U.S. & Iran: The Aftermath of the Nuclear Ageement – A conversation with journalist Reese Erlich (6/15/2016 – 58 mins)

ON JANUARY 16 OF THIS YEAR, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — better known as the Iran Deal — went into effect when the International Atomic Energy Agency verified that Iran had completed the necessary initial steps called for by the agreement. The Iran Deal is considered by many to be the most significant nuclear non-proliferation agreement in a generation. Others called it reckless and dangerous. Where do things stand now?

The deal was intended to keep Iran from gaining the capacity to quickly develop a nuclear weapon, while keeping a reduced nuclear power program in place. At the same time, Iran would be relieved of some of the grinding economic sanctions that it has suffered under for over a decade.

Critics of the deal said at the time — and still say — Iran would use its improved economic situation to fund terrorism. Has that happened? If not, what is Iran financing with its newly unfrozen billions of dollars?

Iran continues to play an active military role — both directly and through proxy militias — in Syria and Iraq, activity that the US and the West have harshly criticized. And in the face of a newly emergent Iran as a leading player in the region, Saudi Arabia has taken increasingly aggressive action to bolster its own regional dominance.

While relations between the US and Iran have certainly thawed, distrust continues to play an animating role between the nations, as our guest recently reported:

“In the aftermath of the nuclear agreement, the debates in the United States and Iran have become a mirror image of each other. As some officials in Washington worry that the Iranian government will use the deal to secretly develop nuclear weapons, in Tehran, Americans are the nefarious party – intent on slapping sanctions back on Iran at the first opportunity.” ` Reese Erlich, Iran is Scared of America’s Hardliners, Foreign Policy, March 2016

For this month’s Other Voice monthly forum, we are pleased to welcome back journalist Reese Erlich, who has been covering the region extensively for years. (In his most recent appearance, he discussed his just-completed visit to Syrian refugee camps.)

Reese Erlich’s history in journalism goes back over 40 years. He worked as a staff writer and research editor for Ramparts, an investigative reporting magazine published in San Francisco. Today he works as a full-time print and broadcast, freelance reporter. He reports regularly for National Public Radio, ABC (Australia),and  Radio Deutsche Welle. His articles appear in Vice News and GlobalPost. His television documentaries have aired on PBS stations nationwide. You can read some of Reese’s recent articles on Iran at his website:reeseerlich.com

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