If the parties’ opening positions are used as benchmarks, the parameters of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action favor Iran. If the deal is seen through the lenses of their strategic objectives, the picture is far more nuanced.
Negotiators in Switzerland announced a “tentative agreement” to limit Iran’s nuclear program and Federica Mogherini, European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, said EU sanctions against Iran will end.
The nuclear program framework agreed to by Iran and six world powers would limit that country’s uranium enrichment and its number of centrifuges. After verification, the European Union, the UN, and the United States would lift sanctions.
Most of the details of the framework agreement with Iran were voiced by Western negotiators and leaders, or expressed in a U.S. “fact sheet” that may or may not precisely represent Iranian understandings.
The 2015 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference brought together over 800 experts and officials from more than 45 countries and international organizations to discuss emerging trends in nuclear nonproliferation, disarmament, deterrence, and nuclear energy.
The big unknown at this point in the negotiations is how much Iran is willing to concede in its enrichment program in order to get sanctions relief. While Iran wishes to remove all sanctions immediately, the United States and its allies would like to see the sanctions removed gradually.
Turkey has figured in a recent case where nonproliferation interests and perceived strategic interests collided.
The projected growth in the use of nuclear power worldwide creates new opportunities for deepening and expanding existing U.S.-South Korean collaboration to promote the civil uses of nuclear energy in third countries. This expansion can build on the cooperation that is already taking place.
The narrow technical disagreements stalling the renegotiation of the U.S.–South Korea nuclear cooperation agreement mask a far larger and more complicated set of issues and interests that challenge both the future of bilateral nuclear cooperation and the nonproliferation regime.
Questions raised by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano about what he calls “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear program are standing tall between the negotiators and a comprehensive settlement of the crisis.