Iran and the United States and its negotiating partners reached agreement Tuesday on a deal that would curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief — setting up a looming showdown between President Obama and Congress, where lawmakers could take issue with several provisions, including one giving Iran leverage over inspections. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the deal a mistake of “historic proportions,” and vowed to keep up efforts to block the Islamic Republic from obtaining an atomic bomb.
From Fox News:
Speaking from the White House, Obama claimed the deal meets “every single one of the bottom lines” from a tentative agreement struck earlier this year.
“Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off,” Obama said, claiming it provides for extensive inspections. “This deal is not built on trust. It is built on verification.”
Yet that very issue could be the primary sticking point going forward.
While some members of Congress had urged comprehensive inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites, the deal in hand gives Iran much leverage over that process. The agreement requires international inspectors to ask Iran’s permission first, after which Iran has 14 days to decide whether to grant it. If not, the same group of nations that struck the deal would have another 10 days to make their decision about what to do next. While the international group may have final say, the set-up essentially gives Iran 24 days to drag out the process, though officials say this is not enough time to hide all evidence of illicit conduct.