WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The Iran Nuclear Deal has reached its one year anniversary, and people remain divided. Some are saying the deal is accomplishing exactly what it was meant to, slowing Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon. Others still believe the deal is not nearly preventative enough and think Iran has the upper hand.
"All options remain on the table, including military options," said Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
Over a year since the Iran Nuclear Deal’s signing, many still have questions. Cardin made it clear that close attention needs to remain on Iran as the deal continues to address their nuclear actions.
"What we’ve seen actually are pretty robust compliance with the terms that were put into place," said Hardin Lang, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.
He says when the agreement was written, Iran was a month away from having nuclear weapons. A year into the agreement, he says Iran is now a year away from that capability.
"By and large, I think we’ve sort of taken this program and put it in the icebox, at least for the 10 to 12...15 year period of time that it’s under consideration," said Lang.
He says the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been able to conduct inspections without much pushback from Iran, something many feared wouldn’t be possible. But critics say Iran is still in a good position to ramp up its program.
"Iran is still accumulating enriched uranium," said Jim Phillips, a Middle East analyst at the Heritage Foundation. "It’s still doing research on centrifuges."
Phillips likens the Iran Deal to an onion. The more you peel it, the more it stinks. He says Iran continuing to test missiles is a sign of a dark future.
"Unfortunately the deal weakened and diluted sanctions for these missile launches which is one reason Iran went along with it," said Phillips.
As for where Presidential candidates stand on the deal? Hillary Clinton says she helped pave the way for the deal, while Donald Trump says he’d rip it up day one.