trying to pass something and the US vetoing it — at the end of the 30 days, if there's no action from the Security Council, the sanctions are reimposed automatically.


Hmm if that's the case this does seem like a pretty solid deal from the US's point of view since they can basically reimpose the sanctions at their whim (though with a bit of delay), should things start going badly.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:46 pm UTC

leady wrote:Ah yes Israel that evil country desperate to exist...

and the argument that just because an allied nation in the area has nukes, that a authoritarian theocracy surrounded by two nations which follow what it considers heretical beliefs, one that already has nukes and other is believed to be able to buy them at will from the other, should also be allowed them - well lets say I consider that a stretch of logic


Allies that constantly sabotage you and actively, openly, work against your interests are little better than enemies.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:19 pm UTC

Citation needed on those claims.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby sardia » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:32 am UTC

Spoiler:
CorruptUser wrote:Citation needed on those claims.

Israel actively working against US interests:
Israel's treatment of Palestinians requires US support, which also turns large percentage of Muslims against the US (because we support the bad things Israel does). Israel's treatment of Palestinians only helps Israel(resources are prioritized to Jews over Palestinians) and mostly hurts the US. It's sorta like how Saudis are our allies, except they are an extremist human rights trainwreck. But the Saudis have delicious oil, what does Israel get us? Democracy? Relieves Nazi guilt? Brings upon the Apocalypse for fundamentalist Christians? None of these are worth the losses.


Before we get to the Israel vs world crap, back on topic. Even if the US has the option to snapback sanctions, how important is cooperation from the 5 other nations involved? They all have business interests in Iran, and would not want that dampened.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby Djehutynakht » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:41 am UTC

The way I'd see it:

Even with business interests in Iran, they still wouldn't be keen on Iran having a nuclear bomb.
-If Iran works towards getting a nuclear bomb/has one, things are going to get ugly, possibly military-level ugly. This would be worse for their business interests.

So far as I can see, besides being generally interested in Iran not having a nuke, their best scenario business-wise is for Iran to be cooperative, non-combatant, and productive.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby Derek » Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:49 am UTC

sardia wrote:But the Saudis have delicious oil, what does Israel get us? Democracy? Relieves Nazi guilt? Brings upon the Apocalypse for fundamentalist Christians? None of these are worth the losses.

I think having a first world democracy in the middle of that hellhole counts for something.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:27 am UTC

sardia wrote:Even if the US has the option to snapback sanctions, how important is cooperation from the 5 other nations involved? They all have business interests in Iran, and would not want that dampened.


The other 5 nations seem to snap-back sanctions under rule 37. Remember that the other nations have also agreed to this.

Based on what I heard on CSpan, it seems like the US IIRC isn't lifting any sanctions. (A lot of our sanctions revolve arouhd "support of terrorist groups"). The snap-back is therefore a condition that China / Russia have agreed to should Iran actually try to make the bomb.
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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:28 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Citation needed on those claims.


Saudi Arabia is considered by the United States government to be the world's largest exporter of Islamic terrorism. They bankroll the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hamas... [edit]Let's be realistic here. Pretty much any criticism that you can level at Iran, from supporting terror to human rights violations to nuclear ambitions, applies equally well to Saudi Arabia.

As for Israel, they are considered by the NSA to be the third most aggressive intelligence service against the US and is treated by the intelligence community as a hostile country.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby Angua » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:03 am UTC

Can someone tell me if, without this deal, Iran would have been allowed to have nuclear power stations? Otherwise, it's a bit unfair to stop countries using one of the lowest carbon footprint power creation technologies just because there's an off chance (MAD is even more applicable in this day and age, especially as there are loads of countries within striking distance of Iran) that they might decide to do a nuclear missile. So now you've got the opportunity for inspections (which, even if they will be got around, is at least better than nothing), one less reason for Iranians to hate the West, and people are complaining because they apparently like sanctioning countries and think that works (I never saw any benefits from blockading Cuba, but we couldn't have commies so close to the US).

I don't know, I'm just sick of the West acting as though they are the paragons of virtue, when they do things like invade countries under false pretences, with, as far as I could tell, no real repercussions.
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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby Thesh » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:45 am UTC

Iran already has a nuclear power plant:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushehr_N ... ower_Plant
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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby Zamfir » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:07 pm UTC

Angua wrote:Can someone tell me if, without this deal, Iran would have been allowed to have nuclear power stations?

That's a bit vague, after all, who would do the "allowing"? The closest we have is the Non-proliferation treaty. That treaty allows countries to acquire nuclear technology for peaceful means, if they stay away from weapons research.

By that standard, a power plant is no problem. And in general, Iran seems formally in the clear. Everything they do has genuine peaceful applications, and other countries without nuclear weapons have similar installations as Iran. The Netherlands for example has everything the Iranians have. Germany or Japan have far more.

At the same time, Iran does get fishy. Why enrich your uranium for only one power reactor? One of their enrichments sites is heavily fortified, and far too small to supply a power plant. They have a small reactor for medical isotopes, one of only 5 or 6 in the world. They even plan to replace it by a bigger one. Such a reactor give you an excuse to keep highly enriched uranium around. Producing medical isotopes has similarities to producing plutonium. Etc.

None of that gets them a bomb, but it does give them experience. In enrichment, in handling irradiated material, general nuclear physics and engineering knowledge. There are reports that they have experimented with the electronics and explosives for a nuclear bomb, even if they probably have shelved that research for now.

To be clear: most of the OECD has this experience. Some countries have enough knowledge and installations that they could rush towards a simple nuclear arsenal in months or a year. Overall, I would say that Iran seems to keep mostly to the letter of the NPT, but not quite to the spirit.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:37 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:At the same time, Iran does get fishy. Why enrich your uranium for only one power reactor? One of their enrichments sites is heavily fortified, and far too small to supply a power plant. They have a small reactor for medical isotopes, one of only 5 or 6 in the world. They even plan to replace it by a bigger one. Such a reactor give you an excuse to keep highly enriched uranium around. Producing medical isotopes has similarities to producing plutonium. Etc.


This. It doesn't look like they have nukes or anything, but it definitely looks like they're developing the capacity to rapidly break out to nuclear capability. It's not really a "nuke power is bad" or anything, just...fairly warranted caution regarding the apparent goals revealed by their actions.

As for the whole "a neighbor has nukes, thus, we should too" argument, let's ignore the whole israel tarpit, and instead look at how that would affect non-proliferation. Basically...it'd neuter it. There's a nice sprinkling of nuclear capable countries as is, and if anyone close enough to those to be affected were permitted to develop nukes, non-proliferation just doesn't exist anymore. It wouldn't be very reasonable to only consider neighbors to one power, but not another, after all.

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Re: Iranian Deal reached

Postby cphite » Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:47 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
Spoiler:
CorruptUser wrote:Citation needed on those claims.

Israel actively working against US interests:
Israel's treatment of Palestinians requires US support, which also turns large percentage of Muslims against the US (because we support the bad things Israel does). Israel's treatment of Palestinians only helps Israel(resources are prioritized to Jews over Palestinians) and mostly hurts the US. It's sorta like how Saudis are our allies, except they are an extremist human rights trainwreck. But the Saudis have delicious oil, what does Israel get us? Democracy? Relieves Nazi guilt? Brings upon the Apocalypse for fundamentalist Christians? None of these are worth the losses.


Before we get to the Israel vs world crap, back on topic. Even if the US has the option to snapback sanctions, how important is cooperation from the 5 other nations involved? They all have business interests in Iran, and would not want that dampened.


Assuming that the snapback option works as written and everyone cooperates; this option still leaves Iran with at least two months (and maybe three) to hide any activity that breaches the agreement.

If Iran is suspected of breaching the agreement, the matter is sent to a Joint Commission, which has 15 days to resolve the matter - unless they decide to extend it. If the Joint Commission cannot resolve the matter, it gets sent to an Advisory Board which has 15 days to "advise" the Joint Commission, which then in turn has 5 days to consider the advice. That takes us to 35 days. If it's still not resolved, the matter goes to the UN Security Council, which has effectively 30 days at which point the sanctions snap back.

So basically, assuming that everything goes like clockwork and the timeline is kept, Iran has 65 days at least to cover up any breach on their part.

But actually, it's more like 95 days. Because the most likely scenario of a breach is Iran not allowing inspection at a site. They have a month to review any request for inspection; the breach would not occur until the end of that period. The 65 day timeline doesn't start until after that initial 30 day review period.

One of the original benchmarks was inspection a moments notice, to prevent Iran from continuing their work in their various sites, and then hiding the evidence when it came time for inspection. This falls far short of that benchmark.


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