July 14, 2015

NIAC Action Welcomes Historic Iran Nuclear Deal

Contact: Jamal Abdi
Phone: 202-386-6408
Email: [email protected]

NIAC Action’s Executive Director, Jamal Abdi, sent the following statement to Congress urging support for the comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran:

The comprehensive nuclear deal that has been secured by the United States, Iran and UN powers is a historic achievement. Diplomacy has made the U.S. and our allies safer by cutting off Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon and averting a disastrous war. Additionally, a separate roadmap was announced between the IAEA and Iran to resolve outstanding questions regarding past possible military dimensions (PMD) by December 2015.
While we continue to review the agreement, our initial assessment is that the final deal is indeed in line with the April framework agreement struck in Lausanne, which exceeded expectations and received significant Congressional support:
  • Iran moves down to 5,060 first generation centrifuges for ten years. It currently has over 19,000 installed.
  • No accumulating enriched uranium through advanced centrifuges for 10 years. Afterwards, Iran will phase out its first generation centrifuges.
  • All enrichment will be at the Natanz facility for fifteen years.
  • Enrichment capped at 3.67% for fifteen years.
  • Fordow will be converted into a research facility, and no centrifuges will accumulate enriched uranium.
  • Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile will be reduced by roughly 97%, from 10,000 kg to 300 kg for a full fifteen years.
  • Iran will redesign and rebuild the Arak heavy water reactor so that it does not produce weapons grade plutonium, and Iran will ship spent fuel out of the country and forego reprocessing. This will shut down the plutonium route.
  • Iran implements the Additional Protocol and moves to ratify it, locking it (and intrusive inspections, including at suspicious sites) in place indefinitely.
  • Iran and the IAEA move to a speedy resolution of the investigation into prior, possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.
  • Iran permits intrusive monitoring throughout Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain for decades. 
Members of Congress who have backed U.S. negotiators and blocked efforts to undermine these negotiations deserve tremendous credit for preserving the political space necessary to strike a deal. However, there is still more work to do.
The forthcoming Congressional review period will be a minimum of sixty days and begins as soon as the agreement and its annexes, as well as a verification assessment and certifications, are submitted to Congress. The Congressional review, and potential vote on a deal, is a decision between peace and war. It will determine whether the U.S. peacefully achieves its goal of preventing a nuclear-armed Iran, or burns important bridges with some of its closest allies and rejects the diplomatic option. 
It is imperative that Congress undertake a substantive review, factoring in the significant benefits of a deal and the likely costs of voting down an accord negotiated by the permanent members of the UN Security Council, Germany and Iran. If an agreement fails due to Congressional action, Iran’s nuclear program would be unshackled, IAEA monitoring over the program would diminish, and international support for the sanctions regime would crumble. With diminished leverage and an advancing, unconstrained Iranian nuclear program, the U.S. and Iran would be on a path to war.
NIAC Action, the new 501c(4) organization to the National Iranian American Council, will be organizing across the country with other organizations supportive of a diplomatic solution to the nuclear crisis to ensure that Congress votes for peace in the weeks ahead. We look forward to providing Congress with tools it needs to make the right decision on this deal, and to ensure lawmakers hear from their constituents who are among the overwhelming numbers of Americans who support a deal and do not want a war. We will be in touch to help ensure that the U.S. and Iran make the most of this vital opportunity.
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