On September 10, the US Senate failed to pass a disapproval resolution of the Iranian nuclear deal, securing a huge victory not just for President Obama, but also for the global community.
The deal, which was heavily debated by Iranian and US diplomats and leaders, will effectively prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons. It will also punish the nation in the case that they do acquire or produce weapons.
According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Iran must create a higher concentration of the nuclear material, Uranium-235, through a process known as enrichment if it wishes to acquire a nuclear weapon.
Uranium must be enriched to 90 percent in order to be used for a nuclear weapon. Iran also needs more than 5,000 centrifuges, the machinery used to enrich Uranium, in its possession.
The Iran deal effectively takes away all of the ingredients needed for a bomb. Under the agreement, Iran must keep Uranium enrichment levels under 3.67 percent, a far cry from the 90 percent required. They must also shut down almost two-thirds of centrifuges, leaving a little over 5,000, and reduce its Uranium stockpile by 98 percent. In addition, these centrifuges and stockpiles will be monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency for 20 to 25 years.
Since the deal was agreed upon in July, Republican lawmakers have vehemently opposed the agreement, mainly because it will lift the sanctions Iran has had to embrace for many years. However, President Obama stated that, “if Iran violates the deal, all of these sanctions will snap back into place.”
Critics are also upset that once these sanctions are lifted, Iran will receive $100 billion in assets that were previously frozen and spend it on terrorist activities. However, according to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, that would not be a high priority for Iran, when he stated that “Iran’s demand for domestic investment surpasses $500 billion, and that it will cost $100 to $200 billion to restore production levels in its oil and gas sectors.”
The Iran deal, overall, will make the world a safer place. Although it does lift Iranian sanctions and unfreezes their assets, it keeps Iran accountable. The IAEA will be allowed to monitor any nuclear activity for the next 20-25 years.
Under the restrictions for Uranium production, Iran will be held to a breakout time for a nuclear weapon of one year. Iran has promised to uphold this deal and if Iranian leaders fail to uphold the deal, they will be swiftly punished.