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Nuclear Weapons

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On February 1, 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo formally announced a six-month n

Aaron Torop
John Kerry and Mohammad Javad Zarif conduct a bilateral meeting in Vienna, Austria, 14 July 2014

Now that the September 17 deadline for congressional action on the Iran Nuclear Deal has passed,

In an historic press conference Thursday, the countries in the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China) reached a framework agreement with Iran over Iran’s nuclear program. The agreement will, according to United States’ negotiating team, ensure that Iran’s “breakout capacity,” or the time that it could take Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, is lengthened to more than a year for the length of the agreement.

The framework, and the issues that it raises, is highly technical. Yet, we can say generally that Iran has agreed to place significant curbs on its nuclear program (by dismantling many facilities and making its uranium material less usable for nuclear weapons) and agreed to intrusive inspections of its nuclear facilities in return for sanctions relief from the United States, European Union, and United Nations. To learn more about the framework agreement, check out the White House fact sheet and the Washington Post summary.

In response to yesterday's joint statement of progress announced by the P5+1 and Iran, the leaders of the Reform Jewish Movement issued a statement saying that “a negotiated resolution … will be difficult to reach but all the alternatives to such a resolution are grim.”  Nevertheless, the leaders concluded that “we still have grave concerns about the ability of a potential deal to ensure that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to a joint session of Congress earlier today to oppose a nuclear deal with Iran.

Last month, I talked about the coming deadline for the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1, which was on November 24. At the time, it was unclear whether the sides would reach an agreement, whether they would extend the talks, or whether they would walk away. We learned on the 24 that the parties could not reach a comprehensive agreement, but decided on a 7-month extension until June, during which remaining difference would be sorted out.