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  • Kathryn Patterson

Why I Support the Iran Nuclear Deal

There is a lot of rhetoric being spewed about the Iran nuclear deal, about how horrible this deal is, how the U.S. will be somehow harmed, about how this deal give Iran free reign to create nuclear bombs.  My two favorite quotes come from Senator Lindsey Graham and Rep. John Boehner, directly after the deal was announced.  Both men claimed that this was the "worst possible outcome" but both men also admit that they hadn't read the deal yet.  In fact, several of the nay-sayers are just spouting off either without knowing the details of this agreement or knowing but ignoring the details. So, I think we need to disseminate the details of the Iran Nuclear Deal, not the emotional, manipulative balderdash currently inundating the airwaves. Before the DealAfter the DealIran maintains a nuclear stockpile of 10,000 kg of low-enriched (up to 20%) UF6.  This gives Iran enough material to potentially make 10 or more bombs.For the next 15 years, the Iran stockpile is limited to 300 kg of only up to 3.67% enriched UF6 or the equivalent amount in other chemical formulas. You need approximately 1,053 kg of UF6 at this enrichment level to make a single bomb.  Therefore, Iran would have less than a third of the material necessary to make a bomb.No limits to how much nuclear development Iran can do.Limited nuclear development for 8 years, then a gradual increase at a reasonable pace as determines by the IAEA.Iran enriches uranium up to 20%.Iran agrees to limited enrichment to 3.67% or less.Iran has 19,000 IR-1 and advanced IR-2 centrifuges at Natanz.Iran will reduced the number to 5,060 IR-1 centrifuges, which will be phased out during the next 10 years. The remaining centrifuges and enrichment-related infrastructure will be stored at and IAEA facility.At Fordow (the previously secret nuclear research site), Iran has 2,700 IR-1 centrifuges, though only 700 are currently being used to enrich uranium.Iran agrees that no uranium enrichment, research and development, or nuclear material be allowed at Fordow. Instead, this facility will be converted into a nuclear, physics, and technology center. Only 6 IR-1 centrifuges will remain, with none of them allowed to enrich uranium.Iran has a heavy water nuclear reactor at Arak.Iran will close down the heavy water reactor, including filling the core with concrete. Instead, Iran will build a light water reactor. All spent fuel rods will be removed by IAEA officials and stored elsewhere. This table only lists the concessions by Iran; I'm not listing the myriad of ways Iran agrees to by monitored by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency).  The IAEA will work with Iran and must signal that Iran is following the agreement in good faith before either the U.N. or the U.S. begins to remove financial and economic sanctions. Yes, that means that Iran goes first in making significant changes before we do anything. You will notice that the U.S. doesn't agree to changing squat with our nuclear programs, our nuclear reactors, or our nuclear weapons.  We aren't giving up anything.  In fact, removing the sanctions has the potential to stimulate our economy as new markets open up. Yes, I know that the U.S. and Iran don't have a friendly history for these past few decades.  But we're at a turning point.  Right here, right now we have an opportunity to change the future.  We can accept this deal and have a real chance at creating peaceful relations with Iran.  Or we can refuse to allow the possibility of change, and almost guarantee a new war. I choose peace.  I support the Iran Nuclear Deal.

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