As America negotiates with Iran on nuclear deal – distrust and verify

By Saba Long

Playing partisan politics with nuclear weapons is simply not worth the risk. America leads with diplomacy, not naïve trust nor with avertable warfare.

Just weeks after Senate Republicans attempted to sabotage nuclear arms control in Iran, a historic framework for a nuclear deal has been reached.

These terms and more were negotiated – without firing a single shot– and if Iran attempts to skirt the rules, global leaders will be able to swiftly and forcefully respond. Negotiations simply avoid two deadly alternatives – one: doing nothing and allowing Iran to produce nuclear weaponry or, two: inevitably launching a world war.

A nuclear-armed Iran undermines global security and puts us all at risk.

Key negotiation parameters outlined in a White House fact sheet include:

  • Iran has agreed to reduce by approximately two-thirds its installed centrifuges. Iran will go from having about 19,000 installed today to 6,104 installed under the deal, with only 5,060 of these enriching uranium for 10 years. All 6,104 centrifuges will be IR-1s, Iran’s first-generation centrifuge.
  • Iran will convert its facility at Fordow so that it is no longer used to enrich uranamium. It will only enrich uranium at its Natanz facility, using first-generation centrifuges for ten years.
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will have regular acces to all of Iran’s nuclear facilities and to the supply chain that supports Iran’s nuclear program.
  • Even after the period of the most stringent limitations on Iran’s nuclear program, Iran will remain a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which prohibits Iran’s development or acquisition of nuclear weapons and requires IAEA safeguards on its nuclear program.
  • Iran will receive sanctions relief, it is adheres to the agreement.

These terms and more were negotiated – without firing a single shot– and if Iran attempts to skirt the rules, global leaders will be able to swiftly and forcefully respond, whether that’s two months or one year from now.

President Barack Obama is not the first to attempt a peaceful solution in Iran. Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon official and American Enterprise Institute scholar penned a Wall Street Journal op-ed critical of another president’s approach. He wrote, “Diplomacy is not wrong, but President [George] Bush’s reversal is diplomatic malpractice on a Carter-esque level that is breathing new life into a failing regime.”

Unfortunately, many in Congress have conveniently forgotten diplomacy has always been the American way; it is for the dove and the hawk. The appearance of division only harms the potential deal and does little to assuage fears at home and abroad.

To be sure, Congress has a critical role to play in overseeing national security. However it must not micromanage the final stages of nuclear negotiations.

The stakes are simply too high to undermine a viable, peaceful solution.

With so much at stake for America and her allies, the right solution is to distrust but verify.

Saba Long is a communications and political professional who lives in downtown Atlanta. She serves as the senior council aide and communications liaison for Post 2 At-Large Atlanta City Councilman Aaron Watson. Most recently, Saba was the press secretary for MAVEN and Untie Atlanta -- the Metro Chamber’s education and advocacy campaigns in supportive of the Atlanta Regional Transportation Referendum. She has consulted with H.E.G. an analytics and evaluation firm where she lent strategic marketing and social media expertise to numerous political campaigns, including that of Fulton County Chairman John Eaves and the 2010 Clayton County transportation referendum. In 2009, Saba served as the deputy campaign manager for the campaign of City Council President Ceasar Mitchell. Previously, Saba was a Junior Account Executive at iFusion Marketing, where she lent fractional marketing strategy to various ATDC technology startups operating out of the Georgia Tech incubator, ATDC. For the past two years, Saba has presented on online marketing and politics to the incoming fellows of the Atlanta chapter of the New Leaders Council.

2 replies
  1. Burroughston Broch says:

    Saba, negotiating a treaty is only the first step. Having the Senate pass a resolution of ratification by a 2/3 vote is the second step. Enforcing the treaty is the third step.
    Given Iran’s past performance and current leadership, the third step will be impossible.Report

    Reply

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