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Obama's Iran Deal Is Good For America

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  • What Becomes of Iran's Nuclear Infrastructure in the Wake of a Deal?

    Clip: Heated discussion about the nuclear capabilities of Iran in the near future under the terms of the recent deal with the Obama administration.

  • Is the Deal with Iran a Lasting Agreement?

    Clip: Will the nuclear agreement brokered with Iran lead to permanent changes or is it a deal that is destined to fail over time?

Debate Details

In April 2015, the P5+1, the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, negotiated an interim nuclear accord with Iran. Among the key parameters: Iran’s enrichment capacity, enrichment levels, and stockpile would be limited; its Fordow site converted into a research center; and the Arak heavy water reactor redesigned. In return, the IAEA would gain greater access for inspections, and U.S. and EU sanctions would be lifted. Many in the U.S. fear that a deal as outlined would not go far enough and, instead of being a benefit, would strengthen Iran’s hand in the Middle East. Not to mention the important question of trust. Is this agreement a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to halt nuclear proliferation, or does President Obama have this wrong?

The Debaters

For the motion

Philip Gordon

Sr. Fellow, CFR & Fmr. White House Coordinator, Middle East, N. Africa, Gulf Region

Philip Gordon is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. From 2013 to 2015, he was special assistant to the president... Read More

Thomas Pickering

Vice Chairman, Hills & Company & Fmr. Under Secretary of State

Thomas Pickering is vice chairman of Hills & Company, an international consulting firm providing advice to U.S. businesses on investment, trade, and... Read More

Against the motion

Michael Doran

Sr. Fellow, Hudson Institute & Fmr. Sr. Director, National Security Council

Michael Doran is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, where he specializes in Middle East security issues. He served as senior advisor to the... Read More

Mark Dubowitz

Exec. Dir., FDD & Dir., Center on Sanctions & Illicit Finance

Mark Dubowitz is executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a D.C.-based nonpartisan policy institute, where he leads projects... Read More

Where Do You Stand?

For The Motion
  • This deal is the best of our alternatives, more sanctions that fail to deter the pursuit of nuclear weapons, or war.
  • Obama's deal would block all or Iran's paths to a nuclear weapon by limiting its ability to produce weapons-grade plutonium and uranium, constraining R&D, and increasing access for inspections.
  • Iran's breakout ability would go from 2-3 months, to a 1 year for 10 years.
Against The Motion
  • This deal leaves Iran with its nuclear infrastructure in place.
  • Despite claims that inspections and increased access will prevent cheating, Iran's past clandestine activities suggest otherwise.
  • By lifting sanctions we are strengthening Iran's regional influence, and making their reinstatement virtually impossible.

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The Research

The Research

Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran's Nuclear Program

Office of the Spokesperson
April 2, 2015

The key parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program that were decided in Lausanne, Switzerland.

It's ‘Victory Over America Day' in Iran

Thomas Donnelly
April 4, 2015

The Obama administration’s actions have shown the Iranians that they can continue their gradual march toward regional hegemony and save their nukes for another day. As a result, Sunni states are likely to feel threatened and go nuclear.

A Nuclear Deal That Offers a Safer World

Ernest Moniz
April 12, 2015

When combined with other political provisions in the framework for an agreement negotiated by Kerry and his partners, the recently concluded negotiation represents an important step toward a safer world.

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