Implications of the Nuclear Deal with Iran

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Seyed Hossein Mousavian

On April 2, 2015--Iran and the P5+1 reached a framework agreement that ensures intrusive transparency and confidence building measures on Iran’s nuclear program in return for a lifting of all nuclear-related sanctions and respecting the legitimate rights of Iran for enrichment, with continued talks until the June 30 deadline toward a comprehensive deal. This initial agreement is a positive step toward ending 12 years of contention over Iran’s nuclear program. The next few weeks will be particularly difficult, as thorny technical issues are negotiated and specific phasing out of sanctions are agreed upon. While the drama over the nuclear talks will continue for the next few weeks until the comprehensive agreement is reached and goes into effect, we have to look at the post-deal environment.

Implications for Iran’s nuclear program for the next 10-25 years:

Enrichment: Reduce installed centrifuges by approximately two-thirds of about 19,000 installed today, limiting uranium enrichment to 3.67 percent, reduce current 10,000 kg of low-enriched uranium (LEU) to 300 kg of 3.67 percent LEU and not to build new facilities for the purpose of enriching uranium.

Fordo facility: No enrichment at Fordo, converting the current facility into a R&D center and no fissile material at Fordo.

Natanz facility: The only site where Iran will continue enrichment with only 5,060 IR-1 first-generation centrifuges and 1,000 IR-2M centrifuges currently installed will be placed in a IAEA monitored storage.

Arak reactor: Iran will not produce weapons grade plutonium, will ship all of its spent fuel from the reactor out of the country for the reactor’s lifetime, will not build any additional heavy water reactors and will not have reprocessing facility.

Monitoring and Inspections: Iran will implement the highest level of inspection measures internationally exist (Subsidiary Arrangement, Modified Code 3.1 and Additional Protocol) and will address the IAEA’s concerns regarding the Possible Military Dimensions (PMD) issues.

Following the implementation of the comprehensive nuclear deal, the Iranian nuclear file will be removed from United Nation Security Council and return to the IAEA. Iran’s nuclear facilities following the 10 to 25 year limitations will expand in accordance to the domestic needs of the country and in close coordination with the IAEA.

The implications of the nuclear deal for confidence building and nuclear non-proliferation:

1. Diplomacy: Negotiations have succeeded where coercive policy and military threat by a nuclear weapon state against a non-nuclear weapon state have failed in resolving a major international concern over Iran’s nuclear file.

2. Strengthening the foundations of the NPT: The inalienable right of signatory states to peaceful nuclear energy and technology while adhering to robust verification and monitoring measures to ensure their respective program is peaceful. The April 2 agreement put into place the most intrusive monitoring mechanisms in the history of non-proliferation and these measures will set the stage for the evolution of IAEA safeguards in the future.

3. Confidence building: Resolving the Iranian nuclear file, while alleviating the concerns of world powers and regional countries regarding its nature, scope and aim, will inevitably help confidence and trust regionally and internationally.

4. Non-proliferation model: The comprehensive nuclear deal could become a model the Middle East and beyond enabling the same level of transparency, monitoring and verification to be applied to emerging nuclear programs.

5. Movement toward the Nuclear Free zone: Tailoring the nuclear deal to reflect the domestic enrichment needs of individual countries and enhanced monitoring from raw material procurement to enrichment will also cement safeguards to ensure no fissile material is diverted toward clandestine weapons programs. Once again—the measures agreed in the final comprehensive deal will be a building block for the NWFZ and bring the notion of WMD Free Cone in the Middle East one step closer.

Implications for Iran’s relations with the West and the region

Iran and the US: The nuclear negotiations between Iran and the World Powers has enabled a forum for Iran and the United States to engage on bilateral basis at Foreign Minister level for the first time in over 35 years. This development has brought about a sea change in having a direct line of communication between the two capitals. This track could open up the possibility of direct negotiations and cooperation between Tehran and Washington over multiple theaters of conflict raging in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and instability in the Levant with increasing efforts to counter extremism and terrorism.

Iran and the West: Relations between Iran and the West deteriorated during the 8-year presidency of Ahmadinejad and following the election of the moderate Iranian president Rouhani we are finally witnessing both sides coming out of their coma. The Europeans powers involved in the nuclear talks, have made major strides in a short time to rectify their relations with Iran. The key to more stable and secure Middle East will have to include the Iranians at every juncture. To this end, Iran and Europe should take constructive steps combating rising trend of new terrorist groups such as ISIS and AL Qaeda and crisis management in the Middle East.

Iran and the region: The resolution of Iran’s nuclear dossier could open the door for a collective forum for dialogue in the Persian Gulf region. The most pressing issues include cooperation on resolving the humanitarian crisis raging on in Syria, fight against the spread of extremisms (ISIS), stability of Iraq, energy security in the Persian Gulf and bringing an end to hostilities in Yemen. These initial steps could develop to eventually include a list of initiatives to address regional challenges through regional solutions and pave the way toward formal security cooperation.

*Ambassador Seyed Hossein Mousavian is a research scholar at Princeton University and a former spokesman for Iran’s nuclear negotiators. His nuclear book, The Iranian Nuclear Crisis: A Memoir, was published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His latest book, “Iran and the United States: An Insider’s view on the Failed Past and the Road to Peace” was released in May 2014.

Source: The Security Times

More By Ambassador Seyed Hossein Mousavian:

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*Iran Ready for a Nuclear Deal:

*These views represent those of the author and are not necessarily Iran Review's viewpoints.

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