Have you heard? The deal with Iran appears to be working. We’re almost at the half-way point of the Joint Plan of Action and Iran appears to be living up to it commitments.
The International Atomic Energy Agency reports indicate that Iran is ahead of schedule in eliminating its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium. There are also reports that Iran may agree to alter the design of the Arak heavy water reactor to reduce its potential plutonium output which would be a major concession.
Not surprising, the media has devoted more coverage to the flap over the Obama administration’s rejection of Iran’s nominee for UN ambassador than the fact that negotiations free of threats have produced tangible success while a decade of sanctions and intimidation did not.
Further, as IAEA inspections and limitations on its nuclear program have reduced the chances of Iran developing a nuclear weapon, a final settlement would only make a nuclear breakout less likely.
The deadline for the Joint Plan of Action is July 20. That gives opponents of diplomacy just under three months to torpedo a final settlement.
Of course, Peace Action won’t be waiting to see how this turns out. We are organizing lobby days, Monday to Wednesday June 23-25 to put the full force of our grassroots network behind the successful resolution of the decade old crisis over Iran’s nuclear program.
Peace Action activists and our allies are making travel plans and setting up meetings with their Congressional delegations. Citizen lobby days are a powerful tactic timed to strengthen the Obama administration’s resolve in the final weeks before the deadline.
A final deal carries with it a commitment to lift all nuclear related sanctions. That will require approval by Congress which has demonstrated infinitely greater aptitude at levying sanctions and little appetite for lifting them. Peace Action’s plans for a citizen lobby day will provide added political pressure on key Members of Congress to bring this crisis to a peaceful close.
Diplomacy has lessened the threat of a military strike against Iran but has not eliminated it. Opponents to a diplomatic settlement are opposed to any accommodation with Iran. For them, Iran should be offered two choices, knuckle under or face war with the US. The problem is there are many in Congress who share this dangerous sentiment. Their numbers insure the lifting of sanctions required once a deal is in place will likely come down to a close vote. Peace Action is mobilizing its network to make sure it’s a vote we win.
Watch for information on how you can get involved in Peace Action’s Diplomacy Not War with Iran lobby days in coming weeks or call Peter Deccy at 301.565.4050 extension 326 for more information.