Iran peace


The world awoke this morning to the news that a historic deal has been reached between Iran and the US, Russia, China, UK and France, plus Germany (P5 +1) regarding Iran’s nuclear program!

Imagine – a world in which diplomacy is actually given a shot before, well, shots. I’m always in favor of peace.

This morning, I spoke with Peace Action Policy & Political Director Paul Kawika Martin, who sent out a statement hailing the agreement early this morning.

“This historic agreement between the international community and Iran on its nuclear program will ensure Iran will not produce a nuclear weapon, making the U.S. and the world safer.  This agreement will keep Iran at least a year away from having the fissile material needed to make a crude nuclear weapon for at least ten years.  Without an agreement, that timeline shrinks to three months and the threat of war increases dramatically,” commented Paul Kawika Martin the political director of Peace Action (the largest peace group in the U.S. founded on the issue of abolishing nuclear weapons) who has been working on the Iran issue for over eight years and had the rare opportunity to spend time in Iran where he enjoyed the hospitality from its people and its vast culture.

The statement went on to summarize the deal

The agreement includes five major components:  Decreasing the stockpile of material that could possibly be made into fissile material.  Limiting the quantity and quality of centrifuges that could make highly enriched uranium needed for a nuclear bomb.  Reconfiguring the nuclear reactor (and securing its spent fuel) in the city of Arak so it produces an insignificant amount of weapons grade plutonium.  Implementing unprecedented inspections and comprehensive monitoring.  And lastly, scheduling and implementing the lifting of specific sanctions on Iran.  In summary, over the next ten years and in some cases longer, all pathways for Iran to build a nuclear weapon will be blocked and critical examination and oversight for verification in exchange for lifting of sanctions.

For a more comprehensive explanation of the accord, check out the White House page optimistically titled, “The Historic Deal that Will Prevent Iran from Acquiring a Nuclear Weapon“.  With a heavy dose of easy-to-understand graphics, that page is obviously designed to sell the deal to the American people.

There will be analyses from the left, from the right, from AIPAC, from J Street, and from every other corner of the political landscape in the US. If you can get past the technical text, it is an interesting read…

Iran nuclear deal text

The Talk Radio News Service‘ UN Bureau Chief Luke Vargas put together a great analysis of the deal, which I think is quite balanced.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPCOA) agreed to this morning entrusts the U.N. Security Council with central responsibility for ensuring Iranian compliance over the coming decade, and the matter will become a regular fixture on the Security Council calendar. 

(Via the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) reporting mechanisms, the U.N. will also hear reports on Iranian nuclear activities for at least the next 25 years, even after all sanctions are cancelled and the JPCOA expires)

Today’s deal compels the Security Council to endorse the JPCOA “without delay,” and a council vote is expected by the end of July. By design, this should be relatively easy to achieve since the permanent five members of the council lead negotiations.

Security Council endorsement of the deal starts a 90-day countdown to “Adoption Day.” After this point, Iran’s nuclear sites are subject to inspection by IAEA inspectors.

The day the IAEA announces compliance with “agreed nuclear-related measures by Iran” will be known as “Implementation Day,” and this milestone will trigger the removal of all seven Security Council resolutions sanctioning Iran. 

This is a significant victory for Iran, as one of the resolutions to be undone is Res.1747 of March 24, 2007, which established a ban on arms procurement and export by Iran. 

Undoing Resolution 1747 was originally viewed as unacceptable by the United States, but was reportedly inserted back into the nuclear agreement at the behest of China and Russia as recently as last week. Even a compromise plan to leave the arms embargo in place for five years appears to have been cast aside.

Finally, the Security Council will play an important role in monitoring the compliance of both the P5+1 and Iran to the terms of the agreement.

If a case of non-compliance is alleged, a newly-established Joint Commission (consisting of the P5+1 and Iran) will have 15 days to consider the violation before either Foreign Ministers or a 3-member Advisory Board (consisting of one member from each party in the dispute and an independent member) have another 15 days to deliberate. 

Following this 30 day period, the Security Council would have a further 30 days to consider and respond to the alleged violation before previously-relaxed sanctions are automatically re-applied.

Opponents of this deal may cite that sanctions could take up to 60 days to reapply in the event of Iranian non-compliance, but in the event of an Iranian “breakout” toward a nuclear weapon, it’s unlikely that sanctions would constitute a sufficient response.

Congress has their August recess at home before they will cast their votes on the plan. So call your representatives at 855-68-NO WAR and make your voice heard! This should make for an interesting summer!

Laffy was out today, dealing with neck pain. Ugh. Thankfully Amy Simon of She’s History was here to talk about some of the rest of the news with me. Of course, with today being 7-14, I had to pile on Cosby, so to speak. We also dumped on Trump. Since we needed at least one good news story, we noted that Malala Yousafzai turned 18 over the weekend. To celebrate, she opened a girls school for Syrian refugees. I’m not worthy!

The big Radio or Not Auction officially gets underway tomorrow morning, when all the item listings will go live. Yesterday, to mark the 30th anniversary of Live Aid, we started the auction for an unused pair of Live Aid USA tickets, and today, I added an Anne Rice autographed box set of her erotic “Sleeping Beauty” trilogy. Tomorrow morning, there will be at least 48 more items to bid on, so get ready to click!

In addition to kicking off the auction tomorrow, I’ll be joined by The Nation’s John Nichols to talk about his Bernie Sanders interview on the cover of their 150th Anniversary issue, we’ll dip into the FloriDUH files, and see what else the day brings, radio or not!