President Barack Obama, accompanied by Secretary of State John Kerry, meets with veterans and Gold Star Mothers to discuss the Iran Nuclear deal on Thursday in the Roosevelt Room at the White House.(Photo: Andrew Harnik, AP)
Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked a resolution to reject the Iran nuclear agreement. But what does that actually mean for U.S. foreign policy and what happens next? USA TODAY’s Erin Kelly and Paul Singer have the lowdown.
So what is the Iran deal?
The deal is an agreement between Iran, the United States, Germany, Great Britain, China, Russia and France that reduces international economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for that nation ending its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Iran is required over the next 10-15 years to reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium and the number of centrifuges it has to produce the uranium – a key component of a nuclear weapon.
What’s taking so long?
The agreement has been in the works for years. Earlier this year, as final negotiations were ongoing, Congress passed a law requiring President Obama to submit any final agreement for congressional review. The State Department submitted the deal to Congress in July, starting the 60-day clock for Congress to take action. If Congress does not reject the deal by Sept. 17, the president can move forward.
House GOP strategic split stalls Iran vote
Why doesn’t the U.S. get along with Iran?
The history of struggle with Iran goes back to the 1979 revolution in that country, when an Islamic movement overthrew a U.S.-backed regime. Fifty-two Americans were taken hostage by Iranian students supporting the revolution, and held for 444 days. Since 1984, Iran has been one of a handful of nations listed by the State Department as a “state sponsor of terrorism,” funding militant groups around the world that have targeted the U.S. and its allies, including Palestinian terror groups.
What are all these side deals we keep hearing about?
The critical “side deals” are two documents agreed to by Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency. One of the documents details what questions Iran will have to answer about its past work on weapons’ development. The other document details the access that the agency’s inspectors will have to Iran’s Parchin military site, where Iranian officials are suspected of having …Read More