Former Secretary of State Colin Powell claimed Sunday that the nuclear agreement with Iran “is a good deal.”
Powell, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” told Chuck Todd that it’s a good deal because Iran has been on a “super highway for the last 10 years to create a nuclear weapon or a nuclear weapons program. With no speed limit. And in the last 10 years, they have gone from 136 centrifuges up to something like 19000 centrifuges. This agreement will bring them down to 5000 centrifuges, all of these will be under IAEA supervision.”
Chuck Todd: Let’s start right with Iran. Is this a good deal?
Colin Powell: I think it is a good deal. I’ve studied very carefully the outline of the deal and what’s in that deal, and I’ve also carefully looks at the opposition of the deal. And my judgment after balancing those two sets of information, is that it’s a pretty good deal. Now I know that there are objections to it. But here’s why I think it’s a good deal. One of the great concerns that the opposition has that we’re leaving open a lane for the Iranians to go back to creating a nuclear weapon in 10 or 15 years but we are forgetting the reality that they have been on a super highway for the last 10 years to create a nuclear weapon or a nuclear weapons program. With no speed limit. And in the last 10 years, they have gone from 136 centrifuges up to something like 19,000 centrifuges. This agreement will bring them down to 5,000 centrifuges, all of these will be under IAEA supervision. And I think this is a good outcome. The other thing that I’ve noticed that they have stockpiled somewhere in the neighbored 12,000 kg of uranium, this deal with bring them down to 300 kg. And it’s a remarkable reduction. And I’m amazed that they would do this, but they have done it. With respect to their plutonium effort, the plutonium reactor at Arak, which has now starting to operate, it’s going to be shut down except for minor parts of it. And concrete will be poured into the reactor core vessel. And so these are remarkable changes. We have stopped this highway race that they were going down. And I think that is very, very important. Now will they comply with it? Will they actually do all of this? Well, they get nothing until they show compliance. And that is an important part of the arrangement.