Increasingly it looks as if the nuclear accord negotiated by the P5+1 countries, the EU, and Iran will have enough support in the U.S. Congress to ensure its implementation. Days before the start of a Congressional vote on the deal, Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the American people, emphasizing that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the most effective way to prevent Iran from ever obtaining a nuclear weapon.
“Without this agreement, the Iranians would have several potential pathways to a bomb. With it, they won’t have any,” said Secretary Kerry.
Iran’s plutonium pathway to a weapon will blocked because it will no longer have a reactor producing plutonium for a bomb, and Iran is prevented from building any new heavy water reactor for 15 years. The uranium pathway to a bomb is blocked because of the deep reductions in Iran’s uranium enrichment capacity, and because for 15 years, the country will not enrich uranium to a level higher than 3.67 percent. Iran’s covert pathway to a bomb will also be blocked, since under the plan there will be 24/7 monitoring of Iran’s key nuclear facilities. And all provisions of the agreement are based exclusively on verification and proof.
Over 100 countries have issued public statements of support for the deal, as have the Vatican, the GCC, ASEAN, and the United Nations Security Council. If the U.S. now backed away from the deal, Secretary Kerry said, it could cause grave harm to U.S. interests, international reputation and relationships.
But Mr. Kerry stressed that the Obama administration is under no illusion that all problems with Iran, including its support for terrorism, its contributions to sectarian violence, and its animosity toward Israel, will be resolved by the nuclear accord:
“That is why we believe so strongly that every problem in the Middle East, every threat to Israel and to our friends in the region would be more dangerous if Iran were permitted to have a nuclear weapon. That is the inescapable bottom line.”
“The people of Israel will be safer with this deal, and the same is true for the people throughout the region,” said Secretary Kerry. Its adoption and implementation will “remove a looming threat from a uniquely fragile region, discourage others from trying to develop nuclear arms, make our citizens and our allies safer, and reassure the world that the hardest problems can be addressed successfully by diplomatic means.”