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No matter what political party you support, you probably have had some sort of opinion on the recent international nuclear deal that President Obama secured back in July. The agreement, which was reached between Iran, the P5+1 and the EU, was officially announced on July 14. At this time, it was declared that Iran had a very low supply of uranium , which is the raw material required for the production of nuclear weapons but also a material used in producing efficient nuclear power. This perhaps helped persuade some potential opponents of the deal to switch sides and support it. If, like reports showed, the country did have low reserves and depended on other countries for its supply of uranium, then controlling and monitoring their production and use of uranium would not be all that difficult.
Now, whether you want to believe it to be a huge coincidence, or that Iran or others may have been hiding something, the country has just announced that they have discovered an unexpectedly high reserve of uranium in the Yazd Province, located in the center of the country.
“I cannot announce (the level of) Iran’s uranium mine reserves,” said Iran’s Nuclear Chief, Ali Akbar Salehi. “The important thing is that before aerial prospecting for uranium ores we were not too optimistic, but the new discoveries have made us confident about our reserves.”
Certainly, this has to seem a bit fishy, even to supporters of the deal. Did Iran know of these reserves but decided to keep their knowledge of them hidden, hoping that they would not deter other countries from supporting the deal? No one will probably ever know for sure, however the U.S. State Department has responded to these new findings by ensuring that any new reserves of uranium that are found in Iran will fall under the same monitoring as the existing mines in the country, in accordance to the agreement.
“Any violation of that commitment would be met with the appropriate response,” State Department spokesman John Kirby explained in a statement.
According to a recent CNN poll, most Americans believe that Iran will eventually violate the terms of their agreement, with 83% of Republicans believing this to be the case, 58% of Independents and 44% of Democrats. We can only hope that this isn’t the start to Iran trying to find ways around an agreement which aims to inhibit them from developing a nuclear weapon. Only time will tell whether this deal will be a success or a true failure.