The terms of the Iran deal are settled. Iran will have to reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium by 98 percent and take two-thirds of its centrifuges off-line. It will ship out all spent fuel, which could be used to make plutonium cores for weapons, for 15 years. Inspectors will be able to roam Iran’s nuclear facilities, which will be under constant surveillance. They can inspect suspect sites. Taken together, these provisions provide the basis to severely restrict Iran’s ability to make nuclear weapons for ten to 15 years and longer, while providing early warning of noncompliance.
Members of Congress are understandably wary of reaching an agreement with Iran and helping Tehran by lifting some sanctions. Iran’s behavior will be troubling even if it adheres to the letter of these provisions. Some critics want the terms of this agreement to be stricter or to extend further into the future. They also want even better monitoring provisions. Congress must therefore decide whether this agreement is good enough, and whether it is better than the alternatives.
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