Representatives of Iran and the P5+1 countries, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Nov. 24, 2013. Denis Balibouse/Reuters
After the Iran Nuclear Deal
July 06, 2014
Overcoming a decade of failed nuclear negotiations,
Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security
Council plus Germany) signed an interim nuclear deal, the Joint Plan of Action
(JPA), in Geneva on November 24, 2013. The agreement put into motion talks to
reach a mutually agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure
Iran’s nuclear program would be exclusively peaceful. In a broader sense, the
outcome of the nuclear negotiations with Iran will have a profound impact on
nuclear non-proliferation. It could be a significant step toward a
Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone and a Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone in the
According to the interim
agreement, Tehran “reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek or
develop any nuclear weapons.” The comprehensive solution will build on interim
steps and aims to resolve the decades-long nuclear dispute between Iran and
world powers. It also paves the way for Iran “to fully enjoy its right to
nuclear energy for peaceful purposes under the relevant articles of the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in conformity with its obligations therein.” To
ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program, the comprehensive
agreement seeks to define a mutually agreed enrichment program with stringent
transparency and verification mechanisms in place. The implementation of the
agreement will be based on a mutually reciprocal, step-by-step process, to
result ultimately in the comprehensive lifting of all unilateral, multilateral
and UN Security Council sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program.
The hopeful efforts contrast with the series of failed
negotiations between world powers and Iran. While the United States laid the
foundation of a nuclear Iran in the 1960s as part of President Eisenhower’s
Atoms for Peace program, the 1979 Islamic Revolution brought that cooperation
to an end. During the rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the United States
encouraged Iran in the 1970s to build twenty-three nuclear power plants over
twenty years. In 1967, the United States constructed the first Iranian nuclear
facility, the Tehran Research Reactor. During this period, Europeans were
fiercely competing with the Americans to win lucrative projects to nuclearize
Iran. Following the 1979 revolution, however, Iran decided to forego the
ambitious nuclear and military projects of the United States and the shah. In
its response to Iran’s revolution, the West withdrew from agreements and
contracts—costing Iran billions of dollars—in violation of the NPT.
Unfortunately, this helped plant the seeds of the Iranian nuclear crisis. The
United States and European countries opposed Iran having even civilian nuclear
energy and pressed Germany to abrogate its contractual agreement to complete
the only Iranian civilian nuclear plant, at Bushehr. Moreover, Western powers
prevented Iran from having access to the international market for nuclear fuel,
at a time when Iran had no plans to conduct uranium-enrichment activities on
its own soil.
The West’s denial of Iran’s
right to a peaceful nuclear program provided the greatest impetus for Iran to
press for self-sufficiency in the nuclear field by completing unfinished
projects and ensuring future supply of reactor fuel. By 2002, Iran mastered
enrichment and the West once again began challenging the legal and legitimate
rights of Iran under the NPT. In September 2003, the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) adopted a resolution that called on Iran to accelerate
cooperation with the IAEA and provide the full transparency needed for the
agency to complete its verification job. The following month, the government of
President Mohammed Khatami entered into nuclear talks with France, Germany and
the United Kingdom, the so-called EU3. During these negotiations from 2003 to
August 2005, Tehran made far-reaching overtures on transparency and
confidence-building measures, to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program would not
be diverted toward producing nuclear weapons. Tehran implemented the NPT
Safeguards Agreement Subsidiary Arrangement Code 3.1, signed the Safeguards
Agreement Additional Protocol, voluntarily suspended enrichment for almost two
years, limited enrichment at 5 percent, and maintained a meager stockpile of
enriched uranium. Such moves failed to resolve the crisis because the United
States continued to deny Iran’s right to uranium enrichment under the NPT.
During the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
(2005-2013), the nuclear negotiations continued with the P5+1 countries, but
throughout this period, the talks failed due to the absence of a realistic
package of agreements. Once again, the main reason for the failure was the
West’s reluctance to recognize the legitimate right of Iran to enrichment under
Article IV of the NPT despite Iran’s willingness to commit to maximum
transparency and confidence-building measures under the NPT.
Instead of a mutually defined agreement with Iran, the
Western powers led by the United States relied overwhelmingly on a coercive
policy of pressuring Iran to abandon its nuclear program. They applied
far-reaching and comprehensive sanctions on Iran. There is no doubt that the
unilateral, multilateral and UN Security Council sanctions had a negative
impact on the Iranian economy. During Ahmadinejad’s presidency, due to
sanctions as well as mismanagement, Iran’s currency lost more than half its
value, with inflation reaching more than 40 percent in 2013.
Yet, instead of rolling back
Iran’s nuclear program, the sanctions made Tehran more determined than ever to
expand its nuclear efforts. The IAEA reported that prior to the intensified
pressure, Iran had one uranium enrichment site consisting of a pilot plant of
164 centrifuges enriching uranium at a level of 3.5 percent, one generation of
centrifuges and an approximately 100 kilogram stockpile of enriched uranium.
Today, despite the draconian unilateral and multilateral sanctions, Iran
maintains two enrichment sites with roughly 19,000 centrifuges, possesses a
stockpile of uranium enriched up to 20 percent, operates a new generation of
centrifuges, produces fuel rods for Tehran Research Reactor and holds a
stockpile of more than 11,000 kilograms of low-enriched uranium. Such an
outcome helped convince world powers to negotiate a comprehensive deal after
the election of President Hassan Rowhani in 2013.
As part of the first phase of the
JPA, both sides would commit to a series of voluntary measures for a duration
of six months, commencing on January 20, 2014. Following three rounds of
technical talks, Iran and the P5+1 detailed the specific steps to be
implemented, with an option to extend the timeframe by mutual agreement.
A second round of talks concluded in Vienna on
February 20. The world powers and Iran agreed on a framework, a plan of action
and a timetable to conduct negotiations on a comprehensive agreement for the
next four months. Both sides negotiated seriously and in good faith, overcoming
substantial problems while achieving important progress. The third round of
talks on April 8 ended on a high note as talks shifted into the next phase with
the drafting of a final accord starting at the following meeting in mid-May.
“We have now held substantive and detailed discussions covering all the issues
which will need to be part of a Comprehensive Agreement,” said European Union
foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton following the talks. “A lot of intensive
work will be required to overcome the differences which naturally still exist
at this stage in the process.”
The first three rounds of talks
progressed relatively smoothly as they focused primarily on setting the agenda
and airing individual positions and concerns. The high-level talks on May 16,
however, proved far more difficult as the parties began drafting the
comprehensive nuclear deal. Afterwards, all sides expressed their frustration
at the lack of progress but remained hopeful to continue their discussions
toward a fruitful end. There was no tangible progress in writing the draft text
due to the unreasonable and excessive demands of the West. The day after the
talks, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s lead negotiator,
tweeted: “Back from Vienna after tough discussions. Agreement is possible. But
illusions need to go. Opportunity shouldn’t be missed again like in 2005 [a
reference to the nuclear talks between Iran and the EU3 from 2003-2005, which
failed primarily due to U.S. opposition].”
President Barack Obama, addressing graduating West
Point cadets on May 28, referred to the Iran nuclear talks. “The odds of
success are still long… but for the first time in a decade, we have a very real
chance of achieving a breakthrough agreement—one that is more effective and
durable than what we could have achieved through the use of force,” he said.
Since the signing of the interim agreement in
November, both sides have taken serious steps to uphold their end of the
bargain. Under the JPA, Iran has:
—Suspended enrichment above 5 percent everywhere in
Iran for the six-month period.
—Halted production of 20 percent enriched uranium.
—Halted installation of new centrifuges.
—Reduced significantly the stockpile of enriched
—Halted construction of additional enrichment
—Provided managed access at centrifuge assembly, rotor
production and storage facilities.
—Provided access to uranium mines and mills.
—Suspended further advances in the development of the
heavy water reactor at Arak.
—Committed to no reprocessing or construction of a
facility capable of reprocessing.
—Allowed enhanced monitoring and verification measures
that go beyond the previous level of cooperation with the IAEA.
The Iranian enrichment facilities
at Natanz and Fordo are now subject to daily IAEA inspector access, both
scheduled and unannounced. The Arak reactor and associated facilities are
also open to monthly inspections by the IAEA instead of approximately once
every three months. The latest IAEA report released on May 23 reaffirms Iran’s
serious commitments undertaken since the JPA. It noted that “Iran has
implemented the seven practical measures that it agreed with the agency in
February 2014 in relation to the Framework for Cooperation,” namely that Iran
has not enriched uranium above 5 percent “at any of its declared facilities”;
Iran’s stock of uranium enriched up to 20 percent “has decreased from 209.1
kilograms to 38.4 kilograms”; and “all of the enrichment related activities at
Iran’s declared facilities are under agency safeguards, and all of the nuclear
material, installed cascades, and feed and withdrawal stations at those
facilities are subject to Agency containment and surveillance.”
Under the terms of the JPA, the P5+1 countries are
committed to providing temporary and targeted sanctions relief to Iran,
including permitting Iran to gain access to $4.2 billion in restricted funds
(representing a small fraction of the $100 billion in Iranian foreign exchange
reserves currently blocked) on a set schedule at regular intervals throughout
the six-month interim period. The relief package is, however, limited and
structured in a way to ensure the overwhelming majority of the comprehensive
sanctions remain intact—primarily sanctions placed on oil, banking and
financial sectors. The P5+1 commitments include:
—Pausing efforts to further reduce purchase of crude
oil from Iran.
—Suspending further nuclear-related UN Security
—Suspending further EU-U.S. nuclear-related sanctions.
—Suspending sanctions on the import, purchase or
transport of Iranian petrochemical products and on the provision of all
associated services such as financing, financial assistance, insurance and
reinsurance, including for third states.
—Suspending sanctions on Iran’s import and export of
gold and other precious metals, including associated services.
—Permitting the supply of spare parts and services,
including inspection services, for Iran’s civil aviation sector.
—Suspending implementation of sanctions on Iran’s
automotive manufacturing sector and associated services.
—Facilitating financial transfers for non-sanctioned
trade, including payments for UN obligations, tuition payments for students
studying abroad and for humanitarian purposes such as food and medicine.
—Permitting the provision of insurance and transport
in relation to Iranian crude oil.
Reciprocating Iran’s concrete
steps as confirmed by an IAEA report on January 20, the P5+1 countries began to
follow through on their commitments and provided modest sanctions relief to Iran.
The first installment from the $4.2 billion of Iranian revenue held abroad was
released as scheduled on February 1, with further installments scheduled for
the duration of the interim deal. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi
confirmed that “the first tranche of $500 million was deposited in a Swiss bank
account, and everything was done in accordance with the agreement.” In terms of
sanctions relief, on January 20 the White House announced the suspension of
U.S. sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical, precious metals and automotive sectors.
On April 4, Boeing, the world’s largest manufacturer of airplanes, and General
Electric, an engine manufacturer, confirmed that they had received licenses
from the Treasury Department for exporting spare parts and services for Iranian
civil aviation and associated services. In concert, the European Union
announced on January 20 that it would also suspend sanctions, including lifting
the prohibition on the provision of insurance and transport in relation to
Iranian crude oil sales to its current customers. These actions represented the
first time in nearly a decade that Iran and the world powers had adhered to
their reciprocal commitments.
A final comprehensive agreement is
meant to be concluded within a year of the interim deal. For its part, Iran
would accept limitations on its enrichment program and submit to intrusive
inspections. In return, world powers would remove sanctions, respect the
country’s right to the peaceful use of nuclear technology (including enrichment)
and normalize Iran’s nuclear file. The components would include a specified and
mutually agreed long-term duration for the interim confidence-building
measures, which reflect the rights and obligations of parties under the NPT and
Safeguards Agreement. They would also include the comprehensive lifting of “UN
Security Council, multilateral and national nuclear-related sanctions,
including steps on access in areas of trade, technology, finance, and energy,
on a schedule to be agreed upon.”
The final agreement would define,
for a period to be agreed upon, parameters consistent with practical needs,
limits on scope, level of enrichment activities and stockpile. Iran would also
fully resolve concerns related to the heavy water reactor at Arak, including
commitments to refrain from constructing a facility capable of reprocessing. To
ensure the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program, Tehran would commit
to fully implement the agreed transparency measures and enhanced monitoring,
including ratifying and implementing the Additional Protocol. The agreement
will also make provisions for Iran to receive international civil nuclear
cooperation. This cooperation will include among others, “acquiring modern
light water power and research reactors and associated equipment, and the
supply of modern nuclear fuel as well as agreed R&D practices.” Finally,
upon the implementation of the final step of the comprehensive agreement, the
Iranian nuclear program will be treated in accordance to any non-nuclear weapon
state party to the NPT.
If diplomacy fails and the interim deal reached in
November 2013 does not produce a permanent solution, it will ultimately lead to
heightened tensions, a possible all-out war, and force Iran to withdraw from
the NPT. Now that against all odds, the United States and European Union have
made a deal with Iran, skeptics and opponents have started mobilizing again—in
both Tehran as well as in many other capitals, including Washington. In Iran,
internal opposition to the deal is driven by concerns related to the hostile
policies followed during Obama’s first term and by Israel’s continued challenge
of Iran’s right to enrich its nuclear stockpile for energy use. In the United
States, internal opposition to the deal and concern about Iranian behavior have
been reinforced by two of its closest allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia. The
deep uneasiness in those countries is tangible and immediate, for both see Iran
as a mortal enemy, bent on Israel’s destruction and regional hegemony.
WikiLeaks provided a great deal of insight into the
secret discussions on a possible military strike against Iran. The king of
Saudi Arabia was cited urging the United States to “cut off the head of the
snake”—that is, encouraging Washington to attack Iran and put an end to its
nuclear program. The message was clear and well understood—the Saudis and their
allies want to fight the Iranians to the last American standing. Threatening
Iran has proved counterproductive to date and will continue to be the case as
long as Tehran refuses to compromise under threat. There is a need now to
convince Arab states of this, so that they do not continue to lobby against a
deal over Iran’s nuclear program or engage in nuclear proliferation steps
Finalizing a deal will require compromise by all
parties. One of the key challenges will be the likely American insistence that
Tehran make concessions far beyond the NPT requirements. Such demands to curb
Iran’s nuclear program include dismantling a significant portion of existing
centrifuges and low-enriched uranium stockpiles; closure of Fordo, Iran’s
second enrichment site near the city of Qom; dismantling of the Arak heavy
water research reactor; and intrusive inspections and monitoring that go beyond
the NPT and the Additional Protocol. As an NPT member state, Iran would not
accept targeted discrimination.
A realistic solution should distinguish between
demands within the framework of the NPT and those that go beyond it. Demands
based on the NPT can be agreed upon permanently. Based on the NPT and
international regulations, a member state would demonstrate the maximum level
of transparency by implementing the Nuclear Safeguards Agreement, Additional
Protocol and Subsidiary Arrangement Code 3.1. These three arrangements are the
maximum transparency measures the world powers can expect. On demands beyond
NPT and to guarantee no breakout toward weaponization, the P5+1 and Iranian
negotiators could agree on a realistic limitation but for a specified period as
a confidence-building measure. Such realistic limits could include Iran’s
agreement not to carry out weapons grade enrichment at the Natanz facility, or
to reduce plutonium production at the Arak heavy water reactor.
The road to a comprehensive solution is strewn with
specific obstacles. First, there is the challenge of the Heavy Water Reactor at
Arak. The key concern of the world powers is that once the Arak reactor becomes
operational, it could produce enough weapons-grade plutonium (five to ten
kilograms) per year for one nuclear weapon. The P5+1, therefore, would like to
see Iran abandon the unfinished Arak reactor, a notion Tehran adamantly
opposes. The Arak reactor was originally scheduled to start operating in the
first quarter of 2014, but according to the head of the IAEA, Yukiya Amano,
Iran still has “quite a lot to do” to complete the project and it is unclear
when it will come into operation. Iranian officials, however, insisted that
there are no intentions to build a reprocessing facility to extract plutonium
from spent fuel for a weaponized program.
As a compromise, Ali Akbar
Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, declared Tehran’s
willingness to make some design changes “to produce less plutonium in this
reactor and in this way allay the worries and mitigate the concerns.” A
possible modification to reduce the Arak reactor’s output of plutonium could
include replacing natural uranium fuel with 3.5 percent or 19.75 percent
low-enriched uranium, which decreases the design power from 40 MWt to 20 or 10
MWt. Even with the reduced power output, the reactor has the capacity to
produce neutrons for medical isotopes and scientific research as the current 40
MWt design fueled by natural uranium. To ensure the spent fuel does not become
a source of plutonium for nuclear weapons, it can be verifiably removed to a
third country. Russia could be the most viable destination as it is already
responsible for removing spent fuel from the Bushehr reactor.
Second, there is the question of
the capacity and level of Iran’s enrichment program. Under the terms of the
interim nuclear deal, Iran’s enrichment capacity should be consistent with its
civilian practical needs. This includes fuel supply for its research reactor
and nuclear power plants, with plans to expand the program to include four
research reactors and sixteen new nuclear power plants. The negotiations will
have to address practical limits on the scope of the enrichment program and
additional safeguards on ongoing Iranian enrichment activities. Ultimately, a
practical resolution would involve limiting Iran’s enrichment activities to
below 5 percent (addressing concerns of weapons-grade uranium) and tailoring
enrichment capacity to the needs of Iran’s civilian nuclear activity. These
measures, in combination with intrusive inspections and monitoring, will ensure
that Iran can verifiably maintain a peaceful nuclear program with a prolonged
timeframe without a breakout capability for a nuclear weapon.
Third, the Fordo enrichment site
poses a major challenge. For the Iranians, shutting down Fordo is out of the
question. The construction of this enrichment site beneath the mountains was
Iran’s response to the U.S.-Israeli “all options on the table” bombing threat
to stop Iran’s nuclear program. In order to move forward, the parties could
agree that Fordo will be under full IAEA surveillance and serve as the main
center for research and development for all nuclear-related civilian peaceful
technologies including enrichment and different generations of centrifuges that
Iran is working on.
Fourth, transparency measures
required by the IAEA are essential to a final deal. The maximum level of
transparency required under the NPT includes the Safeguards Agreement and its
Subsidiary Arrangement Code 3.1 plus the Additional Protocol—measures that Iran
should sign, ratify and implement. For the first time, on February 8, 2014,
Iran and the IAEA signed an agreement to address the nuclear agency’s
suspicions that Iran may have worked on designing a nuclear weapon. To resolve
the IAEA’s concerns about a possible military dimension to Iran’s nuclear
program, Iran could agree to a specified timeframe to give the IAEA managed
access beyond the Additional Protocol.
All these obstacles will be
overcome only if the world powers agree, in return for Iran’s offer of interim
limitations and extra transparency, to respect Iran’s legitimate right to
peaceful nuclear technology including enrichment, lift all sanctions related to
Iran’s nuclear program, withdraw Iran’s nuclear file from the UN Security
Council and normalize its relationship with the IAEA.
A comprehensive agreement with
Iran will give impetus toward creating a Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free-Zone
in the Middle East. The seeds for this were already planted on December 9,
1974, when the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 3263 sponsored by Iran
and Egypt calling for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. The zone would remain in
force indefinitely and commit regional countries not to manufacture, acquire, test
or possess nuclear weapons.
It was only at the 2010 NPT
Review Conference that practical steps were agreed to progress toward
establishing the zone. Specifically, it was agreed that, in consultation with
regional countries, the UN secretary-general would convene a conference in 2012
to be attended by all states in the Middle East on “the establishment of a
Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass
destruction.” Finnish diplomat Jaakko Laajava was named as facilitator.
In November 2012, however, the
United States called off the conference “because of present conditions in the
Middle East and the fact that states in the region have not reached agreement
on acceptable conditions for a conference.” The primary reason was the reluctance
of Israel to participate, while all other regional countries, including Iran,
had confirmed their intention to attend. The conference has not yet been
rescheduled nor a new timeline set.
To actualize a
Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East, the world powers should seek an
agreement with Iran on the limits acceptable to other regional powers, and use
the final deal with Iran as a model for the entire region. The measures
proposed by the International Panel for Fissile Material, a team of independent
nuclear experts from fifteen countries, would be:
—Ban on the separation and/or use of plutonium and
highly enriched uranium (HEU) as a reactor fuel.
water reactors from natural uranium fuel to low-enriched uranium fuel.
—Limitation on uranium enrichment to less than 6
—Limit power of research reactors to 20MWt.
—Ship out the spent fuel with its contained plutonium.
—Limit enrichment capacity to levels that do not
provoke fear of a breakout (below 5 percent).
—Regional verification system in addition to the IAEA
—Robust inspections with the adoption of the
Additional Protocol and Subsidiary Arrangement Code 3.1.
—An agreement with
countries that do not stockpile enriched uranium but rather adopt a
“just-in-time” system of production would be the most feasible course of
uranium enrichment as well as plutonium separation (reprocessing) facilities
out of national control and placing them instead under the management of an
independent international organization dates back to a 1946 study called Report
on the International Control of Atomic Energy prepared for the U.S. State
Department. The report recognized that both uranium enrichment and reprocessing
of irradiated uranium to recover plutonium are inherently “dangerous
activities” in that they provide easy routes to nuclear weapons.
In 2003, international and
regional concern about Iran’s decision to build a national uranium enrichment
program led Mohamed ElBaradei, then director general of the IAEA, to revive a
proposal for multinational control of all enrichment facilities, including in
the nuclear-weapon states. Iran has voiced its support for an international
consortium for enrichment; President Ahmadinejad, addressing the United Nations
General Assembly in 2005, stated that Iran was “prepared to engage in serious
partnership with private and public sectors of other countries in the
implementation of a uranium enrichment program in Iran.”
With fourteen countries now
operating or building enrichment plants, boosting interest in nuclear energy
among Middle East countries, a successful resolution of the Iranian nuclear
crisis could provide a model for dealing with other countries with breakout
capability and contribute positively to non-proliferation. It is clear that a
final deal with Iran would ensure the maximum level of transparency and all
necessary confidence-building measures assuring that the Iranian nuclear
program would remain peaceful forever. This could be an example for all other
Middle East countries to follow as the first big step toward realization of a
Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction.
As the only country in the region
with a civilian enrichment program, Iran could play a pioneering role by
embracing concepts like a regional or international consortium, multinational
partnerships for control of enrichment, and multilateral fuel arrangements in
the Middle East.
Cooperation in the nuclear field
as prescribed in Article IV of the NPT can serve as confidence-building
measures among regional states. Such cooperation can include joint ventures to
build nuclear power plants, regional electricity infrastructure to transport
electricity generated, regionalization of current nuclear structures with
incentives to host nations both in economic terms and transfer of advanced
technologies in the field of nuclear energy. There can also be expansion and
strengthening of joint research initiatives that foster scholarly cooperation.
The Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle
East, hosted by Jordan, is a prime example. The program is under the auspices
of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the UN
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and to date has hosted
scientists and scholars from throughout region.
The countries of a Middle East Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone could establish a
Regional Nuclear Fuel Cycle Organization to monitor the operations of any
regional fuel-cycle facility and also the mining and purification and import of
uranium. Its purpose would be to ensure all nuclear materials used in the
regional multinational enrichment facility would be subject to regional
monitoring, transparency and improved safeguards.
Given the mutual distrust growing
out of the region’s history of wars and proliferation, there will be a need for
establishing a robust regional verification structure. Such a measure will be
in addition to all regional countries ratifying the IAEA’s Additional Protocol
and Subsidiary Arrangement Code 3.1. The regional verification structure can be
based on past initiatives such as the Euratom Treaty, which covers peaceful
nuclear activities in Europe and shares safeguards responsibilities with the
Brazil and Argentina have created
an important precedent. After they ended their nuclear weapon programs in 1990,
the first step they took on verification was to establish in July 1991 a
bilateral inspection system, the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and
Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC), which undertook its first inspections in
July 1992. Only in 1994 did Argentina and Brazil agree to place all of their
nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards in the Quadripartite Agreement
involving Argentina, Brazil, ABACC and the IAEA. ABACC was modeled on organizational
arrangements established in the Euratom Treaty.
A comprehensive nuclear deal with
Iran could be a model for future talks with regional countries and others who
are on the verge of entering the nuclear arena. The international community has
the moral responsibility to settle the differences with Tehran in an amicable
and sustainable manner. It must then force Israel to join the NPT and dismantle
its nuclear arsenal. The future of non-proliferation in the region and beyond
is at stake.
Seyed Hossein Mousavian is a research scholar at the Program on
Science and Global Security in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and
International Affairs at Princeton University. He previously served as Iranian
ambassador to Germany (1990−97) and spokesman for Iran’s team in nuclear
negotiations with the European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency
(2003–05). From 2005 to 2007, he served as foreign policy advisor to Ali
Larijani, then secretary of the Supreme National Security Council and chief
nuclear negotiator. Mousavian was head of the Foreign Relations Committee of
Iran’s National Security Council from 1997 to 2005. He is the author of Iran-Europe Relations:
Challenges and Opportunities and The Iranian Nuclear Crisis:
A Memoir. His latest book is Iran
and the United States: An Insider’s View on the Failed Past and the Road to