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US-Iran Nuclear Deal: The Basics

What is the nature of the deal that was reached?

“It’s more of an interim agreement before the deal. Described as an initial, six-month deal, the White House says it includes “substantial limitations that will help prevent Iran from creating a nuclear weapon.” In short, it slows the country’s nuclear development program in exchange for lifting some sanctions while a more formal agreement is worked out.”

It’s not permanent, so why is it a big deal?

 “For years, Iran and Western powers have left negotiating tables in disagreement, frustration and open animosity. But the diplomatic tone changed after Iran’s election this year, which saw President Hassan Rouhani take over. “For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program,” U.S. President Barack Obama says.”

What about the stockpiles Iran already has?

“As part of the deal, Iran will be required to dilute its stockpile of uranium that had been enriched to 20%. While uranium isn’t bomb-grade until it’s enriched to 90% purity, “once you’re at 20%, you’re about 80% of the way there,” Hibbs says. The deal also mandates Iran halt all enrichment above 5% and dismantle the technical equipment required to do that. Before the end of the initial phase of the deal, all its stockpiles should be diluted below 5% or converted to a form not suitable for further enrichment, the deal states.”

What’s in it for Iran?

“Billions of dollars.”

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/24/world/meast/iran-nuclear-deal-qa/

Secretary of State John Kerry’s Prominent Role in the Iran Nuclear Deal

“The deal Kerry was instrumental in cutting is a diplomatic coup, even if its effectiveness and durability remain in doubt. It sets new boundaries for Iran’s disputed nuclear program that represent significant compromises and concessions for Iran as well as the international coalition that suspects it of seeking nuclear weapons.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/kerry-plays-the-closer-in-iran-deal/2013/11/24/14714e7e-5537-11e3-bdbf-097ab2a3dc2b_story.html

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu Calls Deal “Historic Mistake”

“What was concluded in Geneva last night is not a historic agreement, it is a historic mistake,” he said.

“Today the world has become a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world took a significant step towards obtaining the world’s most dangerous weapon.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/24/us-iran-nuclear-israel-idUSBRE9AN07320131124

How Iran Nuclear Deal Could Affect US Geostrategy

“Even the most optimistic Middle East analyst probably is not cockeyed enough to expect Iran’s nuclear agreement to also mean it will withdraw the many tentacles it uses to work its will in places from Syria to Iraq to the tiny Gulf kingdom of Bahrain. But eliminating the nuclear threat from the geostrategic equation in the neighborhood would reduce the risks to the U.S. and its allies — especially Israel — by many orders of magnitude.”

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/iran-deal-could-change-the-strategic-calculus-100304.html

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