With the clock winding down on a June 30th deadline for a nuclear agreement with Iran, Obama administration critics fear a potential deal is worsening by the day as U.S. concessions accelerate in the final days of the negotiations.
But as bad as these last-minute U.S. concessions appear – such as a reported U.S. offer to write-off Iran’s past nuclear weapons work and giving Iran advanced nuclear technology – they ultimately will not reduce the chances of getting a “good” nuclear deal due to a huge U.S. concession made before the negotiations began: allowing Iran to enrich uranium.
This was more than a concession. It was an American surrender to Iran on its nuclear program.
Uranium enrichment is a dangerous dual-use nuclear technology because it is very easy to use an enrichment program intended for peaceful purposes to produce nuclear weapons fuel. After secret revelations about Iran’s nuclear program emerged in 2002, the Bush administration tried to stop the spread of uranium enrichment. Congress endorsed this approach on a bipartisan basis and pressured the Bush administration to require the UAE to forswear uranium enrichment (and plutonium reprocessing) from an agreement to share American nuclear technology. This agreement was signed and strengthened by the Obama administration in 2009.
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