The deal between Iran and a group consisting of Germany, France, Britain, China, Russia and the United States is an important step in overseeing this Islamic republic’s nuclear technology. It implements supervisory systems where no controls exist today.
To evaluate the agreement, let’s keep in mind that the alternatives are not many and that there aren’t more favorable ones if the goal is to control Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Currently, an embargo is in place, one that is hurting Iran’s economy. That pressure led the country to the negotiating table. However, Iran had continued its work on the nuclear project without any oversight.
Critics of the deal would like to bring Iran to its knees, eliminate all potential for nuclear technology and end its influence on the region. That is impossible. If those had been the conditions for a deal, it would never have happened. That would have left only military options, which are not a good idea in such a volatile region—where Iran, for better or worse, is a main player.
The agreement basically fulfills the mission of decreasing the possibilities for Iran to continue producing nuclear materials at its current pace. It requires many reductions, ranging from uranium enrichment (through significant cuts in its stockpile) to the number of centrifuges. It also establishes a system of strict international oversights, and lifts sanctions gradually as parts of the deal are fulfilled, instead of being immediate as Iran wanted.
As was to be expected, a group in Congress that had announced opposition to the deal even when the details were unknown disagrees with it. Publicly, they claim that it endangers Israel and the Arab countries. Privately, the Republican strategy to capture the White House involves an allegedly weak U.S. foreign policy. Because of that, no matter what Obama does, he will be attacked. Israeli lobbying in Washington against the agreement, as seen during a speech that Prime Minister Netanyahu made to Congress, will surely be a factor.
Implementation is what will determine the success or failure of the deal, which takes into account these possibilities. In the meanwhile, the agreement deserves a chance.