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The Hill: 5 Key US Demands Where Obama Folded in Iran Nuke Deal

By    |   Tuesday, 14 Apr 2015 07:39 PM

In the wake of the Iran nuclear framework deal negotiated by the Obama administration, The Hill identified five key areas where Secretary of State John Kerry and the White House bowed to Tehran's demands.

1. Banning uranium enrichment. Before U.S.-Iran nuclear talks began, both the Obama administration and the United Nations Security Council called on Iran to end all uranium enrichment. But the framework agreement allows Tehran to continue enrichment, ostensibly for domestic "civilian" use.

"Zero enrichment" had been a key demand by the United States dating back to 2009, noted Michael Singh of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

"We basically went from zero to a number that kept going up," Singh said.

U.S. officials made clear that if they didn't give in, they would not get a deal.

"As soon as we got into the real negotiations with them, we understood that any final deal was going to involve some domestic enrichment capability," a senior official told the Wall Street Journal last week. "But I can honestly tell you, we always anticipated that."

2. Limiting centrifuges. Initially, the Obama administration called for limiting the number of Iranian centrifuges for uranium enrichment to between 500 and 1,500. But in the end, U.S. negotiators agreed to permit Iran to have 6,104.

Administration defenders claim this constitutes a big victory because Iran would be forced to reduce the number of centrifuges it has from its current total of approximately 19,000.

But even assuming that Iran doesn't cheat — a big leap considering Tehran's history and Washington's spotty performance in monitoring compliance — it may not be enough to prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining a nuclear bomb.

Israeli defense expert Dore Gold recently noted, for example, that Pakistan needed only 3,000 uranium centrifuges to produce its first nuclear device. In other words, the Obama deal would leave Iran with more than enough centrifuges should it decide to go for a bomb.

3. Closing down secret Iranian nuclear facilities. In December 2013, Obama called on Iran to close its heavy water reactor at Arak and its secret underground nuclear enrichment facility at Fordow, observing that neither was necessary if Iran's nuclear program was genuinely "peaceful."

In the protocol deal, however, Iran is permitted to keep both facilities. Supporters of the accord say it requires that both be "reconfigured" for peaceful purposes. But skeptics say Iran could continue working on a bomb, pointing to the fact that Fordow is underground and heavily fortified. Under the framework deal, "there's certainly no dismantling of any kind," laments the Washington Institute's Singh.

4. U.S. negotiators also dropped demands that Iran limit development of ballistic missiles which could be used to deliver nuclear warheads.

5. Initially, the administration pushed for a deal that would impose limits on Iran's nuclear program lasting 20 to 25 years. In the end, the restrictions would stay on between 10 and 15 years. Some supporters say this isn't so bad because "the next decade could herald a thaw in U.S.-Iran relations," The Hill reported.

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In the wake of the Iran nuclear framework deal negotiated by the Obama administration, The Hill identified five key areas where Secretary of State John Kerry and the White House bowed to Tehran's demands.
Obama, folded, 5 key, US, demands, Iran, nuclear, deal, framework, centrifuges
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Tuesday, 14 Apr 2015 07:39 PM
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