Barry Blechman, Co-Founder:
Implementation of the JCPOA with Iran marks a landmark in the continuing struggle to contain nuclear proliferation. Not only will Iran be denied nuclear weapons, but the success of President Obama’s patient sanctions-plus-negotiations strategy should dissuade other would-be proliferators from attempting to circumvent the constraints on peaceful nuclear programs in the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Combined with the US-Iran prisoner exchange, it is validation of the power of diplomacy to protect the nation’s vital interests. Kudos to Secretary Kerry and President Obama for this historic triumph.
Laicie Heeley, Fellow, Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense Program:
After walking up to the precipice of a nuclear weapon, Iran has verifiably implemented key components of the nuclear deal, ensuring their nuclear program will remain under lock and key for years to come. Additionally, Iran has shown good faith moving forward with the release of five U.S. prisoners. This is a great diplomatic achievement, and we can only hope a signal of upward trends to come.
Michael Krepon, Co-Founder and Senior Associate, South Asia Program:
Those who see failure in the removal of 98% of Iran’s stockpile of fissile material for weapons and the deactivation of its plutonium production reactor are obliged to tell the American people their definition of success — and how they could achieve better, without going to war.
Ellen Laipson, Distinguished Fellow and President Emeritus:
Implementation Day of the Iran nuclear agreement is a major milestone. Along with the prisoner swap and the swift resolution of the detention of ten American sailors by Iran last week, Iran is demonstrating its commitment to the diplomatic process, and to more responsible behavior internationally. It is too soon to tell whether its human rights at home will also benefit from this turn of events.
The Stimson Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan institution devoted to enhancing international peace and security through a unique combination of rigorous analysis and outreach. Stimson is celebrating more than a quarter-century of building effective security solutions through pragmatic research and innovative analysis.