Sunday, April 21, 2019

Comentarios from Maria: The Deal with Iran is Part of a Larger Plan

maria

One of the goals of the Obama Administration, when it comes to its international legacy, is to decrease the quantity of weapons and nuclear waste in the world. This was first seen through the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) between Russia and the United States in 2010, which aimed to cut in half the amount of nuclear missiles among the two nations. Now, President Obama wants to continue this important mission using the forces of diplomacy, but in this case curtailing the creation of nuclear weapons under the Iranian regime who would pose a serious danger for the region and a pernicious force if it were to obtain nuclear weapons.

After the years-long negotiations between the group dubbed 5+1 (consisting of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China and Germany) Iran joined an agreement where, under the condition of elimination international sanctions against the country, it would eliminate 98% of its uranium reserves and would only be able to reach a maximum enrichment level of 3.67% — a level considered appropriate for use of civilian nuclear power and scientific research but insufficient to be weapons-grade.

With this agreement, four avenues through which Iran may have produced nuclear weapons will be blocked. Under the deal, Iran also accepts to be monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at any time and anywhere, according to President Obama, who has been battling Republicans and others in his own Party to ensure the Senate cannot block this historic agreement.

Since the deal between Iran and the 5+1 Group was announced, Republicans have repudiated its core without ever having read it, accusing President Obama of weakening the country and vowing to block it at all costs. On the other hand, under pressure from Jewish groups opposed to any type of deal with Iran, the Democrats have exercised caution in offering praise of a deal that stands against the ideologies of many of their constituents. President Obama threatened Congress that he would use his veto power if it were necessary for this agreement to become a reality.

Secretary of State John Kerry signaled that sanctions against Iran have not worked, similar to the outcome of the Cuban sanctions, and that we as a country need to seek alternative methods of achieving peace without having to declare war, something that Republicans are always keen to do. Much of the opposition against the deal is based in myth rather than fact. This deal makes the world a much better and much safer place because all paths to a nuclear weapon would be blocked for Iran.

After weeks and weeks of politicking on the issue, President Obama can take a deep breath after the risk of the opposition obtaining sufficient votes to override his veto and the block deal disappeared, and the President received word of the 34 necessary votes in the Senate to prevent such action. The final vote came in from Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, who acknowledged that while not all agreements are perfect – much less one with Iran – this is indeed the best form of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb.

Congratulations, President Obama.

This article originally appeared in Spanish in the Washington Hispanic.