Preliminary Observations:

1) The agreement does not prevent the Iranian regime from having a nuclear weapons capability.

2) It maintains and legitimizes Iran’s nuclear infrastructure., with some caps for the next 10 to 15 years.

3) It allows the Iranian regime to conduct research and development (R&D) on advanced centrifuges including IR-4, IR-5, IR-6 and IR-8, which are significantly more efficient. This allows Iran to master its technology and put together a small covert facility with only few hundred advanced centrifuges, sufficient to produce enough fissile material for a bomb.

4) It does not provide anytime, anywhere access to suspect nuclear sites, including the military sites. Instead it provides managed access with significant delays, which takes away the surprise element completely, undermining the very purpose of intrusive inspections.

5) Most importantly, after 20 months of negotiations, the agreement does not include any specific arrangement to inspect the sites that have already been sought by the IAEA, i.e, Parchin, and SPND. Nor does it mention the need for interviews with key scientists, i.e, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Fereydoon Abbasi, to name a few.

6) The sanctions relief is massive and includes a large number of entities and individuals designated by the United States as part of the SDN list, including all major financial institutions, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the Qods Force of the IRGC, and individuals such as Qods Force commander Qassem Sulaimani. The sanctions relief would give enormous boost to the Iranian regime’s ability to continue its rogue behavior, beyond economic relief.

7) It will provide weapons and missile trade relief in 5 and 8 years respectively, which could only help the terrorist and expansionist policies of the Iranian regime, already the world’s leading state-sponsor of terror.

The Way Forward:

1) Today’s agreement marks only a beginning of the serious investigation, scrutiny and oversight that Congress and foreign policy experts in the United States must undertake in the next 60 days.

2) Congress should scrutinize the agreement in a bi-partisan way. This is not a partisan issue and must be dealt with based on its merits.

3) The agreement, should not bar the United States from addressing the rogue behavior of the Iranian regime, namely its abysmal human rights record, its support for terrorism and its destabilizing role in the region.

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