Monday, April 6, 2015

The Iran Framework

The Devil's Dice, Carlydraws

Let's take a brief moment to look over "framework" which is being wrestled to the ground between Iran and the key Western Powers over its nuclear program.

In the words of President Obama:
...Over a year ago, we took the first step towards today’s framework with a deal to stop the progress of Iran’s nuclear program and roll it back in key areas.  And recall that at the time, skeptics argued that Iran would cheat, and that we could not verify their compliance and the interim agreement would fail. Instead, it has succeeded exactly as intended.  Iran has met all of its obligations.  It eliminated its stockpile of dangerous nuclear material.  Inspections of Iran’s program increased.  And we continued negotiations to see if we could achieve a more comprehensive deal.

Today, after many months of tough, principled diplomacy, we have achieved the framework for that deal.  And it is a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives.  This framework would cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon.  Iran will face strict limitations on its program, and Iran has also agreed to the most robust and intrusive inspections and transparency regime ever negotiated for any nuclear program in history.  So this deal is not based on trust, it’s based on unprecedented verification...
On the other hand, Republicans and various groups adept at getting U.S. Congressfolk to see things their way are denouncing the deal in heated terms.

Leaving the political machinations and evaluation of the deal to the experts, let's take a quick look at the details of the framework and see if the socionomic model can help us see how likely it is to be implemented.

The Framework
CNN has a list of the key parameters of the framework deal here and is well worth reading if you enjoy the technical issues behind these kinds of agreements.

Of the items listed I'd like to point out that backing off from 20,000 centrifuges to roughly 6,000 centrifuges (all of the old model IR-1's, which are not very efficient) and the reconfiguration of the Arak core are quite substantial in terms of reducing the ability to quickly produce the raw material for a nuclear weapon. Combined with the strong inspection regime, it looks like as solid of a deal as you could expect.

The key thing in my mind is that, should Iran decide to stop the inspections and trash the deal, it would take many months to get ramped back up just to acquire the raw materials of a bomb - and that is not counting any other activities that are necessary to prove a bomb works. And during those months, one might expect a number of bombs and missiles to land all over the place and the War Party will finally get its wish to march on Tehran.

The Context
For those who follow socionomics, seeing this framework come out at a time when U.S. stock markets are at or near record highs comes as no surprise. To see this framework turn into an enforceable agreement will take several more months. Hopefully mood can stay elevated long enough to produce a deal all sides can agree to.

Thoughts
I've long been skeptical a deal worth having could be reached with Iran. Assuming what we are being told about the deal is accurate, and assuming Iran actually agrees to it, I will be proven wrong. The technical basis on this framework is a solid way to keep Iran from surprising the world with a nuclear weapon. The ability to hide a parallel program in some evil lair will be limited as well as all aspects of the nuclear supply chain are open to robust inspections.

Interesting and amazing to say the least.

It also makes one wonder just how this might change things in the entire region if Iran can become less of a pariah state - especially since our Iraq War made Iran the pre-eminent Power in Iraq. A certain monarchy in the region who provided most of the terrorists for the 9/11 attacks is probably deep in thought today, and if they, along with their Israeli partners, can't scuttle the deal, it opens up a brave new world of shifting alliances and provides the Shi'a bloc with more formal power than it has seen in ages.

If these shifts can be put in place before the bottom falls out on this rickety corrupt market structure the West has banked its future on, we may have a very different set of allegiances lined up in the Middle East when the next Great War erupts...

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