Aggressive lobbying from Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and U.S. lawmakers, the Iranian role in fight against the Islamic State in Iraq, and the Saudi Arabia-led military operation in Yemen. The final deadline for a deal to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon is June 30, when the interim agreement in place since 2013 expires. Harf said the March marker was intended as an “action-forcing mechanism,” but she declined to answer whether the U.S. would walk away Tuesday if a preliminary framework weren’t reached. Whether it’s Iran’s destabilizing activities throughout the region, their support for terror around the world and their unjust detention of Americans, we’ve got a long list of concerns with Iran’s behavior. An outline of a deal has begun to emerge: Iran would agree to dismantle or limit the use of a number of its centrifuges and facilities, as well as give up or at least dilute its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, in order to limit its “breakout time” to at least a year, for up to 10 years. Iran would also submit to regular inspections, in exchange for the U.S. lifting sanctions. Inevitably, any potential agreement will be controversial — particularly in the U.S., where though nearly 60 percent of Americans support an agreement with Iran that would lift sanctions in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program, many Republican lawmakers have sought to derail the talks. Several of the Iranian-trained, equipped and led Shiite militias helping Iraqi Security Forces in their push to oust the Islamic State from the Iraqi city of Tikrit have withdrawn from the operation at the insistence of the U.S., which made it a condition for providing air support, according to the Pentagon.
April 3, 2015