After more than two years in the making, the White House announced yesterday that a historic deal between America, it’s allies and Iran as been struck. President Obama was quick to laud the deal as one that makes, “America and the world safer and more secure.”
However, he has his work cut out for him when it comes to approval in Congress. The president was not shy about confronting Congress, particularly Republicans, about their protest of the deal. While he acknowledged that the concerns expressed were legitimate, he warned that debates should not go into, “misinformation and should not ignore the larger picture regarding the opportunities this deal represents.”
On Tuesday, Speaker John Boehner addressed the deal through a statement. He chided the president for abandoning his goals, saying, “Instead of making the world less dangerous, this ‘deal’ will only embolden Iran – the world’s largest sponsor of terror – by helping stabilize and legitimize its regime as it spreads even more violence and instability in the region.”
Once the deal reaches Congress, lawmakers have 60 days to review and pass some sort of resolution. Most Republicans are vowing to pass a resolution of disapproval. President Obama has said that he will veto that resolution if it lands on his desk.
Here are just a few of the items from the deal that Congress will be evaluating:
- Secretary of State John Kerry said that sanctions held against Iran for years, including the seizure of $150 billion dollars worth of Iranian oil revenue from foreign banks would be lifted in stages once Tehran has met the commitments to the nuclear agreement. The weapons embargo set in place by the U.N. will remain for 5 years.
- According to a fact sheet released by the White House, inspectors will be allowed access to any site they deem suspicious. International monitoring will include all of Iran’s uranium supply chain, including mines, processing and enrichment facilities, reactors and spent fuel, Obama said.
- President Obama stated that the deal ensures that Iran’s pathways to creating a nuclear bomb are cut off and allows for around-the-clock inspections of all of Iran’s facilities. He also stated that if Iran violates this agreement in any way, sanctions will snap back into place and re-cripple the Iranian economy.
To learn more about the deal, you can read the full document here.
One of the most strident international voices opposing the deal is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said that the deal was, “a historic mistake for the world.” In an interview with Lester Holt of NBC Nightly News, Netanyahu criticized the deal, stating that it posed a threat not only to Israel but to the United States. “We think this is not only a threat to us. We think this is a threat to you as well. Iran has killed more Americans than anyone other than al Qaeda.”
In his press conference Wednesday, President Obama said that he didn’t see any alternatives to what was presented and agreed upon. He also said that future generations would, “judge us harshly for not taking the opportunity before us.”