In November of 2013, a short-term agreement was made suspending Iran’s nuclear activity in return for a limited and controlled release of some of the sanctions damaging its economy. This agreement has been met with a variety of responses. While many people are just happy that we are giving diplomacy a chance, others are not. In the United States, a Senate bill called the “S. 1881: Nuclear Free Iran Act,” which refuses the release of sanctions with Iran and commits the U.S. to provide support to Israel in the event of an Israeli-Iranian war, is gaining traction amongst both Republican and Democrat politicians and congressman who want a stronger stance against Iran. In Iran, the Supreme Leader, renowned clerics, and local politicians have viewed the talks critically and claimed them to be in need of stronger Iranian supervision. In fact, these opposition parties succeeded in adding two conservative politicians to Iran’s negotiating team for the nuclear talks, stating that these “legal and technical experts…will be able to prevent misunderstandings by the Americans.”
The most recent round of nuclear talks took place last week in Vienna between Iran and the countries known as the “5 + 1 group,” including Germany and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Generally reported to be a productive discussion and positive step forward, the parties agreed on a framework for negotiating a comprehensive agreement to end tensions over Iran’s nuclear program. The parties will continue to meet prior to July of this year, when the current short-term agreement is due to expire.