South Asia Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Barbara Slavin writes for Al Jazeera America on how a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief is all but signed, yet obstacles remain:
A deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief is nearly complete. What remains is to finalize half a dozen annexes that lay out how Iran’s facilities will be modified, trade restrictions eased and access provided to non-declared sites, say observers close to the negotiations, which are entering a final caffeine-fueled phase in Vienna this week.
The nominal goal is to reach a deal by June 30, but a harder deadline is July 9. Under a law he grudgingly signed in May, President Barack Obama must present an agreement to Congress on or before July 10 or face a 60-day – as opposed to 30-day – period of legislative review. Even though Congress would have difficulty mustering a veto-proof majority against an accord, the Obama administration wants to limit the amount of time for critics – inside and outside the Capitol – to highlight the deal’s shortcomings.