[wwpoenglish] Fw: Seven questions about the emerging Iran nuclear deal

  • From: "Prof. Ernesto Kahan" <ekahan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "\(\) WWPO ENGLISH GROUP" <wwpoenglish@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <IFLAC@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 9 Mar 2015 18:52:57 +0200

Arms Control and Regional Security for the Middle East

            Seven questions about the emerging Iran nuclear deal 
            March 3, 2015

            By Miles A. Pomper –Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 
addresses the U.S. Congress today to warn about a pending deal between Iran and 
six other countries, including the United States; meanwhile the negotiations 
are kicking into high gear as the countries struggle to complete a framework 
agreement before the end of the month. The high-st akes drama, however, has 
obscured some of the key questions that the administration should have to 
answer if it wants to win congressional and regional support for any pact. 
Below are seven key questions:

            1.       INCREASED TRANSPARENCY: How much increased transparency 
will we see as a result of the deal and how soon will we see it? Press 
commentary has tended to focus on “breakout time”—the timeframe in which Iran 
could use its declared nuclear facilities to obtain enough fissile material for 
a nuclear weapon. But the Iranians would more likely to use a clandestine path 
to the bomb or “sneakout.” Early ratification and implementation by Iran of an 
additional protocol to its safeguards agreement that gives inspectors broadened 
rights to root out such facilities is essential. However, these are 
insufficient and other transparency measures are needed to ensure Iran does not 
develop a parallel nuclear weapons program.

            2.       NONCOMPLIANCE: What mechanisms will the United States and 
the international community could utilize in response if Iran does not comply 
with the agreement and what would constitute substantive noncompliance? With 
the recent interim agreement and other pacts, Iran has shown a tendency to 
abide by the letter, but not the spirit, of the law. Iran can be expected to 
nibble at the edges of any deal, testing how far they can go before being 
pushed back. What is the administration game plan for addressing such tests?

            3.      IRAN’S NEW LEVERAGE: Similarly Iran’s threshold nuclear 
weapon status will give it leverage in regional crisis. Imagine a standoff 
between Israel and a regional player such as Hezbollah or Syria in which Israel 
is threatening to respond with military force. How will the United S tates 
respond if Iran makes noises about undermining the nuclear deal in response?

            4.       PREVENTING A REGIONAL VIRTUAL ARMS RACE: Under the 
emerging agreement, Iran would be kept to lower levels of enrichment for a 
decade and then slowly begin to expand its capacity with no limits after 15 
years. How does the administration plan to stop other regional powers like 
Saudi Arabia from developing similar capabilities?

endorsing the enrichment capability of a longtime foe, the administration will 
find it more difficult to prevent allies such as South Korea from seeking their 
own enrichment capability, potentially complicating other regional crises and 
undermining the nonproliferation regime. How does the administration plan to 
prevent such a development?

            6.       REIMPOSING INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS: Given opposition in 
Congress, the Obama administration has indicated that under a deal it would 
wait a number of years to permanently lift any U.S. sanctions, even if it 
temporarily suspended some. However, U.N. and other international sanctions, 
once lifted, may not be reinstated so easily. What kind of diplomatic measures 
will the administration negotiate to ensure such sanctions could be re-imposed 
quickly if Iran fails to comply with the agreement.

            7.       WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE AGREEMENT ENDS: Once the 15 year 
timeframe of the agreement ends, Iran will be able to develop an industrial 
–scale enrichment capability where breakout scenarios will become more 
plausible and also open new avenues for sneakout. The deal, in essence is a 
gamble that if Iran’s Islamic regime is integrated more fully into the global 
community, either the regime will not feel the need for nuclear weapons to 
preserve its security or generational change will undermine the regime. But 
what if neither of these scenarios pan out? How would the United States keep 
Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability then?



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