Aug. 5, 2015
- Assessing the Iran Nuclear Agreement – Joint Statement by Robert Satloff, Dennis Ross, James Jeffrey, Patrick Clawson, David Makovsky, Michael Eisenstadt, and Simon Henderson
The Iran nuclear agreement has several major achievements, especially the long-term restrictions on key aspects of Iran’s declared nuclear program that – if fully implemented, monitored and verified – are likely to prevent Iranian nuclear breakout for up to 15 years. At the same time, we assess that critical aspects of the JCPOA may fall short of the standards outlined in the Washington Institute’s Iran Study Group’s June 24 policy statement. We recommend the following clarifications and additional measures, many of which should appropriately be addressed before Congress votes on the JCPOA.
We are concerned about whether it provides adequately “timely access” when it comes to undeclared sites. Because the agreement on access to the Parchin military site has yet to be made public, it is difficult to know whether it meets the terms specified in the study group statement: that IAEA inspectors have the ability “to take samples, to interview scientists and government officials, to inspect sites, and to review and copy documents as required for their investigation.”
U.S. officials have clarified for members of the study group that institutions and individuals on whom nuclear-related sanctions will be lifted can subsequently be sanctioned for terrorism or other reasons, should they merit such designations. Because the secondary nonnuclear sanctions remain in place, the U.S. will still not allow use of the U.S. dollar in trade with Iranian individuals and institutions in any way associated with Iran’s support for terrorism, meaning that Iran cannot use dollars in its oil trade.
To strengthen deterrence of Iran, it is also important for Israel to have its own independent deterrent capacity. To that end, we urge the Obama administration to transfer to Israel the Massive Ordinance Penetrator and the requisite aircraft, which will ensure that Israel has the ability at a later date to deter Iran from reaching a nuclear weapon.
We believe the articulation and implementation of a “resolute regional strategy” to counter Iranian negative behavior throughout the Middle East – and to support allies and partners in the region – is both important and urgent, given the substantial financial benefits Iran will receive early in the implementation of this agreement and the likelihood that considerable sums will be directed toward Iran’s destabilizing regional activities. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)