Earlier this month, the U.S. and five other world powers announced a framework for nuclear agreement with Iran after days of hurried negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland. The preliminary deal, designed to “cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon”, calls for Tehran to restrict its uranium enrichment and allow for full inspection of its nuclear facilities in exchange for the gradual removal of economic sanctions.
Despite the progress, there has been objection regarding the inspection of Iranian military sites and the timing of the lifting of sanctions. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei insists that military sites would be off limits to foreign inspectors and that all sanctions must be gone when the final agreement is signed. In contrast, Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama plan to suspend the sanctions in gradual phases, contingent on Iran’s compliance with the rest of the plan.
The negotiation has also received some domestic and international opposition. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu boldly stated that the deal “would threaten the survival of Israel”. Furthermore, the Republican-led Congress is demanding review power on the agreement and will soon be considering bipartisan legislation that would allow them to vote on their disapproval and limit President Obama’s ability to waive sanctions. Republican Senator John McCain has also suggested that Kerry is “somehow less trustworthy” than Ayatollah Khamenei in his description of the plan. Despite the dissent, President Obama has continued to defend the agreement and criticized those he believes are trying to politicize foreign policy and undo the deal.
Marlyse Vieira ’17