Resolved, that Congress approve the Iran Deal

Resolved, that Congress approve the Iran Deal

This month, Congress will review the nuclear deal that President Obama signed with Iran. This controversial agreement as supporters and opponents on both sides of the political aisle. Check out the first JSA Debate of the Month and use the information to bring a discussion of this heated issue to your JSA chapter, classroom or school.

Resolved, that Congress approve the Iran Deal.

On July 14, 2015, as a result of negotiations starting with the ascension of Hassan Rouhani to the Iranian presidency and the signing of the Joint Plan of Action in 2013, Iran, the P5+1* (USA, UK, France, China, Russia + Germany), and the EU signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The Plan, also known as the Iran Deal, is designed to ensure that any nuclear development by Iran is peaceful.  It calls for the dismantling of around 13,000 centrifuges**, the limiting of Iranian uranium enrichment to 3.67%(a level that allows for use in power plants but not bombs), and the limiting of Iranian Nuclear R&D to only one site under IAEA*** monitoring. In return, the United Nations, European Union, United States, and other groups will lift the economic sanctions that have been placed on Iran over the past decade, some immediately and others over the course of the next decade. The deal also has a “snap-back” provision in the scenario that Iran is found to be in non-compliance with the nuclear restrictions wherein sanctions would return. While the deal has been praised by nuclear non-proliferation experts and government officials, it faces strong opposition from Republicans and some Democrats in Congress, as well as the government of Israel. American public opinion on the deal is mixed, with polls showing varying degrees of support. While the deal was approved in July by the international community, the U.S. Congress can still block American participation by passing a resolution of disapproval and then overriding President Obama’s promised veto of said resolution by September 17th.

Supporters claim that this is the best deal that could be reached, that it closes off every avenue for a nuclear weapon for at least 15 years, and that if the US rejects the deal now, our other international partners will still remove the sanctions and Iran will be free to continue its nuclear program in secret. Opponents claim that this is a bad deal that could still be improved, or a bad deal that ought to be rejected as any Iranian nuclear program poses an unacceptable threat to the security of the United States and its allies.

*Centrifuges: devices used to spin and capture radioactive isotopes of plutonium and uranium in order to make fuel for nuclear power plants or nuclear bombs.

**IAEA: The International Atomic Energy Agency, a non-governmental body that will monitor Iranian nuclear development under the deal.

***P5 + 1: The Permanent 5 members of the United Nations Security Council + Germany. The Europeans also refer to this group of nations as the EU3 + 3.

Arguments in Favor of the Deal:

  1. The deal would severely restrict the ability of Iran create a nuclear weapon.

    1. Nuclear policy expert Jeffrey Lewis from the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies claims that, “It’s a good deal because it slows down their nuclear program [...] And it puts monitoring and verification measures in place that mean if they try to build a bomb, we’re very likely to find out, and to do so with enough time that we have options to do something about it.”

  2. Sanctions relief would help the population of Iran.

    1. Ordinary Iranians have fewer jobs and less money to get life’s necessities and Iranian institutions, have less money due to sanctions.

    2. The US Institute of Peace and the World Bank found that the impact of sanctions relief would be equivalent to “a welfare gain of $13 billion or 2.8 percent of current welfare.”

  3. The alternatives to the Iran deal are too costly.

    1. The most recent sanctions program did not work. It allowed Iran to come within months of a bomb and harmed the populace of Iran unnecessarily. Simply keeping the sanctions we have in place will not work.

    2. According to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Iran’s current breakout time to build a nuclear weapon is anywhere from 4 weeks to 7 months. Under the deal, Iran’s breakout time would be increased to 9 months.

    3. Bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities could set back, but not eliminate, Iran’s nuclear weapons program and would cause even more chaos in the Middle East.

    4. A military occupation of Iran would be another expensive drain on the U.S. budget. According to Intelligence firm Stratfor, “Iran is extremely difficult to conquer” due to its geography.

Arguments Against the Deal:

  1. The only acceptable deal would dismantle the entirety of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.

    1. The deal itself acknowledges that Iran will still be allowed to have “5060 IR-1 centrifuges”, which means the country could still produce enough nuclear material for a bomb.

  2. The inspections allowed under the deal are not strict and vigilant enough to combat the inevitable attempt by Iran to circumvent certain provisions.

    1. Due to various waiting and decision-making periods involved with inspections set in the deal, “in practice, Iran may be looking at a minimum of two and a half months before they have to do anything [with regards to allowing inspections]”, according to The National Review’s David Adesnik, Policy Director at the Foreign Policy Initiative.

  3. Lifting sanctions on Iran legitimizes and enables a state sponsor of terrorism that wishes “Death to America” and the destruction of American ally Israel.

    1. According to the State Department’s official register, Iran has been considered an official State Sponsor of Terrorism since 1984. Its activities include “support for Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, Lebanese Hizballah, and various groups in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.”

Further Reading:

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Fall State Pricing Guide

Pricing package details for all Fall State conventions are listed below.  Note that these prices apply only to chapters that register online using MyJSA. The paper registration fee is an additional $10 per student.  There is also a late fee of $15 per person for chapters that do not complete their registration by the registration deadline.

Fall State Pricing Package Details 2016

CONVENTIONEARLY REGISTRATION PRICESREGULAR REGISTRATION PRICES
Southern California
(Los Angeles)
Oct. 29 - 30, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Sept. 12 – Sept. 25

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $145

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120
Standard Registration Period: Sept. 26 – Oct. 13

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $185

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120
Northern California
Santa Clara Marriott
Nov. 12 - 13, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Sept. 26 – Oct. 9

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $145

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 10 – Oct. 20

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $185

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120
Pacific Northwest
Doubletree Seattle Hotel Airport
Nov. 12 - 13, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Sept. 26 – Oct. 9

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $135
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $185

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 10 – Oct. 20

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $225

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Southeast
DoubleTree Sawgrass Mills
Nov. 12 - 13, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Sept. 26 – Oct. 9

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $145
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $195

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $115
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $230
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 10 – Oct. 20

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $185
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $235

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $115
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $230
Arizona
Tucson Marriott University Park
Nov. 19 - 20, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3 – Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $155
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $205

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $110
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $220
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 17 – Nov. 6

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $165
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $215

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $110
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $220
Mid-Atlantic
Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel
Nov. 19 - 20, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3 – Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $135
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $185

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 17 – Nov. 6

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $225

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Midwest
Madison Concourse Hotel
Nov. 19 - 20, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3 – Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $135
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $185


Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 17 – Nov. 6

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $225


Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Ohio River Valley
Cincinnati Marriott North
Nov. 19 - 20, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3 – Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $135
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $185

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 17 – Nov. 6

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $175
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $225

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $100
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $200
Southern California
(Orange County)
Nov. 19 - 20, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3 – Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $145

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 17 – Oct. 26

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $185

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $120
Texas
Sheraton Austin Hotel
Nov. 19 - 20, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 3 – Oct. 16

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $160
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $210

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $160
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $320
Standard Registration Period: Oct. 17 – Nov. 3

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $200
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $250

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $160
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $320
Northeast
Boston Park Plaza Hotel
Dec. 10 - 11, 2016
Early Bird Registration Period: Oct. 24 – Nov. 6

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $165
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $215

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $160
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $320
Standard Registration Period: Nov. 7 – Nov. 23

Student Package 1 - Registration Fee: $200
Student Package 2 - Registration Fee + Extra Night: $250

Teacher Package 1 - Shared Room: No Charge
Teacher Package 2 - Private Room: $160
Teacher Package 3 - Private Room 2 nights: $320


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