Tensions are High as Deadline for US-Iran Nuclear Deal Approaches
Less than two weeks remain until the deadline for a final nuclear deal between Iran, the US, and five other nations. Iran reluctantly grants the UN permission to inspect nuclear sites while an increasingly nervous Israeli Prime Minister accuses the US of yielding to “Iranian stubbornness.”
A final agreement is “within reach,” says Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, as long as “the other party respects the rights of the Iranian nation and our national interests and doesn’t seek excessive demands.”
His words are in response to a request by the UN for Iran to allow inspections of nuclear facilities. Rouhani consented, but the Islamic Republic worries that “state secrets” could be revealed. He put the public at ease during a recent news conference by stating: “Iran will not allow that its state secrets be put at the disposal of others under the pretext of additional protocol. It’s definite that we won’t allow it.”
For Rouhani, the nuclear deal is an important part of his agenda to end Iran’s isolation from other parts of the world. On Saturday he said that Iran is prepared to reject inspections if state secrets are at risk – even if this behavior means missing the June 30th deadline.
The goal of Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran is to curb the country’s nuclear program and in exchange lift economic sanctions. But many argue that the deal will do just the opposite.
Despite Obama’s assurances, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu continues to worry that the deal is bad news for Israel. He believes that with sanctions lifted, Iran will enjoy an economic boost that will provide them with more money to spend on nuclear projects.
Furthermore, Netanyahu doesn’t understand why world powers propose to allow Iran continued research on uranium centrifuges “if this deal is indeed meant to freeze its program for years.”
Iran balked at the original idea of nuclear facility inspections with only two hours notice, but if the committee decides to wait on the inspections, Iran will have more than enough time to cover up those “state secrets.”