The Chicago Council on Global Affairs hosted yet another great panel last week to discuss the Iranian nuclear deal with Karim Sadjadpour, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Michael Singh, managing director at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. The deadline for the provisions in the interim deal, outlined below, is July 20, 2014, with the option for a 6-month extension. Even though almost all policymakers in Washington are concerned about nuclear weapons in Iran (the latest sanctions were approved 100-0 in the Senate), there is significant debate on what a satisfactory deal with Iran should be.
"Obama doesn't want Iran to get a bomb and he doesn't want to bomb Iran."
Sadjadpour is concerned about the people of Iran and their well-being and says that Iran's nuclear program, along with the associated sanctions, is significantly costing the country. Even though the uranium from the enrichment facilities could be used in Iran's commercial nuclear power program, it still costs about a tenth of the amount to purchase low-enriched uranium rather than to develop and enrichment program and produce it yourself. So people ask, why doesn't Iran just purchase nuclear weapons? The reality is that it is very difficult to acquire nuclear weapons from other countries and all nuclear weapons programs in the world today were developed indigenously.
The outcome of this interim deal with determine the path forward for negotiations with Iran to stop their nuclear weapons program and lift economic sanctions. What do you think would constitute a successful deal with Iran going forward?
- Mohammad Javad Zarif, “What Iran Really Wants,” Foreign Affairs, May/June 2014
- Michael Singh, “Obama Correct—and Canny—to Refuse a Visa to Iranian Envoy,” Foreign Policy, 4/15/14
- Michael Singh, “The Case for Zero Enrichment in Iran,” Arms Control Today, March 2014
- Robert J. Einhorn, “Preventing a Nuclear-Armed Iran: Requirements for a Comprehensive Nuclear Agreement,” Brookings Institution, March 2014
- Karim Sadjadpour and Nicholas D. Wright, “What Neuroscience Can Teach Us About Making a Deal With Iran,” Atlantic, 1/14/14
- Jessica T. Mathews, “Iran: A Good Deal Now in Danger,” The New York Review of Books, 2/20/14
- Paul K. Kerr, “Iran’s Nuclear Program: Tehran’s Compliance with International Obligations,” Congressional Research Service, 4/28/14