Republican Objections To Iran Nuclear Deal Framework

Republicans had objections before talks with Iran began. Republicans had objections as talks with Iran commenced. Republicans had objections as talks with Iran continued and deadlines were pushed back. And now Republicans have objections with the nuclear deal framework announced this past week. So, tell me again why we should believe Republicans are being anything other than political in their continued objections to a nuclear deal with Iran.

Negotiated among six countries including the United States, Russia, China, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, the framework of an agreement with Iran sees them significantly reducing the number of centrifuges and allowing inspections from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It’s important to remember this is just a framework, it is not a signed deal. A final deal is expected by the end of June.

photo by Christiaan Triebert via Flickr

photo by Christiaan Triebert via Flickr

In the framework, Iran agrees to reduce the number of centrifuges from 19,000 to just over 6,000, and these centrifuges can only enrich uranium to 3.67%, allowing it to be used for nuclear power, but not bomb-making. These restrictions and other restrictions would extend the “breakout time,” the time it would take Iran to produce the material necessary to build a nuclear weapon, to a full year, up from the currently assessed two or three months.

One Republican sticking point, as if they would not invent reasons to object regardless of the framework, is that inspections by the IAEA will not be surprise inspections. Would surprise inspections be better than planned inspections? Of course. Is that enough to kill any potential deal? I’m not sure anything is worth killing a deal that makes real progress.

After all, what is the alternative here? This “deal” would have to do the opposite of what it is intended to do for it to be undesirable. I mean, if there is any progress towards halting the potential for Iran to create a nuclear weapon and if that deal also allows the United States and other countries to have better diplomatic relations with Iran, is that not a huge win? Again, I ask Republicans, what is the alternative here?

In his “astute” assessment of the framework, Illinois Republican Senator Mark Kirk said, “that Neville Chamberlain got a lot of more out of Hitler.”

Can we have a new rule that starting now, when the foundation of an argument requires invoking mention of Hitler, we immediately inspect it for signs of a cracking and imminent failure? If we take Kirk’s assessment to its logical conclusion, that means we should start dropping the bombs on Tehran later today, right?

What is the alternative? You either continue with things as they are, which most people agree is untenable, or you start a war against Iran. Is it not true that a deal, even a deal that might not be a perfect deal, is a better alternative to status quo or war? It seems many Republicans do not think so. They say you cannot trust Iran. But I’m sure there are “conservatives” in Iran saying the same thing about the United States. But do you know who I trust even less than Iran? — Congressional Republicans.


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