A Deal Would Establish a Strong and Effective Barrier Against a Nuclear-Armed Iran, Nonproliferation Experts Say
For Immediate Release: April 2, 2015
Media Contacts: Kelsey Davenport, director of nonproliferation policy, 202-463-8270 ext. 102; Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, 202-463-8270 ext. 107, or 202-277-3478 (mobile);
(Washington, D.C.)--Experts from the independent, nonpartisan Arms Control Association called today's announcement from Iran and the P5+1 a "historic breakthrough," in the effort to reach a long-term, comprehensive agreement to limit Iran's sensitive nuclear activities. The announcement from Lausanne, Switzerland that the P5+1 and Iran reached agreement on key areas is "a vital step toward a strong and effective formula for blocking the routes by which Iran could acquire material for nuclear weapons and promptly detecting and deterring possible efforts by Iran to covertly pursue nuclear weapons in the future."
The parameters agreed upon by the United States, the other permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany with the Islamic Republic of Iran "promises to lead to one of the most consequential and far reaching nuclear nonproliferation achievements in recent decades," said Arms Control Association Executive Director Daryl G. Kimball.
"It can significantly reduce the risk of a destabilizing nuclear competition in a troubled region and head off a potentially catastrophic military conflict over Iran's nuclear program," he said.
"A deal based on the understandings outlined by the two sides will clearly be a net-plus for nuclear nonproliferation," said Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy for the Arms Control Association, who has been closely tracking the talks.
"When and if fully negotiated and implemented, the multiyear arrangement will significantly extend the time it would take for Iran to amass enough bomb-grade uranium for weapons--to about 12 months--and for all practical purposes it will effectively block Iran's potential to produce plutonium for weapons," she said.
"Some critics of this deal may believe more pressure on Iran can coerce its leaders to dismantle its nuclear program or agree to better terms. That is a dangerous illusion. There is no better deal on the horizon. For over a decade, Iran has resisted pressure to dismantle its nuclear facilities. If Washington jeapordizes the talks or if Congress scuttles the deal, support for international sanctions will melt away, Iran will very likely rapidly expand its capacity to produce bomb-grade material and we would lose out on securing enhanced inspections needed to detect a clandestine weapons effort," Davenport said.
"The long road for an effective, comprehensive nuclear deal is far from over," Kimball cautioned.
"The P5+1 and Iranian negotiators must still finalize the remaining technical details, and the U.S. Congress must also help to strengthen, not undermine, this vital diplomatic effort," Kimball added.
"Lawmakers who want to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran and avoid the United States' involvement in another war in the region should refrain from moving legislation that could derail the ongoing talks and/or enable partisan in Congress who want to blow up an effective diplomatic solution," he warned.
The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.