Deal, or No Deal?

It seems there are two published versions of the nuclear arms agreement framework just “negotiated” with Iran: the Obama administration’s and Iran’s. Here’s a summary, via Fox News at the link, of the highlights of the two versions:

Regarding sanctions:

US: The US fact sheet says: “US and EU [and UN] nuclear-related sanctions will be suspended after the IAEA has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps. If at any time Iran fails to fulfill its commitments, these sanctions will snap back into place.”

Iran: The (translated) Iran fact sheet says: “According to the reached solutions, after the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action, all of the UN resolutions will be revoked and all of the multilateral economic and financial sanctions by the EU and the unilateral ones by the US will be annulled.”

The weasel-wording cynic in me, though, can see a serious misunderstanding rather than an entirely differing version in this disconnect. “After implementation” could be seen as “upon agreement and placement into force,” and it could be seen as “fully complied.”

Regarding centrifuges:

US: The US fact sheet says: “Iran will not use its IR-2, IR-4, IR-5, IR-6, or IR-8 models to produce enriched uranium for at least ten years. Iran will engage in limited research and development with its advanced centrifuges, according to a schedule and parameters which have been agreed to by the P5+1.”

Iran: The Iran (translated) Iran fact sheet says: “Iran will continue its research and development on advanced machines and will continue the initiation and completion phases of the research and development process of IR-4, IR-5, IR-6, and IR-8 centrifuges during the 10 year period of the Comprehensive Plan for Joint Action.”

Of course this means Iran will use those carefully specified centrifuge models—as well as others—to enrich. At the least, “limited R&D” and all phases of “R&D” involving those models—and others—require testing in the enriching process for which they’re built. This is no mere misunderstanding; these statements represent two entirely different agreements.

Regarding their uranium stockpile: 

US: The US fact sheet says: “Iran has agreed to not enrich uranium over 3.67% for at least 15 years,” and Iran will “reduce its current stockpile of about 10,000 kg of low-enriched uranium (LEU) to 300 kg of 3.67% LEU for 15 years.”

Iran: Iran’s (translated) Iran fact sheet says: “The timeframe of the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action regarding Iran’s enrichment program will be 10 years.” It then refers to the enrichment at Natanz occurring during this period.

Ten years? Some nebulous 10-15 years? This is no misunderstanding, either.

Regardless of the time frame, the only way to verify this is with inspections. The inspections, though, are entirely on prior notice and only to specified locations (yes, including those that might be newly discovered (or become suspicious). Iran is allowed to litigate in an international court those locations, too. On top of that, neither statement contains any remarks about how violations will be corrected.

Just what exactly was it that our guys were “negotiating” with Iran’s guys? Were they even in the same building in Lausanne?

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