The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Iran’s nuclear programme was created by America

Born In The USA: How America Created Iran’s Nuclear Program, npr, STEVE INSKEEP, 18 Sept 15  “……..”The Iranian nuclear program has deep roots. In fact, it is four years older than President Obama,” says Ali Vaez, the International Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Iran. Vaez grew up in Iran, which means the nuclear program is a personal story for him.

“It started in 1957,” he says, “and ironically, it is a creation of the United States. The U.S. provided Iran with its first research reactor — a nuclear reactor, a 5-megawatt nuclear reactor that is still functioning and still operational in Tehran.”

The U.S. built that nuclear reactor on the campus ofTehran University. It also provided Iran with fuel for that reactor — weapons-grade enriched uranium.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

It was part of President Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peaceprogram, an initiative to provide countries with peaceful, civilian nuclear technologies in the hope that they wouldn’t pursue military nuclear programs.

The beneficiaries included Israel, India, Pakistan — and Iran, then ruled by a U.S.-backed monarch, Shah Reza Pahlavi.

Under the program, many countries received what Iran did: their own small reactors, their own dollops of fuel. But, says Vaez, “as a result of the oil boom of the 1970s, that [Iranian] nuclear program morphed into a full-fledged civilian nuclear program.”

The Iranians had money to exploit the knowledge they were given, and to develop scientific minds. Iran provided the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a $20 million endowment in the 1970s to train Iranian nuclear scientists, Vaez says.

“The majority of people who returned to the country and started running the nuclear program were trained at MIT,” he notes.

The trainees have been central to Iran’s nuclear program ever since.

There was a moment in the 1970s when American officials thought they might be making a mistake. They feared Iran would become one of the nations seeking nuclear weapons.

U.S. diplomats began negotiating to limit Iran’s nuclear program. They ran into a problem familiar to diplomats today: Iran under the shah insisted it had the same right to nuclear power as any nation.

“The shah famously said that unless it was clear Iran was not being treated as a second-class country, he would look for alternative vendors and he would not work with U.S. companies to acquire nuclear technology for Iran.”

Iran bought nuclear plants from West Germany and France. The research reactor at Tehran University kept working. And then the campus became famous for something else.

After the shah was overthrown in 1979, under the new Islamist government led byAyatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, thousands of people gathered at the university every Friday and angled their prayer mats toward Mecca.

“Tehran University is at the epicenter of Friday prayer ceremonies,” Vaez says. “And [it] is also infamously known to be [the] epicenter of ‘Death to America’ chants that are heard every Friday during the prayer ceremonies.”

The clerics in power did not initially embrace the country’s existing nuclear infrastructure, Vaez says.

“In many ways, Iran’s nuclear program encapsulates Iran’s struggle with modernity,” he says. “During the shah’s time, it was the symbol of the country’s march towards modernity. After the revolution, it came to symbolize the kind of rapid modernization that was riddled with corruption and ‘West-toxification.'”

“West-toxification” was a term Iran created and used to denote pernicious Western influence that was to be rejected.

“Ayatollah Khomeni famously said the unfinished nuclear power plants in Bushehrshould be used as silos to store wheat,” says Vaez. Ultimately, “they were abandoned as a costly Western imposition on an oil-rich nation.”

This attitude lasted into the 1980’s. But by then, Iran was fighting a brutal war against neighboring Iraq, led by Saddam Hussein. As part of that war, Saddam repeatedly bombed the Bushehr nuclear facility, which was not operational at the time.

The war, which lasted from 1980 to 1988, also created severe power shortages in Iran.

Eventually, Iran’s leaders decided to revive the nuclear program, though the precise reason was not clear…….

Iran has consistently denied that it wants a weapon, though the U.S. and many others argue otherwise. In the early 2000s, Iran offered to discuss the future of its nuclear program. It even reached a deal with European powers. But the U.S. under Bush did not sign on. The efforts to reach a deal fell apart, and Iran began building thousands of centrifuges that are used to enrich uranium.

Ali Vaez says at this point, the meaning of Iran’s nuclear program was “mutating.” Iran under Khomeini had rejected the program as a symbol of the corrupt West — but now, more than a decade after his death, it was becoming a symbol of Iran’s defiance of the West……

September 18, 2015 Posted by | history, Iran | Leave a comment

How world health will benefit from Iran nuclear deal

Communicationflag-IranIran nuclear deal will bolster global health Boston Globe, By Dr. Ali Lotfizadeh and Dr. Mohsen Malekinejad   SEPTEMBER 15, 2015 National security and regional stability have dominated the political debate over the Iran nuclear accord in recent weeks. Less discussed, however, are the far-reaching, positive implications for public health that will come when sanctions are lifted, as the deal calls for, and Iran’s medical system can begin to cooperate with the West again.

Sanctions for several years have severely restricted access to life-saving medicines for patients in Iran, leading to serious health consequences. Although the US government introduced loopholes to bypass these sanctions for medical purposes, the loopholes have not worked properly and lives have consequently been lost. With the nuclear agreement in place, thousands of Iranians will once again receive treatments for diseases like cancer and hemophilia.

Yet the calming of political tensions will have broader impact than just inside Iran. Since the revolution of 1979, Iran has been at the forefront of advancing primary medical care for rural populations through a system of robust health networks, which comprises more than 17,000 rural health facilities and a health center for every 7,000 rural residents. This network’s success even drew the interest of public health experts in Mississippi, who collaborated a few years ago with colleagues at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in Iran to reduce health care disparities between rural and urban parts of the state.

Iran has also launched advanced intervention programs for drug users and is home to two out of three HIV surveillance and treatment knowledge hubs for the Eastern Mediterranean region office of the World Health Organization. These hubs are in charge of knowledge transfer to other countries in the region.

Iran’s vast potential to enhance global health is significantly underutilized right now. For example, since 2013, we have trained local ophthalmologists in Tajikistan to treat the main causes of avoidable blindness through a US-based nongovernmental organization. When we sought ophthalmologists who could provide training in Tajikistan, it was only natural to consider enlisting the expertise of Iranian colleagues. Iran, a neighbor of Tajikistan, is home to several reputable training sites sponsored by the International Congress of Ophthalmology. Iranian physicians speak the language and know the culture of Tajikistan and other countries in the region. They are also less expensive to hire than their American counterparts. But current restrictions make even these small-scale collaborations virtually impossible, despite their clear humanitarian purpose……..

proposed health partnerships transcend political ideologies and improve lives from villages in Tajikistan to small towns in Mississippi. But their success depends on the durability of this nuclear agreement. Iran and America do not see eye-to-eye on many political issues, and the current accord will not change that. But support for this agreement can pave the way toward a shared global responsibility to make the world a healthier place.

Dr. Ali Lotfizadeh is a visiting scholar at UCSF School of Medicine’s Institute for Health Policy Studies. Dr. Mohsen Malekinejad is an assistant professor in the same program., Boston Globe 

September 16, 2015 Posted by | health, Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Iran nuclear agreement is endorsed by Nuclear Nonproliferation Experts

Over 70 Nuclear Nonproliferation Experts Endorse Iran Agreement WASHINGTON, 18 Aug 15  — A group of more than 70 leading nuclear nonproliferation experts issued a statement on Tuesday in support of the full implementation of the Iran nuclear agreement aimed to guarantee the peaceful nature of Tehran’s nuclear program.

The signers of the statement include former senior nonproliferation officials at the US Department of State and Department of Defense, former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency Hans Blix, former nuclear negotiators as well as other leading nuclear specialists from around the globe.

“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a strong, long-term, and verifiable agreement that will be a net-plus for international nuclear nonproliferation efforts,” the signed statement reads.

The nuclear experts attest that the Iran nuclear deal “advances the security interests” of all negotiating parties, as well as the international community.

The nuclear agreement between Iran, and the P5+1 countries of the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain, France, and Germany has been under review in the US Congress, which will vote to approve or disapprove the deal by September 17.

The UN Security Council and all the P5+1 countries, except for the United States, have given their support for the nuclear agreement intended to prevent Iran from developing or acquiring a nuclear weapon, in exchange for international sanctions relief.


August 19, 2015 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Obama can still do the Iran nuclear deal, despite Congress opposition

Obama,BarackPresident Obama can do Iran nuclear deal even if Congress rejects it Chicago Tribune, By Tribune wire reports contact the reporter , 16 Aug 15 President Obama doesn’t need a congressional OK to make a deal with Iran over its nuclear program.  The September vote on the Iran nuclear deal is billed as a titanic standoff between President Barack Obama and Congress. Yet even if lawmakers reject the agreement,  it’s not game-over for the White House.

A congressional vote of disapproval would not prevent Obama from acting on his own to start putting the accord in place. While he probably would take some heavy criticism, this course would let him add the foreign policy breakthrough to his second-term list of accomplishments.

Obama doesn’t need a congressional OK to give Iran most of the billions of dollars in relief from economic sanctions that it would get under the agreement, as long as Tehran honors its commitments to curb its nuclear program — at least for now.

“A resolution to disapprove the Iran agreement may have substantial political reverberations, but limited practical impact,” says Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “It would not override President Obama’s authority to enter into the agreement.”

Lawmakers on their summer break are deciding how to vote. A look at the current state of play:


With Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress, the House and Senate are expected to turn down the deal. Obama has pledged to veto such a resolution of disapproval, so the question has turned to whether Congress could muster the votes to override him, in what would be a stinging, bipartisan vote of no-confidence against the president. And Obama would forfeit the authority he now enjoys to waive sanctions that Congress has imposed.

But Democrats and Republicans have predicted that his expected veto will be sustained — that opponents lack the votes to one-up Obama……

WHAT CAN OBAMA DO ON HIS OWN? The president could suspend some U.S. sanctions. He could issue new orders to permit financial transactions that otherwise are banned now. On the financial sector, Obama could use executive orders to remove certain Iranians and entities, including nearly two dozen Iranian banks, from U.S. lists, meaning they no longer would be subject to economic penalties……….

August 17, 2015 Posted by | Iran, politics, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Iran has complied on key condition of the nuclear deal – submitting documents to IAEA

flag-IranIran submits nuclear activity information to UN watchdog, Yahoo News Vienna (AFP), 16 Aug 15,  – Iran has submitted documents linked to its past nuclear activity, the UN’s atomic watchdog has confirmed, a key condition of a probe into suspected efforts to create nuclear arms. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) signed a “roadmap” with Iran in July to investigate its nuclear programme, as part of an overall accord with major world powers.

The historic deal is aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear activity in exchange for relief on painful economic sanctions.

The IAEA said Iran had met a key deadline by handing over the papers on Saturday.

“Iran… provided the IAEA with its explanation in writing and related documents as agreed in the roadmap for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear programme,” the agency said in a brief statement published Saturday.

A senior Iranian official also confirmed that the documents had been submitted.

“We have achieved our commitments as part of the deadline set out in the agreement,” said Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation.

The IAEA is to issue a report on its investigation by December 15……….

August 17, 2015 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Iran could not hide evidence of nuclear weapons work

flag-IranWhy it’s impossible to hide nuclear work in 24 days – or 24 years, REUTERS, By Yousaf Butt August 13, 2015  One of the most misleading distortions being floated by political opponents of the Iran nuclear deal is the “24-day” loophole meme: Iran would be able to hide all  evidence of any nefarious nuclear weapons work during the 24 days it may take inspectors to gain access to a suspicious site.

diplomacy-not-bombsFor starters, International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors would have continuous daily access to all Iran’s declared nuclear facilities. If Iran does not allow anytime inspections of any declared site, it could result in the reimposition — or “snapback” — of sanctions.

The 24-day rule applies only to undeclared suspect sites anywhere in the country. Because inspections anywhere at any time can be complicated to work out, a procedure was devised to address the problem.

Why 24 days? Iran and the atomic energy agency first would have a maximum of 14 days to come to an understanding about how to carry out the new inspections. In the absence of an agreement, the members of the Joint Commission – the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and Iran — must resolve the issue, by consensus or a vote, within seven days. Tehran would have three days to implement the decision. So, the 24 days is not a gift to Tehran that would allow it to hide potential nuclear malfeasance — it is just the maximum periodallowed to hammer out a way to inspect any undeclared suspicious facility in Iran.

More important, critics insist, Iran could use those 24 days to hide evidence of nuclear materials. This is not going to happen. It would be virtually impossible even in 240 days, let alone 24. Even a nanogram, or one-billionth of a gram, of leftover dust from nuclear-weapons related work — such as covert enrichment at a suspect site — could be detectable.

The main way the agency could find incriminating dust is with a “swipe sample” using a super-clean cotton cloth. The wipe would be applied to surfaces, especially where dust naturally collects, including corners of a room, cracks, bolt holes, equipment interiors and where walls meet the floor.

As the agency itself states: “Any nuclear process … will also produce particulate materials with particle dimensions in the 0.1 [to] 10 micrometer range. Such small particles are believed to be quite mobile and will travel several meters from their point of origin due to air currents or human activity. This mobility also makes it extremely difficult to clean up an area to such an extent that no particles remain available for swipe sampling.” [emphasis added]

The swipe samples from a suspect site would be taken to a laboratory, where the atomic energy agency can use a variety of highly sensitive methods to pick up any infinitesimal incriminating nuclear particles. Isotopic ratios, chemical forms or particle shapes can all provide clues about where the nuclear material came from and how it was produced.

One particularly powerful method is known as “fission track-secondary ion mass spectrometry.”Particles from a swipe sample are irradiated with neutrons on a Lexan (plastic) plate. If there are fissile materials in the sample, they would  become unstable and split apart; heavy fission-product particles would be produced. In sufficient quantities, these particles would leave tracks in the plate that can be viewed by acid etching……….

The bottom line is that it is almost impossible to get away with messing around with nuclear materials. Nuclear fingerprints are not removable.

“You cannot get rid of them by cleaning,” Stephan Vogt, head of the atomic agency’sEnvironmental Sample Laboratory told Reuters in 2013. “You cannot dilute them to the extent that we will not be able to pick them up. It is just a matter of time,” he stated, before the atomic energy agency detects any incriminating residue………..

Twenty-nine top U.S. scientists — including Nobel Prize winners, senior experts in arms control and former White House science advisers – wrote to President Barack Obama this past weekend to praise the Iran deal. They called it “technically sound, stringent and innovative.” Instead of listening to the complaints about the 24-day meme, Congress should pay heed to these experts.

August 14, 2015 Posted by | Iran, politics international, safety | Leave a comment

Iran nuclear deal is supported by Jews in Iran

diplomacy-not-bombsflag-IranIran’s Jewish community gets behind nuclear deal with U.S.USA Today, 7 Aug 15 Reese Erlich, GlobalPost TEHRAN, Iran — Tapo, one of six kosher restaurants in Tehran, has become an informal hangout for the city’s small Jewish community. During a lunchtime rush last week customers ate savory kebabs while excitedly discussing the signing of the U.S.-Iran nuclear accord.

“There was lots of joy for us,” said Horiel, a Jewish customer who declined to give his last name. “It was not only the Jewish community that was happy. The nation was happy.”

Most Iranian Jews strongly disagree with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s denunciations of the accord. Horiel said his ancestors came from Jerusalem, “but I’m an Iranian Jew. Israel will get nothing with threats and war.”

Israeli leaders and conservative politicians in the U.S. have denounced the accords as too weak, saying they’ll allow Iran to eventually develop atomic weapons.

Iranians argue that they never built a nuclear bomb and have no intention of doing so. They broadly support the accord in hopes that the U.S. will lift economic sanctions and the economy will improve.

But the agreement also lessens international tensions, says Homayoun Sameyah Najafabadi, chair of the Tehran Jewish Committee, the country’s main Jewish organization. “There was the possibility of war,” he said. “With the deal signed, it will take war off the table and bring stability to the region.”

Najafabadi said that Israel’s opposition to the accord “has no impact on the Jewish community in Iran.”…….. Jewish leaders estimate there are between 12,000 and 30,000 Jews here today, making Iran’s the second-largest Jewish population in the Middle East after Israel.

But those who have chosen to stay in Iran have a long history of opposition to hawkish Israeli governments. Many consider themselves Jews but not Zionists.

The Islamic Republic of Iran allows freedom of worship for Jews and Christians, according to Siamak Morsedegh, the Jewish representative to Iran’s parliament. He points out that unlike some other countries in the region and in Europe, Jewish templesin Iran have not been attacked.

“There (is) no need for guards in front of our synagogues,” he said………..

GlobalPost Special Correspondent Reese Erlich received a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting for his reporting from Iran. His latest book is “Inside Syria: The Back Story of Their Civil War and What the World Can Expect.”

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

August 7, 2015 Posted by | Iran, Israel, politics, politics international | Leave a comment

Call from Iran for world nuclear disarmament

nuclear-weapons-3Iran’s foreign minister calls for world’s nuclear weapons states to disarm Mohammad Javad Zarif calls for talks on arms elimination treaty and for creation of zone free from weapons of mass destruction in Middle East, Guardian,  31 July 15, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has called on Israel and the world’s eight other states with nuclear weapons to begin disarming, in response to his country’s acceptance of strict curbs on its nuclear programme in anagreement reached earlier this month.

Writing in the Guardian, Zarif argues that by agreeing to the Vienna deal, titled the joint comprehensive plan of action, Iran was honouring the spirit of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), in which states without nuclear weapons promise not to acquire them. But he says the nuclear weapons states are not keeping their side of the bargain by disarming.

“The cold war-era asymmetry between states that possess nuclear weapons and those that don’t is no longer tolerable,” the minister writes, claiming Iran had “walked the walk” on non-proliferation.

“Meanwhile, states actually possessing these destructive weapons have hardly even talked the talk, while completely brushing off their disarmament obligations under NPT and customary international law. That is to say nothing of countries outside the NPT, or Israel, with an undeclared nuclear arsenal and a declared disdain towards non-proliferation, notwithstanding its absurd and alarmist campaign against the Iranian nuclear deal.”

Israel does not officially confirm its nuclear arsenal, but it is believed to have about 80 warheads……….

Zarif makes three proposals: for negotiations to begin on a nuclear weapons elimination treaty; that this should lead initially to nuclear arsenals being taken off high alert readiness (for example, by removing warheads from missiles); and for the creation of a zone in the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction………..

Patricia Lewis, the research director for international security at the Chatham House thinktank, said: “Most interesting to me is that Zarif is strongly linking the nuclear deal in Vienna to the WMD-free zone. Iran used to be a thought leader in this process – a role it absconded from in recent years. It looks as if once again it may be prepared to take this on as a major issue. The fascinating thing to watch will be how Israel will respond, a country that won’t even reveal its nuclear weapons capability and remains outside the NPT.”

August 1, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Iran, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Beneficial effects of Iran nuclear deal on Middle East stability

Iran Nuclear Deal Will Have Positive Effect On Middle Eastern Security And Stability, Putin Assures Netanyahu, International business Times,  By Sounak Mukhopadhyay on July 30 2015 Russian President Vladimir Putin told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday that Iran’s nuclear program would improve Middle Eastern security. He also said that the outcome of the nuclear negotiations would positively influence the stability of the region.

Putin assured Netanyahu that the deal would prevent the Islamic republic from acquiring nuclear weapons. The Russian president told Netanyahu the deal would also ensure that Iran had a peaceful nuclear program.

“The Russian leader expressed confidence that successful implementation of the Joint [Comprehensive] Plan of Action will strengthen the regime of nuclear non-proliferation and will have a positive effect on security and stability in the Middle East,” said Iranian news agency Press TV, quoting a Kremlin statement.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Israel plans to lobby the U.S. Congress not to authorize the nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers. The deal came to its conclusion in Vienna earlier in July after both parties had negotiated for more than a decade.

The United Nations, the European Union and the United States are going to lift sanctions against Iran, which will help the Islamic republic revitalize its economy. In exchange, Iran will restrict its nuclear program. Israel, on the other hand, has expressed concerns that Iran will create a nuclear weapon despite the agreement………

July 31, 2015 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Nuclear experts explain how the Iran nuclear deal cuts off pathways to nuclear weapons

diplomacy-not-bombsI agree with Obama that the pathways [for Iran to build nuclear weapons] are cut off. … Overall, it’s very good.”

“The inspection protocol,” she said, means that “the international inspectorate is going to be inspecting all the way from mines through centrifuge manufacturing. They will see if Iran is trying to break out.”

Former LANL chemist blogs on all things nuclear By Anne Constable The New Mexican , 26 July 15One Santa Fean paying close attention to the historic nuclear deal with Iran is Cheryl Rofer, a retired Los Alamos National Laboratory chemist who has worked on environmental cleanup projects in Estonia and Kazakhstan.

On Nuclear Diner, the blog she writes with two other people, Rofer posts her own views about Iran agreeing to curb its nuclear program in return for the end of United Nations sanctions, as well as topics such as civilian power reactors, nuclear weapons and nonproliferation. “I’m trying to write things other people aren’t writing that I think important,” she said in a recent interview. Continue reading

July 27, 2015 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

A win for non-proliferation – the Iran nuclear deal

Iran nuclear deal a win for non-proliferation THE AUSTRALIAN JULY 20, 2015  CHRIS PATTEN
Let us give praise where it is richly deserved. Despite all the criticism they faced, US President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State, John Kerry, stuck doggedly to the task of negotiating a deal with Iran to limit its nuclear program. Together with representatives of Britain, Russia, China, France, and Germany, they have now succeeded.


The main terms of this historic agreement, concluded in the teeth of opposition from Israel, Iran’s regional competitors (particularly Saudi Arabia), and the political Right in the US, seek to rein in Iran’s nuclear activities so that civil capacity cannot be swiftly weaponised. In exchange for inspection and monitoring of nuclear sites, the international economic sanctions imposed years ago on Iran will be lifted.

This is a significant moment in the nuclear age. Since 1945, the terrifying destructive force of nuclear weapons has encouraged political leaders to search for ways to control them…………

We know how the Bush strategy turned out. The talks collapsed: no compromise, no agreement. Today, a deal has been concluded; but it is less good than the deal that could have been reached a decade ago — a point worth keeping in mind as the likes of former vice-president Dick Cheney and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu start hollering from the sidelines.As it is, not only will an agreement add cement to the NPT; it could also open the way to the sort of understanding with Iran that is essential to any broad diplomatic moves to control and halt the violence sweeping across western Asia.

Chris Patten, a former EU commissioner for external affairs, is Chancellor of the University of Oxford Project Syndicate

July 19, 2015 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Despite USA’s Congress, tyhe Iran nuclear deal is to become international law

highly-recommendedIran deal set to become international law UNITED NATIONS, 18 July 15  — The U.N. Security Council scheduled a vote for first thing Monday morning on a resolution endorsing the Iran nuclear deal.

flag-UN-largeThe resolution was circulated to council members Wednesday by the United States. Members were also briefed by both Iran and the other countries that negotiated the landmark agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

With all five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council involved in the marathon Iran negotiations, the resolution’s adoption Monday was almost certain.

The resolution implements an intricate deal that places restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program while allowing relief from sanctions that the country’s leaders say have hurt its economy.

Monday’s vote will come despite calls from some U.S. lawmakers to delay Security Council approval until Congress reviews the deal.

CBS News foreign affairs analyst Pamela Falk says the resolution will make the Iran nuclear deal international law, but will delay its official implementation for 90 days, to allow for the U.S. Congress’ consideration.

Falk explained that while Congress cannot block the implementation of the deal, if the legislative body votes against it and has enough votes to override a promised veto from President Obama, it is not clear what would happen next.

A U.S. official told CBS News that American law doesn’t “trump” U.N. resolutions, but if Congress were to vote against the measure — and garner enough votes to override a presidential veto — lawmakers could stop U.S. sanctions being lifted, which could prompt Iran to declare the U.S. as non-compliant with the terms of the deal and to back out.

If U.S. lawmakers were to decide after Monday’s vote that they wanted changes to the terms of the agreement, it would essentially be too late, because it would require the Security Council to propose a new resolution — and there would likely be little appetite for such deliberations among the other negotiating partners.

The chairman of the Senate’s foreign relations committee, Bob Corker, on Thursday wrote a letter to President Obama saying, “We urge you to postpone the vote at the United Nations until after Congress considers this agreement.”

But the chief U.S. negotiator in the Iran talks, Wendy Sherman, rejected that idea Thursday.

She told reporters: “It would have been a little difficult when all of the (countries negotiating with Iran) wanted to go to the United Nations to get an endorsement of this, since it is a product of the United Nations process, for us to say, ‘Well, excuse me, the world, you should wait for the United States Congress.’”

Sherman said the council resolution allows the “time and space” for a congressional review before the measure actually takes effect.

July 18, 2015 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

The groundbreaking nuclear deal is of great benefit to ordinary people in Iran

diplomacy-not-bombsflag-IranOrdinary Iranians the big winners in groundbreaking nuclear peace pact, Irish Independent  Mary Fitzgerald18/07/2015 The images from Tehran after news broke of an historic deal on Iran’s nuclear programme this week told their own story. Exuberant crowds took to the streets, cheering and dancing in celebration of an agreement that means their nation will now come in from the cold of international sanctions.

Many carried a large, wooden key, the symbol of president Hassan Rouhani’s election campaign two years ago, during which he put a nuclear deal on the top of his priority list.

The accord announced in Vienna was the fruit of 19 days of intense negotiations and four missed deadlines. It is designed to contain Iran’s nuclear programme, which Tehran has long insisted is only for energy purposes, for at least a decade, and will involve more comprehensive UN inspections to monitor its nuclear facilities.

As part of the deal, Tehran will get relief from the international sanctions that have crippled its economy for almost 10 years. The agreement is not only a victory for Rouhani, it is also a vindication of US President Barack Obama’s policy of engagement and marks Washington’s first real success in dealing with Tehran since the seizing of the American embassy there in 1979.

Anyone who has visited Iran in recent years will know how much sanctions have affected ordinary Iranians. Isolation from the international banking system and the loss of oil revenues have caused Iran’s currency, the rial, to plummet by two-thirds of its value against the dollar since sanctions were tightened in 2011.

Inflation has soared and the prices of fuel and basic foodstuffs have rocketed. Some estimates hold that the most recent round of sanctions brought Iran’s GDP down by 20pc and contributed to a jobless rate of 10.3pc, hitting young Iranians the hardest.

Between 2009 and 2013, more than 300,000 Iranians emigrated in search of better prospects elsewhere, and today, 25pc of Iranians with a post-graduate education are to be found living and working outside Iran.

By some estimates, the re-entry of Iran to the global marketplace means its economy will grow to more that 5pc GDP within a year. With the fourth-largest crude oil reserves in the world, the end to sanctions means Iran could increase its production to around 4pc of global output within months, thus lowering oil-price forecasts by $5-$15 per barrel.

The reopening of Iran and its consumer market of 78.5 million people means there will be a flurry of interest from investors. The country’s creaking infrastructure – particularly in its energy sector – means it needs all the help it can get……..

While the agreement does not mean diplomatic relations will be restored or Washington will shy away from criticising Tehran’s support for militant groups and its human rights abuses at home, it may usher in some form of coordination in relation to the battle against Islamic State in Iraq……….

July 18, 2015 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

World a little safer as deal agreed on with Iran – Obama

Obama,BarackObama praises diplomacy of Iran nuclear deal, Sky News, , 15 July 2015 US President Barack Obama has lauded a landmark nuclear agreement with Iran as vindication of his diplomatic approach and a chance for a ‘new direction’ in decades of vexed relations with Tehran.

Obama said the deal – which would curb Iran’s nuclear program in return for substantial international sanctions relief – cut off ‘every pathway’ to an Iranian atomic weapon. ‘Today, because America negotiated from a position of strength and principle, we have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region,’ he said in a White House address on Tuesday.

Describing a ‘difficult history’ between Iran and the United States that ‘cannot be ignored,’ Obama shaped it as a diplomatic victory that showed ‘it is possible to change.’ ‘This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction. We should seize it,’ he said……..

Obama came to office vowing to talk directly to Tehran and to try to reach a negotiated deescalation – a marked shift from his predecessor, who rejected a similar deal struck by European countries. ‘This deal demonstrates that American diplomacy can bring real and meaningful change,’ he said.

But, he warned, if Iran steps back from measures agreed in the lengthy agreement, all sanctions ‘will snap back into place.’ Obama insisted the alternative to diplomacy was more violence in a region already beset by instability. ‘Put simply, no deal means a greater chance of more war in the Middle East,’ he said………

Obama said the deal was based on verification, not trust, and noted that differences between the two countries were ‘real.’

Analysts have also warned that Iran’s leaders may need to toughen anti-American rhetoric to ensure the backing of regime hardliners angered at the prospect of a deal with a power they view as the ‘Great Satan.’

July 15, 2015 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear agreement finally reached between Iran and world powers

diplomacy-not-bombsflag-IranIran nuclear agreement: powerful diplomats reach a deal,  JULY 15, 2015 THE world’s major powers have struck a long-awaited nuclear deal with Iran after more than two weeks of intense talks in Vienna.

Iranian state television has broadcast US President Barack Obama’s statement on the deal live, only the second such occasion since the Islamic revolution of 1979.

The state broadcaster had also aired Obama’s comments on an April 2 framework accord that led to Tuesday’s historic agreement, paving the way for an easing of crippling Western sanctions and for Iran to come in from the cold…….Iranians have poured onto the streets of Tehran after the Ramadan fast ended at sundown to celebrate the historic nuclear deal…….

  • What the deal meansAfter 18 days of intense and often fractious negotiation, diplomats declared that world powers and Iran had struck a landmark deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions.

    The agreement was designed to avert the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran and another US military intervention in the Muslim world.

    The accord will keep Iran from producing enough material for a nuclear weapon for at least 10 years and impose new provisions for inspections of Iranian facilities, including military sites.

    The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was reached after more than two weeks of furious diplomacy, during which negotiators blew through three self-imposed deadlines.

    Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry, who conducted most of the negotiations, both threatened to walk away while trading accusations of intransigence.

  • Breakthrough came after several key compromisesDiplomats said Iran agreed to the continuation of a UN arms embargo on the country for up to five more years, though it could end earlier if the International Atomic Energy Agency definitively clears Iran of any current work on nuclear weapons. A similar condition was put on UN restrictions on the transfer of ballistic missile technology to Tehran, which could last for up to eight more years…….
  • Another significant agreement will allow UN inspectors to press for visits to Iranian military sites as part of their monitoring duties, something the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had long vowed to oppose………

July 15, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Iran, politics international | Leave a comment


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