The Iran Nuke Deal

As of today, Jan 17, 2016, the IAEA has confirmed that Iran has complied with the agreement they made with the international community, including the US and its allies.   According to the IAEA, Iran has: 1. Removed and/or destroyed ca. 7,000 centrifuges that were used to purify radioactive uranium; 2. Shipped all their enriched uranium stockpile to Russia; 3. Deactivated their plutonium reactor by concreting the core.  If this is true, as it appears to be, then the international community is required to remove its economic sanctions against Iran, and this is being done today.  Also, the freeze on Iranian assets in the US and elsewhere will be removed, thus freeing supposedly ca. b$100, as well as the right for Iran to sell its oil, even though at a considerably reduced price.

The implementation of this agreement is a victory for Pres. Obama and his decision to restore relations with Iran (and Cuba) and to try by negotiation to bring them back into the world of nations.  At least this buys some time, because supposedly Iran cannot make any nuclear weapons for 15 years, and it also possibly avoids a war.  To sweeten this deal, and to show their readiness to respond, the Iranians have released four Iranian-Americans who were arrested and were being held as hostages.  In exchange the US released five Iranian citizens in US prisons.

In his press conference Pres. Obama emphasized that Iran’s development of inter-continental missiles, although not covered by the nuclear agreement, is still being treated as a threat by the US and will trigger further sanctions.  Also, all the articles of the agreement will be subject to on-going strict international inspections.

Several nations are not satisfied by this situation, namely Saudi Arabia and Israel.  They both fear the day in 15 years when according to this agreement Iran can legitimately reinstate its nuclear enrichment program and could develop nuclear weapons.  Certainly that is a justified fear.  But, between now and then a lot can happen, including the overthrow of the Iranian clerical regime.  All the while the Iranian median age is getting lower, and the majority of people, especially in Tehran, do not remember anything before this regime.  Many of them are disaffected.  Also, the amount of money that the regime can earn from its oil revenue has crashed by 75%, and this probably leaves them in a financial crisis.  This may be wishful thinking, but we will have to wait and see that happens in the future.

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