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Iran Talks Meet Deadline Tensions

March 22, 2015
Plain English Version
Negotiators at the table.

Negotiators at the table.

Iran is meeting with other nations to reach an agreement on its nuclear program. The world is watching.

The deadline for an agreement is March 31, 2015. Here is what is at stake. The P5+1 (permanent members of the Security Council, China, Russia, France, England, the United States plus Germany) are concerned that Iran wants to develop a nuclear bomb.

The nations want to induce Iran to give up building a bomb; they are willing to lift sanctions that hurt the economic growth of the country.

One question: if Iran says it is not building a bomb, why do they need inducements to do what they say they are not doing?

The answer is that there is no trust among the countries. The sanctions are meant to force Iran to the bargaining table. The basis for an agreement is anything but trust. The West wants a commitment from Iran enforced by stringent inspections for at least the next ten years. They want the inspections to ensure that it will take Iran at least a year to build a bomb.

What happens if there is no agreement? The economic sanctions will increase. Iran will continue to declare it is not building a bomb, but may be secretly building one. Other nations in the Middle East may start their nuclear programs. Israel and the U.S. may decide to attack Iranian nuclear sites.

What happens if there is agreement? The sanctions may be eased. Observers say they will be hard to start up again if Iran is caught violating the agreement.

In any event, the agreement being discussed is for ten years. France wants it to be longer.

Some politicians in the U.S. want any agreement to be ratified by the Senate. Many Senators do not trust Iran and will oppose any agreement.

Diplomats like to make agreements. Any agreement with Iran will get scrutiny from everyone.

Source: The New York Times March 21, 2015

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