After many years of fitful negotiations, Iran is expected within days to start dismantling parts of its nuclear facilities and reducing its uranium stockpiles under international supervision.
Sunday is “adoption day,” the end of the beginning for the controversial landmark agreement the United States and five other world powers reached with Iran in July. If Iran satisfactorily reduces its nuclear program so that it cannot build nuclear weapons, international sanctions will be lifted.
Now, 90 days after the U.N. Security Council endorsed the deal, the Obama administration and the European Union will lay the groundwork for sanctions relief. The president will officially notify Congress of his intent to issue provisional waivers, and direct the departments of State, Treasury, Commerce and Justice to get ready. The E.U. will take comparable steps.
“We are moving now to the implementation stage, and it is essential that we will maintain our vigilance, our unity of approach and our common purpose,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a speech at Indiana University this week.
Due to the multiple complex hurdles for Iran, United Nations inspectors might not certify that it has met its obligations until next summer, according to analysts.
However, in an interview on Iranian TV last week, the Iranian president said the sanctions could come off “one to two months” after Iran begins the process of implementing the nuclear deal.
It’s not clear whether Iran could cheat its way to the deal’s implementation.
One week ago, Iran test-fired a ballistic missile with a range long enough to reach archenemy Israel, in what the Obama administration has called a violation of a U.N. resolution. However, officials insist the launch was outside the scope of the nuclear agreement.
This misconduct, along with Iran siding with Russia to aid Syria, and the recent conviction of a U.S. reporter by the Iranian legal system does much to bolster the still-deep vein of distrust that much of America has for Iran.
(H/T) The Hill