The historic nuclear accord with Iran, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was negotiated for months and finally signed by Iran and the U.S., UK, Russia, China, France (the P5) and Germany (+1) on 14 July, 2015.
Under the arrangement Iran has pledged to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, decrease its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98% and reduce approximately two-thirds the total number of gas centrifuges for 13 years.
In exchange for Iran’s adherence to these terms, the UN Security Council members have agreed to reduce sanctions on the Islamic Republic. For example, the U.S. is obligated to end all “secondary” sanctions, meaning those imposed on other countries to prohibit their business with Iran. The European Union will lift its own sanctions, effectively unfreezing some $100 billion in assets–this number is an estimate from the U.S. Treasury Department–currently tied up in overseas bank accounts. In addition, the member states will refrain from imposing any new sanctions on Iran.
The deal is objectively good but perhaps more importantly, it has allowed both the West and Iran to declare victories through diplomacy, avoiding any military action.
Israel remains obstinate on the deal, as it was all throughout negotiations; Prime Minister Netanyahu even went so far as to bypass President Obama and give a fiery speech before the United States Congress in March, lambasting the deal and an open relationship with Iran.
Speaking before the largely Republican Congress, Netanyahu said “This deal won’t be a farewell to arms,” to which the lawmakers applauded. “It would be a farewell to arms control. And the Middle East would soon be crisscrossed by nuclear tripwires. A region where small skirmishes can trigger big wars would turn into a nuclear tinderbox.”
As yet, no bigger wars have been triggered by the Iran deal, and early indications show the deal will have a positive impact on strengthening relations with the West.
But as a report by PressTV alleges, the Israel lobby paid off Republican Senators in Congress to oppose the deal. On Wednesday, it was revealed that Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas received nearly $1 million from the Emergency Committee for Israel, a U.S. based rightwing political advocacy organization.
The group paid $960,250 to Cotton’s campaign, soon after which he lead the writing of an open-letter, signed by 47 Republicans, stating that a GOP White House would not adhere to any accords with Iran.
Cotton has kowtowed to the Israel lobby in the past, just as most other Republican lawmakers in Congress. During a July visit to Israel Cotton claimed “I will stand with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel and work with my colleagues in Congress to stop this deal.”
Aside from obstructionism against the Iran deal, Netanyahu and the Israel lobby collude with Republican lawmakers to maintain the occupation of Palestine, securing huge sums of military aid and characterizing opponents as anti-Israel.
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