Obama marks anniversary of nuke deal; GOP aims to undermine

Iran threatened to withdraw from the nuclear deal it signed last July with world powers, the London-based pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat reported on Thursday, on the one-year anniversary of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). As a result of the deal, Iran has removed two-thirds of its centrifuges and associated infrastructure, and the country is limited to a stockpile of no more than 300 kg of uranium hexafluoride enriched to no more than 3.67 percent. The report suggested the particles confirm Iran's ongoing involvement in building nuclear weapons and that it requires further investigation by the State Department.

After nearly two years of negotiations, a deal was struck: Iran would rein in its nuclear program.

He said the new legislation would enable the United States "to push back against all of the other nefarious activities that we know Iran is involved in the region".

"The JCPOA demonstrates what can be achieved by principled diplomacy and a sustained commitment to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons", Obama said. "Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., "reasserts the proper role of Congress" by prohibiting a president from easing sanctions in order to implement an global agreement with Iran without securing congressional approval". He accused the United States of "short-sighted bragging" and "lackluster implementation of obligations".

Opponents of the landmark deal, reached between Tehran and the U.S., China, France, Germany, Russia and the U.K, asserted that Iran was sure to cheat given its past illicit nuclear activity.

"There are continuing issues" with Iran, Kerry acknowledged. Since then, heavy water became a component of early nuclear energy research and is now an essential component in many nuclear reactors: those generating power, and those that produce isotopes for nuclear weapons, as it has the potential to combine with uranium to produce weapons-grade plutonium.

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And in the Middle East, Israeli leaders still strongly oppose the deal although there is little talk of airstrikes or military intervention against Iran. Iranian banks and foreign banks that are processing Iran-related transactions are not allowed to deal in USA dollars.

Indeed, Iran is required to get permission from a U.N. Security Council working group to procure "nuclear dual-use" goods, according to the Institute for Science and International Security, a nuclear non-proliferation think tank. It was forged in exchange for curbs in Iran's nuclear programme.

That could set up the sanctions law to be lifted on the deal's "transition day", or roughly eight years after the nuclear agreement was adopted.

Iran is still subject to unilateral American sanctions and the country has struggled to attract big foreign investments, partly because it is having trouble gaining access to the worldwide banking system.

Hamid Baeedinejad, deputy foreign minister as well as top nuclear negotiator, called it a mistake to reduce the JCPOA to a business and economic agreement, saying, "Expectations of the deal should be realistic". "Because for six months you found every reason to say no. For six months, you went back on every word that was said about holding them accountable when the facts stood before us".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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