Following Sunday’s announcement of a confirmed détente and signed nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 nations, foreign policy analysts, experts and progressives widely championed the deal by calling it a “historic” achievement that lessens the chance of a regional war and returns sanity to the serious issues of nuclear proliferation and international diplomacy in the Middle East.
Meanwhile, as Israeli leaders fume and fears that Congress could still dash progress by legislating new sanctions, polling shows that support among the public is high for a deal that avoids war, eases tensions, and offers a diplomatic pathway to a final deal.
“There is only one reason to oppose this deal: whether with weapons of war or sanctions that will lead to a full-blown humanitarian catastrophe in Iran, an all-out attack on Iran with the hope of regime change is what this is really about.” —MItchell Plitnick, LobeLog.com
Though concerns remain for all involved, and acknowledging that the deal signed in Geneva represents only a six-month framework designed to build trust for a more permanent solution, the breakthrough is seen as a rare positive development in a region plagued by U.S. military interventions and a diplomatic deep freeze with Iran that has lasted for more than thirty years.
The agreement itself—officially drawn out in a four-page document called a “”—was signed Sunday by Iran and the P5+1 which includes the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany.
As far as who the deal “favors,” Mitchell Plitnick, a foreign policy analyst writing at the LobeLog.com, says “the deal self-evidently favors the West,” with Iran giving much more than they are receiving. He explains:
Reviewing the document, former British diplomat Peter Jenkins, an expert on international nuclear agreements, explains how Iran has agreed to:
- allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) daily access to the two enrichment plants that have been at the centre of Western and Israeli concern about Iran’s nuclear program. Daily access is more than enough to ensure that detection of any Iranian move towards using these facilities to produce weapons-grade enriched uranium would be so timely that the Un Security Council could interrupt and put an end to the process.
- give the IAEA access to the workshops that produce centrifuge components and where centrifuges are assembled. This is not a legal obligation that flows from Iran’s comprehensive safeguards agreement with the IAEA. It is a voluntary, confidence-building measure. It will enable the IAEA to provide the E3+3 with assurances that Iran is implementing its commitment in the Plan of Action to limit the production of centrifuges to what is needed for the replacement of any of its currently operating machines that break down.
- provide the IAEA with detailed information about the purpose of each building on its nuclear sites, as well as about its uranium mines and mills and unprocessed nuclear material stocks. This will help the IAEA towards providing the international community with a credible assurance that there are no undeclared nuclear activities or material on Iranian soil – an assurance that ought, in principle, to open the way to treating the Iranian nuclear program in the same manner as that of any non-nuclear-weapon state party to the NPT, as envisaged in the last paragraph of the Joint Plan of Action.
- furnish up-to-date design information for the reactor under construction at Arak. This well help the IAEA to design, in collaboration with Iran, a plan for applying safeguards to the plant, with the aim of maximising the possibility of timely detection of any diversion of nuclear fuel from the reactor to non-peaceful purposes.
Joe Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund and the author of Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late, called the agreement “the real deal,” writing:
“The negotiations are a dramatic example of the efficacy of diplomacy in resolving the most difficult of security problems.” –Joe Cirincione, Ploughshares Fund
And Plitnick welcomed the agreement as a “huge step back away from war” and said Israeli claims that the agreement would imperil its security were absurd. The “only way this hurts Israel is by limiting Netanyahu’s fear-mongering,” Plitnick wrote. And continued:
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT