Stimson Experts React to Landmark Iran Agreement

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Stimson Center experts released the following statements reacting to the landmark agreement announced today to curb Iran’s nuclear program. The deal negotiated by the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union culminates 20 months of negotiations and seeks to verifiably prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon:

Geneive AbdoFellow, Stimson: “Now that the historic nuclear deal is signed, the next big hurdle for the West is to make sure Iran’s military apparatus does not try to compensate for its loss in the power struggle by stepping up its financing for the United States’ foes in the Middle East. By next year, a new flow of cash due to Iran’s increase in oil revenues will start pouring in – all more the reason for the West to start pressuring Iran to move on immediately to start negotiating away its expansionist agenda in the Arab world.

Barry BlechmanCo-Founder/Emeritus, Stimson: “This is an historic agreement which stops Iran’s nuclear program in its tracks for at least ten years, and probably for many more. It includes all necessary technical measures to ensure that Iran is complying with its commitments, provides sanctions relief only as those commitments are demonstrated, and will make the U.S. and its friends in the region far more secure than they would be in any other scenario.”

Laicie HeeleyFellow, Stimson: “The U.S. and its international partners have delivered a strong deal. Under this deal, the American people and the populations of our closest allies will be safer and more secure, since Iran’s nuclear program will remain verifiably constrained. Congress should look favorably upon this agreement, which has achieved the aims it set out to obtain, and more.”

Michael KreponCo-Founder/Senior Associate, Stimson: “This agreement significantly reduces Iran’s capacity to build nuclear weapons for ten years or more. It contains effective monitoring provisions. It is far better than any of the alternatives before us. A divide over this agreement, mostly along partisan lines, and repeated attempts to block its implementation will diminish U.S. leadership, destabilize the Middle East, place even greater burdens on U.S. military forces and weaken the U.S. Treasury. Friends and allies of the United States in Europe and the Pacific need to know that they can trust in U.S. executive agreements. Friends in the Middle East need a bipartisan plan to address their concerns about Iran. Congress voted to rid Saddam Hussein of weapons of mass destruction that did not exist. Will it now vote against an agreement that verifiably limits Iran’s all-too-real nuclear capabilities?

Ellen LaipsonPresident and CEO, Stimson: “Diplomacy – the long and hard slog of it – is one of the victors here. A negotiated agreement to change Iran’s policy and practice on issues with great regional security consequence could set a precedent for problem solving in a region where the resort to force is the default position. To make this agreement a truly lasting contribution to regional peace, all parties will need to support its implementation and Iran in particular could signal to its neighbors that it is willing to address other causes of tension and insecurity.”

Nate OlsonResearch Analyst, Stimson: “Delivering on one of this deal’s most important commitments depends on a party that was never at the negotiating table. Iran expects sanctions relief to bring a commensurate economic benefit. That means trade and investment decisions made by companies around the globe have to fall in its favor. But this is no ordinary cost-benefit calculus for firms. Continued uncertainty in the international regulatory environment toward Tehran puts industry re-engagement at risk. It is crucial that E3/EU+3 officials find ways to clarify the commercial picture and limit regulatory risks to private sector investment.”

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