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former IAEA Director-General

Iran Proliferation Issues

Timeline of Nuclear Diplomacy With Iran

August 2018

Contact: Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, (202) 463-8270 x102

Updated: July 2018

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, U.S. Secretary of State' John Kerry, and European Union High Representativ Catherine Ashton meet Sept. 25 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.Iran and six world powers known as the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) reached a historic nuclear deal on July 14, 2015 that limited Iran's nuclear program and enhanced monitoring in exchange for relief from nuclear sanctions. Prior to that, Iran had been engaged in efforts to acquire the capability to build nuclear weapons for more than two decades. Although it remained uncertain whether Tehran would have made the final decision to build nuclear weapons, it had developed a range of technologies, including uranium enrichment, warhead design, and delivery systems, that would give it this option in a relatively short time frame. Tehran maintains that its nuclear activities are entirely peaceful.

What follows is a chronological recount of the most significant developments in Iran’s nuclear program, international efforts to negotiate a settlement to address this controversial issue, and implementation of the agreement reached by Iran and the P5+1 on July 14, 2015.

 


Skip To: 1970's, 1980's, 1990's, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

 

November 1967: Iran’s first nuclear reactor, the U.S. supplied five-megawatt Tehran Research Reactor (TRR) goes critical. It operates on uranium enriched to about 93 percent (it is converted to run on 20 percent in 1993,) which the United States also supplies.

1970's

February 1970: The Iranian parliament ratifies the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

1974: Shah Reza Pahlavi establishes the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and announces plans to generate about 23,000 megawatts of energy over 20 years, including the construction of 23 nuclear power plants and the development of a full nuclear fuel cycle.

1979: The Iranian Revolution and the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran result in a severing of U.S.-Iranian ties and damages Iran’s relationship with the West. Iranian nuclear projects are halted.

1980's

January 19, 1984: The U.S. Department of State adds Iran to its list of state sponsors of terrorism, effectively imposing sweeping sanctions on Tehran.

1987: Iran acquires technical schematics for building a P-1 centrifuge from the Abdul Qadeer Khan network.

1990's

1992: Congress passes the Iran-Iraq Arms Nonproliferation Act of 1992, which prohibits the transfer of controlled goods or technology that might contribute “knowingly and materially” to Iran’s proliferation of advanced conventional weapons.

1993: Conversion of the TRR is completed by Argentina’s Applied Research Institute. It now runs on fuel enriched to just less than 20 percent, 115 kilograms of which is provided by Argentina; the contract for the conversion was signed in 1987.

August 5, 1996: The U.S. Congress passes the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, also known as the Iran Sanctions Act, that penalizes foreign and U.S. investment exceeding $20 million in Iran’s energy sector in one year.

2002

August 2002: The National Council of Resistance on Iran, the political wing of the terrorist organization Mujahideen-e Khalq (MeK), holds a press conference and declares Iran has built nuclear facilities near Natanz and Arak.

2003

 

September 12, 2003: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors adopts a resolution calling for Iran to suspend all enrichment – and reprocessing- related activities. The resolution requires Iran to declare all material relevant to its uranium-enrichment program and allow IAEA inspectors to conduct environmental sampling at any location. The resolution requires Iran to meet its conditions by October 31st 2003.

October 21, 2003: Iran agrees to meet IAEA demands by the October 31st deadline. In a deal struck between Iran and European foreign ministers, Iran agrees to suspend its uranium–enrichment activities and ratify an additional protocol requiring Iran to provide an expanded declaration of its nuclear activities and granting the IAEA broader rights of access to sites in the country.

2004

June 18, 2004: The IAEA rebukes Iran for failing to cooperate with IAEA inspectors. Iran responds by refusing to suspend enrichment-related activities as it had previously pledged.

November 14, 2004: Iran notifies the IAEA that it will suspend enrichment-related activities following talks with France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. According to the so-called Paris Agreement, Iran would maintain the suspension for the duration of talks among the four countries. As a result, the IAEA Board of Governors decides not to refer Tehran to the UN Security Council.

2005

February 27, 2005: Russia and Iran conclude a nuclear fuel supply agreement in which Russia would provide fuel for the Bushehr reactor it is constructing and Iran would return the spent nuclear fuel to Russia. The arrangement is aimed at preventing Iran from extracting plutonium for nuclear weapons from the spent nuclear fuel.

August 8, 2005: Iran begins producing uranium hexafluoride at its Isfahan facility. As a result, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom halt negotiations with Tehran.

September 24, 2005: The IAEA adopts a resolution finding Iran in noncompliance with its safeguards agreement by a vote of 22-1 with 12 members abstaining. The resolution says that the nature of Iran’s nuclear activities and the lack of assurance in their peaceful nature fall under the purview of the UN Security Council, paving the way for a future referral.

2006

February 4, 2006: A special meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors refers Iran to the UN Security Council. The resolution “deems it necessary for Iran to” suspend its enrichment-related activities, reconsider the construction of the Arak heavy-water reactor, ratify the additional protocol to its safeguards agreement, and fully cooperate with the agency’s investigation.

February 6, 2006: Iran tells the IAEA that it will stop voluntarily implementing the additional protocol and other non-legally binding inspection procedures.

April 11, 2006: Iran announces that it has enriched uranium for the first time. The uranium enriched to about 3.5 percent was produced at the Natanz pilot enrichment plant.

 

June 6, 2006: China, France, Germany, Russia the United Kingdom, and the United Sates (the P5+1, referring to the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) propose a framework agreement to Iran offering incentives for Iran to halt its enrichment program for an indefinite period of time.

July 31, 2006: The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 1696, making the IAEA’s calls for Iran to suspend enrichment –related and reprocessing activities legally binding for the first time.

August 22, 2006: Iran delivers a response to the P5+1 proposal, rejecting the requirement to suspend enrichment but declaring that the package contained “elements which may be useful for a constructive approach.”

December 23, 2006: The UN Security Council unanimously adopts Resolution 1737, imposing sanctions on Iran for its failure to suspend its enrichment-related activities. The sanctions prohibit countries from transferring sensitive nuclear- and missile-related technology to Iran and require that all countries freeze the assets of ten Iranian organizations and twelve individuals for their involvement in Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.

2007

March 24, 2007: The UN Security Council unanimously adopts Resolution 1747 in response to Iran’s continued failure to comply with the council’s demand to suspend Uranium enrichment.

August 21, 2007: Following three rounds of talks in July and August, the IAEA and Iran agree on a “work plan” for Iran to answer long-standing questions about its nuclear activities, including work suspected of being related to nuclear weapons development.

December 3, 2007: The United States publicly releases an unclassified summary of a new National Intelligence Estimate report on Iran’s nuclear program. The NIE says that the intelligence community judged “with high confidence” that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003 and assessed with moderate confidence that the program had not resumed as of mid-2007. The report defines Iran’s nuclear weapons program as “design and weaponization work” as well as clandestine uranium conversion and enrichment. The NIE also said that Iran was believed to be technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon between 2010 and 2015.

2008

March 3, 2008: The UN Security Council passes Resolution 1803, further broadening sanctions on Iran. It requires increased efforts on the part of member states to prevent Iran from acquiring sensitive nuclear or missile technology and adds 13 persons and seven entities to the UN blacklist.

June 14, 2008: The P5+1 present a new comprehensive proposal to Iran updating its 2006 incentives package. The new proposal maintained the same basic framework as the one in 2006, but highlighted an initial “freeze-for-freeze” process wherein Iran would halt any expansion of its enrichment activities while the UN Security Council agreed not to impose additional sanctions.

2009

February 3, 2009: Iran announces that it successfully carried out its first satellite launch, raising international concerns that Iran’s ballistic missile potential was growing.

April 8, 2009: Following an Iran policy review by the new Obama administration, the United States announces that it would participate fully in the P5+1 talks with Iran, a departure from the previous administration’s policy requiring Iran to meet UN demands first.

June 12, 2009: Iran holds presidential elections. Incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is declared the winner amid many indications that the election was rigged. This sparks weeks of protests within Iran and delays diplomatic efforts to address Iran’s nuclear program.

September 25, 2009: United States President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that Iran has been constructing a secret, second uranium-enrichment facility, Fordow, in the mountains near the holy city of Qom. IAEA spokesman Marc Vidricaire said that Iran informed the agency September 21 about the existence of the facility, but U.S. intelligence officials said Iran offered the confirmation only after learning that it had been discovered by the United States.

October 1, 2009: The P5+1 and Iran agree “in principle” to a U.S.-initiated, IAEA-backed, proposal to fuel the TRR. The proposal entails Iran exporting the majority of its 3.5 percent enriched Uranium in return for 20 percent-enriched uranium fuel for the TRR, which has exhausted much of its supply. This agreement was later met with domestic political opposition in Iran, resulting in attempts by Tehran to change the terms of the “fuel swap.”

2010

February 9, 2010: Iran begins the process of producing 20 percent enriched uranium, allegedly for the TRR.

May 17, 2010: Brazil, Iran, and Turkey issue a joint declaration attempting to resuscitate the TRR fuel-swap proposal. In the declaration, Iran agrees to ship 1,200 kilograms of 3.5 percent enriched uranium to Turkey in return for TRR fuel from France and Russia. France, Russia, and the United States reject the arrangement, citing Iran’s larger stockpile of 3.5 percent-enriched uranium and the failure of the declaration to address Iran’s enrichment to 20 percent.

June 9, 2010: The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 1929, significantly expanding sanctions against Iran. In addition to tightening proliferation-related sanctions and banning Iran from carrying out nuclear-capable ballistic missile tests, the resolution imposes an arms embargo on the transfer of major weapons systems to Iran.

June 24, 2010: Congress adopts the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act; tightening U.S. sanctions against firms investing in Iran’s energy sector, extending those sanctions until 2016, and imposing new sanctions on companies that sell refined petroleum to Iran.

July 26, 2010: The EU agrees to further sanctions against Iran. A statement issued by EU member state foreign ministers refers to the new sanctions as “a comprehensive and robust package of measures in the areas of trade, financial services, energy, [and] transport, as well as additional designations for [a] visa ban and asset freeze.

September 16, 2010: The Stuxnet computer virus is first identified by a security expert as a directed attack against an Iranian nuclear-related facility, likely to be the Natanz enrichment plant.

2011

January 21-22, 2011: Following a December meeting in Geneva, the P5+1 meets with Iran in Istanbul, but the two sides do not arrive at any substantive agreement. Iran’s two preconditions for further discussions on a fuel-swap plan and transparency measures, recognition of a right to enrichment and the lifting of sanctions, were rejected by the P5+1.

February 16, 2011: U.S. intelligence officials tell a Senate committee that Iran has not yet decided whether it wants to develop nuclear weapons but is keeping that option open through development of its material capabilities.

May 8, 2011: Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant begins operations and successfully achieves a sustained chain reaction two days later, according to Atomstroyexport, the Russian state-owned company constructing and operating the plant.

June 8, 2011: Iran announces that it intends to triple the rate of 20 percent-enriched uranium production using more-advanced centrifuge designs. It also says it will move production to the Fordow enrichment plant near Qom, which is still under construction.

July 12, 2011: Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov unveils a proposal wherein Iran would take steps to increase cooperation with the IAEA and carry out confidence-building measures in return for a gradual easing of sanctions.

October 21, 2011: EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, sends a letter to Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili calling for “meaningful discussions on concrete confidence-building steps” to address international concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

November 8, 2011: The IAEA releases a report detailing a range of activities related to nuclear weapons development in which Iran is suspected to have engaged as part of a structured program prior to 2004. The report raises concerns that some weapons-related activities occurred after 2003. The information in the report is based primarily on information received from other countries, but also includes information from the agency’s own investigation. The findings appear consistent with the U.S. 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran.

December 31, 2011: As part of the fiscal year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress passes legislation that will allow the United States to sanction foreign banks if they continue to process transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.

2012

January 2012: The EU passes a decision that will ban all member countries from importing Iranian oil beginning July 1, 2012. Other provisions of the decision will prevent member countries from providing the necessary protection and indemnity insurance for tankers carrying Iranian oil.

January 29-31, 2012: Following an exchange of letters between Iran and the IAEA, it was agreed that an Agency team would travel to Tehran to begin discussions on the IAEA’s investigations into the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program laid out in the November 2011 IAEA report.

February 15, 2012: Jalili responds to Ashton’s Oct. 21 letter, while Iran simultaneously announces a number of nuclear advances, including the domestic production of a fuel plate for the TRR.

April 14, 2012: Iran meets with the P5+1 in Istanbul for talks both sides call “positive.” They agree on a framework of continuing negotiations with a step-by-step process and reciprocal actions.

May 23-24, 2012: Iran and the P5+1 meet in Baghdad for a second set of talks.

June 18-19, 2012: Talks between Iran and the P5+1 continue in Moscow. Representatives discuss the substance of a P5+1 proposal and an Iranian proposal. Ashton and Jalili announce that will determine if political-level talks will continue after a technical-level meeting in July.

July 3, 2012: Experts representing the six parties meet in Istanbul to discuss the technical aspects of the P5+1 proposal and the Iranian proposal.

July 24, 2012: Schmid and Bagheri meet in Istanbul to discuss the outcome of the technical level experts meeting and confirm that Ashton and Jalili will talk to determine the future of the negotiations.

August 30, 2012: The IAEA reports that Iran increased the number of centrifuges installed at the Fordow enrichment plant and is continuing to produce uranium enriched to 20 percent in excess of its needs for the Tehran Research Reactor.

September 2012: Ashton and Jalili meet in Istanbul to assess “common points” reached at the low-level expert talks held in early July. The meeting was not considered a formal negotiation.

September 27, 2012: In a speech to the UN General Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu draws a red-line for an Israeli attack on Iran. Netanyahu defines his red-line as Iran amassing enough uranium enriched to 20 percent (approximately 250 kilograms), which, when further enriched, will be enough for one bomb.

November 16, 2012: The IAEA reports that since August, Iran completed installation of the approximately 2,800 centrifuges that Fordow is designed to hold, although the number enriching remains constant. The number of cascades producing 20 percent enriched uranium remains constant at Fordow. The report also notes that Iran installed more centrifuges at Natanz, and continued producing uranium enriched to 20 percent.

2013

February 26, 2013: Iran and the P5+1 resume negotiations in Almaty, Kazakhstan over Iran's nuclear program. The P5+1 offers Iran an updated proposal based largely on the 2012 package.

April 5-6, 2013: Iran and the P5+1 meet again in Almaty for a second round of talks. At the end of the meetings, negotiators announce that no further meetings are scheduled and the sides remain far apart.

June 3, 2013: At the quarterly meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors, Director General Yukiya Amano says that the agency's talks with Iran over clarifying the possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program have not made any progress.

June 14, 2013: Hassan Rouhani is elected president of Iran. A former nuclear negotiator, he asserts that Iran will maintain its nuclear program, but offers to be more transparent.

August 6, 2013: Three days after his inauguration, Iran's President Hasan Rouhani calls for the resumption of serious negotiations with the P5+1 on Iran's nuclear program.

September 26, 2013: The P5+1 foreign ministers meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on the sidelines on the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. Zarif presents the P5+1 with a new proposal that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry describes as “very different in the vision” of possibilities for the future. Zarif and Kerry meeting for a bilateral exchange after the larger group meeting. Zarif later says he and Kerry move to agree “first, on the parameters of the end game.” Zarif says Iran and the P5+1 will think about the order of steps that need to be implemented to “address the immediate concerns of [the] two sides” and move toward finalizing a deal within a year. The parties agree to meet again on October 15 in Geneva.

September 27, 2013: President Barack Obama calls Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, marking the highest level contact between the U.S. and Iran since 1979. While President Obama says that there will be significant obstacles to overcome, he believes a comprehensive resolution can be reached.

In Vienna, Iran's new envoy to the IAEA, Reza Najafi, meets with IAEA deputy director Herman Nackaerts to resume negotiations on the structured approach to resolving the agency's concerns about the possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program. Both sides describe the meeting as constructive and agree to meet again on October 28.

October 15-16, 2013: Iran and the P5+1 meet in Geneva to resume negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. At the end of the talks, the parties release a joint statement describing the meetings as "substantive and forward looking." The statement also says that Iran presented a new proposal that the P5+1 carefully considered as an "important contribution" to the talks. The proposal is understood to contain a broad framework for a comprehensive agreement and an interim confidence building measure to be instituted over the next 3-6 months, but no details are given as the parties agreed to keep the negotiations confidential.

Wendy Sherman, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, says after the talks that Iran approached the meetings "with a candor" she had not heard in her two years of negotiating with Tehran. The parties agree to meet again November 7-8 in Geneva with an experts level meeting October 30-31.

October 28-29, 2013: Iran meets with the IAEA to continue discussions over the agency's investigations into Iran's past nuclear activities with possible military dimensions. According to a joint statement, Iran presented a new proposal at the talks that contained "practical measures" to "strengthen cooperation and dialogue with a view to future resolution of all outstanding issues." Iran and the IAEA agree to meet again in Tehran on November 11.

November 7-10, 2013: The P5+1 and Iran meet in Geneva to continue negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. On November 8, with the expectation that a deal is close, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flies to Geneva to join the talks, as do the foreign ministers from the other P5+1 countries. The parties fail to reach an agreement on a first-phase deal, but announce that talks will continue on November 20 in Geneva.

Secretary Kerry says in Nov. 10 press conference that the parties "narrowed the differences" and made significant progress toward reaching an agreement during the talks.

November 11, 2013: IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano and Ali Akbar Salehi meet in Tehran to continue talks on an approach for the agency's investigations into Iran's past nuclear activities with possible military dimensions. Amano and Salehi sign a Framework for Cooperation Agreement. The framework lays out initial practical steps to be take by Iran within three months, including allowing IAEA access to the Heavy Water Production Plant at Arak and the Gchine uranium mine, and providing the agency with information on new research reactors and nuclear power plants that Iran intends to build. The statement commits the parties to cooperation "aimed at ensuring the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme through the resolution of all outstanding issues that have not already been resolved by the IAEA."

November 20-24, 2013: Iran and the P5+1 meet again in Geneva to continue negotiations. On November 23, the foreign ministers from the P5+1 join the negotiations. Early on November 24, Iranian Minister Javad Zarif and Catherine Ashton, leader of the P5+1 negotiating team, sign an agreement called the Joint Plan of Action. It lays out specific steps for each side in a six-month, first-phase agreement, and the broad framework to guide negotiations for a comprehensive solution.

The first-phase pauses further developments in Iran's nuclear program, rolls back significant elements like the stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium, and requires more extensive IAEA monitoring and access to nuclear sites. In return, Iran receives limited sanctions relief, repatriation of limited assets frozen abroad, and a commitment that no new nuclear-related sanctions will be imposed on Iran for the duration of the agreement. For more details on the agreement, click here.

The plan will establish a Joint Commission to monitor the agreement and work with the IAEA. The six month period can be extended by mutual consent of both parties.

December 8, 2013: Under the terms of the Framework for Cooperation Agreement the IAEA visits the Arak Heavy Water Production Plant.

December 9-12, 2013: The P5+1 and Iran meet in Geneva at the technical level to begin discussions on the implementation of the Nov. 24 Joint Plant of Action.

December 11, 2013: Iran and the IAEA meet again in Vienna to review progress made on the six actions that Iran agreed to take as part of the Framework for Cooperation Agreement. The parties also begin discussing the next practical steps for Iran to take and initially plan to meet again on Jan. 21 to finalize the measures. The meeting is later postponed at the request of Iran to Feb. 8.

December 30-31, 2013: Technical level discussions between Iran and the P5+1 on implementing the Joint Plan of Action continue in Geneva.

2014

January 9-10, 2014: Iran and the P5+1 meet for a third time in Geneva to discuss implementation. The parties reach an agreement and return to their respective capitals for approval.

January 12, 2014: Iran and the P5+1 announce that implementation of the Joint Plan of Action will begin on Jan. 20.

January 20, 2014: Implementation of the Joint Plan of Action begins. The IAEA issues a report on Iran's compliance with the deal. The report states that Iran is adhering to the terms of the agreement, including, halting enrichment of uranium to 20 percent, beginning to blend down half of the stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium to 3.5 percent, and halting work on the Arak Heavy Water Reactor. The IAEA also begins more intrusive and frequent inspections.

The United States and the European Union also issue statements saying they have taken the necessary steps to waive the specific sanctions outlined in the Nov. 24 deal and release a schedule of payments for Iran to receive oil money held up in the other countries.

February 9, 2014: Iran and the IAEA meet to discuss further actions for Iran to take under the November 11 framework agreement to resolve the agency’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. They agree on additional actions, including Iran’s past work on exploding bridgewire detonators, one of the past activities with possible military dimensions.

February 17-20, 2014: Negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 on the comprehensive agreement begin in Vienna. The parties agree on an agenda and framework to guide the talks

March 17-20, 2014: The P5+1 and Iran meet in Vienna to continue negotiations.

April 7-9, 2014: Another round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 take place in Vienna.

May 13-16, 2014: The P5+1 and Iran begin drafting the comprehensive agreement.

 

May 21, 2014: Iran and the IAEA announce an additional five actions for Iran to complete before August 25. Two of the activities that Iran agrees to provide information on relate to possible military dimensions.

June 2-6, 2014: At the IAEA board meeting Director General Yukiya Amano says that Iran is complying with the terms of the interim agreement and the agency's investigation into the unresolved concerns about Iran's nuclear program. The agency's quarterly report shows that Iran has neutralized nearly all of its stockpile of 20 percent uranium gas by dilution or conversion to powder form.

June 16-20, 2014: Iran and the P5+1 hold another round of negotiations in Vienna.

July 2-19, 2014: Iran and the P5+1 continue talks in Vienna on a comprehensive nuclear agreement. Early on June 19, the parties announce that they will extend the talks through November 24 and keep the measures agreed to in the interim agreement in place. The parties also announce additional actions that Iran will take, namely converting 25 kg of uranium powder enriched to 20 percent into fuel plates and blending down about 3 tons of uranium enriched to less than 2 percent. The P5+1 will also repatriate $2.8 billion in funds. The parties agree to resume talks in August.

August 25, 2014: Iran misses a deadline to complete actions on five areas of concern to the IAEA as part of the agreement that Iran and the agency reached in November 2013.

September 5, 2014: The IAEA's quarterly report on Iran's nuclear program shows that Iran is complying with the interim deal, but did not provide the IAEA with information about past activities with possible military dimensions (PMDs) by the Aug. 25 deadline.

September 18, 2014: Talks between Iran and the P5+1 resume in New York City on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Both sides say that little progress was made at the end of the talks.

October 14-16, 2014: Iran and the P5+1 meet in Vienna to continue negotiations. Officials say that they remain focused on reaching an agreement by the Nov. 24 deadline and progress was made during the talks.

November 9-10, 2014: Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State Kerry meet in Muscat, Oman to continue talks. P5+1 lead negotiator Catherine Ashton is also present.

November 18-24, 2014: Iran and the P5+1 meet in Vienna to continue negotiations on an comprehensive agreement. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry joins the talks on Nov. 20. French Foreign Minister Fabiusu, British Foreign Secretary Hammond, and German Foreign Minister Steinmeier all join the talks between Nov. 20 and 22. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov arrives on Nov. 23 and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang on Nov. 24.

November 24, 2014: Iran and the P5+1 announce that negotiations will be extended because progress was made on the difficult issues and both sides see a path forward. The parties announce that they now aim to reach a political agreement by March and then complete the technical annexes by June 30. Both sides will continue to implement the conditions of the interim Joint Plan of Action from November 2013. Iran and the P5+1 also make additional commitments.

December 15, 2014: Talks between the P5+1 and Iran continue in Geneva. U.S. State Department officials say the talks are "good and substantive." Parties plan to meet again in January.

December 24, 2014: Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says in a letter to his foreign counterparts that Iran’s goal remains to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal that assures the world its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.

2015

January 15-18, 2015: The P5+1 and Iran meet in Geneva to continue negotiations.

January 21, 2015: In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Jan. 21, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken says: "We assess that we still have a credible chance of reaching a deal that is in the best interest of America's security, as well as the security of our allies."  

January 23-24, 2015: Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman and European Union Political Director Helga Schmid meet again with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi in Zurich, Switzerland.

February 18-20, 2015: Talks between the P5+1 and Iran resume in Vienna.

February 19, 2015: A report by the Director General of the IAEA confirms that Iran is upholding its commitments under the interim deal, including additional provisions from the November 2014 extension. The report notes “Iran has continued to provide the Agency with managed access to centrifuge assembly workshops, centrifuge rotor production workshops and storage facilities.”

March 3, 2015: Prime Minister Netanyahu delivers a speech to a joint session of Congress. His speech claims that the Iran deal  “would all but guarantee that Iran gets [nuclear] weapons, lots of them.”

March 9, 2015: Senator Tom Cotton and 46 other senators sign an open letter to the Parliament of Iran. The letter warns that any deal reached without legislative approval could be revised by the next president “with the stroke of a pen.”

March 17-20, 2015: Talks between the P5+1 and Iran continue in Lausanne. The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, says to reporters "We have made progress on technical issues… One or two issues remain and need to be discussed."

March 25-April 2, 2015: Negotiations continue in Lausanne. By March 29, all of the Foreign Ministers from the seven countries involved and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini are present.

April 2, 2015: Iran and the P5+1 announce agreement on a general framework that outlines the broad parameters of a nuclear deal. The United States issues a more specific factsheet on the details. Iran and the P5+1 agree to continue meeting to finalize a deal before June 30.

April 14, 2015: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passes legislation authored by Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) that will require the President to submit the deal to Congress for a vote of approval or disapproval. According to the legislation, the President will not be able to waive sanctions during the 30 day Congressional review period.

April 15, 2015: Iran and the IAEA meet in Tehran to continue discussing the agency's investigations into the possibly military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program.

April 27, 2015: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif meet in New York on the sidelines of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference. Technical drafting work on the annexes of the agreement is underway.

May 7, 2015: The Senate passes the Corker legislation 98-1 on congressional review of an Iran nuclear deal.

May 12, 2015: EU and Iranian negotiators meet in Vienna to continue drafting a comprehensive agreement.

June 26, 2015: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Vienna to continue negotiations on a nuclear deal with Iran and the P5+1. U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz joins Kerry. 

July 14, 2015: Iran and the P5+1 announce a comprehensive deal. Iran and the IAEA announce a roadmap for the agency's investigation into the possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program.

July 19, 2015: The Obama administration sends the comprehensive deal and supporting documents to Congress, beginning the 60 day review period mandated by the Iran Nuclear Deal Review Act.

July 20, 2015: The UN Security Council unanimously passes a resolution endorsing the nuclear deal and the lifting of UN Security Council nuclear sanctions once key steps are taken in the deal.

August 15, 2015: The IAEA confirms that Iran submitted documents and explanations to answer the agency's unresolved concerns about past activities that could be related to nuclear weapons development.

September 2, 2015: The 34th Senator announces support for the nuclear deal with Iran, meaning that Congress will not have the support to override a presidential veto on a resolution disapproving of the deal.

September 8, 2015: Four additional Senators announce that they will support the nuclear deal with Iran, bringing the total number to 42. This important milestone will prevent the Senate from reaching the 60 vote threshold required for ending debate and moving to vote on a resolution of disapproval.

September 9, 2015: The IAEA announces that is submitted follow-up questions to Iran based on the information provided by Iran on Aug. 15. The IAEA is ahead of its Sept. 15 deadline to submit the questions.

September 10, 2015: A vote to end debate and move to vote on a resolution of disapproval fails to reach the required 60 votes on the Senate floor. The measure fails 58-42. Four democrats joined the 54 Republicans in favor of moving to vote on the resolution of disaproval. Similar votes fail on Sept. 15 and Sept. 17.

September 11, 2015: A vote on a resolution of approval fails in the House of Representatives, 269-162, with 25 Democrats voting joining the Republicans in voting against the measure.

September 17, 2015: The congressional review period ends without passage of a resolution of approval or a resolution of disapproval.

September 20, 2015: IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano and Deputy Director General Tero Varjoranta visit the Parchin site at Iran. The IAEA has concerns about Iran conducting explosive activities there relevant to a nuclear device. Amano and Varjoranta confirm that environmental sampling was done at the site under IAEA surveillance and the agency is now testing the samples.

October 4, 2015: A panel of Iranian lawmakers reviewing the JCPOA release their assessment of the deal. The report issued says that the agreement contains some security threats, such as allowing inspectors access to military sites, but should go ahead.

October 10, 2015: Iran tests a medium-range ballistic missile, the Emad. The Emad is a more precise version of the Shahab-3, believed to be capable of carrying a 750 kg payload over 1,700 kilometers. The test is a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1929 (2010), which prohibits Iran from testing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. 

October 10, 2015: Iran's parliament approves a preliminary bill supporting the Iran deal. 

October 13, 2015: Iran's parliament approves a detailed bill supporting the Iran deal.

October 14, 2015Iran's Guardian Council ratifies the bill approved by the parliament, completing Iran's internal review of the agreement. 

October 15, 2015: The IAEA announces the activities laid out in the July 14 roadmap for the investigation into the past possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program has been completed. The IAEA aims to complete its report by Dec. 15.  

October 18, 2015Iran and the P5+1 formally adopt the nuclear deal. Iran begins taking steps to restrict its nuclear program. The United States issues waivers on nuclear-related sanctions to come into effect on implementation day. The EU announces it passed legislation to lift nuclear-related sanctions on implementation day. 

October 18, 2015Iran notifies the IAEA of that it will provisionally implement its additional protocol and modified Code 3.1 to its safeguards agreement as of implementation day.

October 19, 2015The first meeting of the Joint Commission takes place in Vienna. One of the purposes of the meeting is to set up working groups called for under the deal, such as the working group on procurement and the Arak reactor modification.  

October 20, 2015The Supreme Leader issues a statement endorsing the nuclear deal and bill passed by the Iranian parliament. 

October 21, 2015The United States raises Iran's ballistic missile test as a possible violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1929 at a meeting of the Security Council. 

November 21, 2015Iran tests another medium-range ballistic missile in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1929. 

December 2, 2015: The IAEA issues its assessment of Iran's past activities related to nuclear weapons development (PMDs). The IAEA assess that Tehran had an organized weapons program prior to 2003 and that some activities continued, although not as an organized effort, through 2009. The report says that the agency has no credible indication that nuclear material was diverted from Iran's declared program or that any activities continued after 2009.

December 15, 2015: The IAEA Board of Governors holds a special meeting to consider the Dec. 2 report on Iran's weaponization activities. The board passes a resolution terminating past resolutions on Iran's nuclear program and ending the investigation. The board requests that the IAEA continue reporting on Iran's nuclear activities under the nuclear deal and report immediately on any concerns that arise with Iran's implementation.

December 28, 2015: Iran announces that it shipped 8.5 tonnes of low-enriched uranium, including the 20 percent enriched material in scrap and waste, out of the country to Russia. In return, Iran receives 140 tonnes of uranium yellowcake.

2016

January 11, 2016: Iranian officials announce that the Arak reactor core is being disabled. Iranian and P5+1 officials say that implementation day is close.

January 16, 2016The IAEA verifies that Iran met its nuclear related commitments. Based on the IAEA report, Zarif and Mogherini announce implementation day, triggering the lifting of sanctions. UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which the Council passed in July to endorse the deal and trigger the lifting of UN sanctions comes into effect. Prior resolutions on Iran's nuclear program are terminated. 

January 17, 2016: The U.S. Treasury Department issues an announcement that new sanctions will be imposed on 11 individuals and entities involved with Iran's ballistic missile programs. U.S. President Barack Obama says that with implementation of the nuclear deal Iran will not obtain nuclear weapons and that "the region, the United States, and the world will be more secure." Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gives a speech saying that "Iran's nuclear rights have been accepted by all." 

January 26, 2016Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, says that Iran and China had signed a basic agreement to formalize China’s assistance in redesigning the Arak reactor during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Iran the previous week. 

February 11, 2016: Abbas Qaidaari, director of the Defense and Security Studies Department at the Center for Strategic Studies in the Office of the Iranian President, writes in a piece for the Atlantic Council that “Iran’s strategic defense plan currently sees no justification” for missile ranges greater than 2,000-2,300 kilometers. Qaidaari said that although Tehran is committed to developing its “deterrent conventional defense capabilities,” it will limit its ballistic missiles to that range.

February 26, 2016The IAEA issues its first quarterly report on Iran's post-implementation day nuclear activities. The report notes that Iran is meeting its nuclear obligations, although it slightly exceeded a cap set on the stockpile of heavy water allowed under the agreement. The IAEA notes that Iran had 130.9 metric tons of heavy water, slightly above the 130 metric ton limit set by the deal, but shipped out 20 metric tons on February 24 to stay below the limit. 

March 9, 2016: Iran test launches two different variations of the Qadr medium-range ballistic missile. 

March 14, 2016U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power says she raised Iran's ballistic missile tests at a Security Council meeting, saying that the tests are inconsistent with UN Security Council Resolution 2231. 

March 15, 2016Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif defends Iran's missile launches saying that the missiles are permissible under UN Security Council Resolution 2231 because the missiles are not designed to be capable of carrying nuclear warheads. 

March 21, 2016: Then-candidate Trump delivers remarks to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference, noting his “number one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.”

April 22, 2016: Officials from Iran and the United States meet in Vienna, signing a purchase agreement for Washington to buy 32 metric tons of heavy water for $8.6 million. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif meet in New York to discuss implementation of the deal. In remarks after the meeting Kerry says that Washington is working to clarify confusion amongst foreign banks about the sanctions lifted in January. 

May 27, 2016The IAEA issues its quarterly report on Iran's implementation of the nuclear deal. The report shows Iran is abiding by restrictions under the agreement and inspectors have been able to access certain Iranian sites using complimentary access visits. 

July 18, 2016Iran's research and development plan for advanced centrifuge machines, leaked to the AP, is reported on in the press. 

July 29, 2016: In a statement, the IAEA notes it sent a letter to Iran denying it was the source of leaked information about Iranian plans for phasing in advanced centrifuges in 2027.

September 8, 2016: The IAEA releases its third quarterly report since JCPOA implementation day, showing Iran continues to abide by its restrictions under the JCPOA. The report notes that Iran removed 96 IR-1 centrifuges from the storage area at Natanz to replace damaged centrifuges that were enriching uranium.

September 21, 2016: The U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control grants Airbus and Boeing permission to sell planes to Iran. The licenses were made possible by sanctions waived as part of the JCPOA. 

September 22, 2016: Iran and the P5+1 meet in New York to review progress on JCPOA implementation and the pace of sanctions relief. The meeting marks the first ministerial-level meeting since the announcement of the deal’s implementation in January. Speaking to the UN General Assembly on the same day, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expresses concern over the slow pace of sanctions relief and claims the U.S. has been in lack of compliance.

September 26, 2016: Sergei Kireienko, head of Rosatom, the state-run Russian nuclear energy company, announces that Moscow purchased 38 tons of heavy-water from Iran. The material was delivered to Russia in mid-September.

November 2, 2016: IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano expresses concern to Iranian leaders regarding the size of Iran’s heavy water stock. On November 8th, the Agency confirms that Iran’s heavy water stock, at 130.1 tons, exceeds the 130 metric ton limit outlined in the deal, marking the second time Iran has exceeded the limit. On November 9th, Iran informs the IAEA of plans to remain in compliance by transferring heavy water out of the country.

November 8, 2016: Donald Trump is elected as the 45th President of the United States. During the presidential campaign, Trump referred to the JCPOA as the worst deal ever negotiated and pledged to renegotiate it. The U.S.’s European allies in the P5+1 previously signaled they would resist efforts to renegotiate the deal.

November 20, 2016: IAEA releases its fourth quarterly report on Iranian nuclear program since JCPOA implementation day. The report notes that Iran had 130.1 metric tons of heavy water, slightly over the 130 metric tons permitted under the deal. The IAEA report says Iran plans to transfer heavy water out of the country.

December 1, 2016: Congress passes a 10-year extension of the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA), which becomes law on December 15th. Extension of the ISA is consistent with U.S. obligations under the JCPOA, although many of the ISA’s provisions are being waived under Washington’s commitments under the agreement.

December 6, 2016: IAEA verifies that all 11 metric tons of heavy water shipped out of Iran have reached their destination and are in storage, bringing Iran back within the limit on heavy water of 130 metric tons established by the JCPOA.

December 13, 2016: President Rouhani announces Iran will respond to Washington’s extension of the Iran Sanctions Act by researching and developing nuclear propulsion for marine vessels.

December 15, 2016: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reissues sanctions waivers early, on the same day that the ISA renewal comes into effect, to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to the JCPOA.

December 18, 2016: IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano visits Iran, meeting with President Rouhani and Ali Akhbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization. Amano and Salehi discussed issues related to implementation. Further, Amano sought clarification on Iran’s announcement regarding naval nuclear reactor research and development.

December 23, 2016: The IAEA, at the request of Federica Mogherini, circulates decisions made by the Joint Commission set up to oversee implementation of the nuclear deal. The documents contain additional information on hot cells, recovering waste uranium, describing and calculating efficiency for advanced centrifuges, and utilizing the procurement channel.  

2017

January 12, 2017: In his confirmation hearing for the position of Secretary of Defense, General Jim Mattis tells Congress that, while he believes the JCPOA is an imperfect agreement, “when America gives her word, we have to live up to it and work with our allies.” His remarks echo a previous statement in April, when he noted there is “no going back” on the deal absent a clear violation of the agreement.

Iran receives the first shipment in an order of 100 planes purchased from Airbus. Sanctions waived as part of the nuclear deal allow Iran to purchase new commercial aircraft.

January 15, 2017: IAEA verifies that Tehran has taken certain steps to remove infrastructure and excess centrifuges from Fordow within the necessary timeframe required by the JCPOA (one year after Implementation Day). Secretary of Energy Moniz releases a statement noting “Iran successfully met the milestone of removing excess centrifuges and infrastructure from Fordow, demonstrating that the deal continues to limit Iran’s nuclear program so as to provide confidence that Iran is not developing a nuclear weapon and maintain at least a one year breakout time.”

January 28, 2017: Iran test fires a medium-range ballistic missile, in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 2231. The test prompts former NSA Michael Flynn, on February 1, to declare the United States has placed Iran “on notice.”

February 9, 2017: EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini travels to Washington for meetings with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and members of Congress. Mogherini notes that the JCPOA is key for the security of Europe given its geographic proximity to Iran.

February 24, 2017: IAEA releases its first quarterly report on Iranian nuclear activity in 2017, reporting on the size of Iran’s stockpile of uranium enriched to 3.67 percent for the first time. The report notes that the stockpile was 101.7 kilograms. The limit established by the deal is 300 kilograms.

March 23, 2017: Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) introduces a new Iran sanctions bill, the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017, targeting Iran’s ballistic missile program and support for terrorism.

March 31, 2017: Former Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken and six former Obama administration officials release an op-ed in Foreign Policy outlining their opposition to the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017.

April 18, 2017: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in a letter to speaker of the House Paul Ryan, certifies to Congress that Iran is compliant in meeting its obligations under the JCPOA.

April 23, 2017: Iran and China resolve a price dispute and complete an agreement to modify Iran’s Arak reactor. China will work with Iran to carry out modifications stipulated by the JCPOA to reduce the reactor’s output of weapons-grade plutonium.  

May 16, 2017: Ambassador Wendy Sherman, the lead U.S. negotiator for the JCPOA, states her opposition to the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017, noting its potential to undermine the nuclear accord.

May 17, 2017: The U.S. renews sanctions waivers as required by its JCPOA obligations, marking the first time the Trump administration has waived sanctions and taken a proactive step to implement the deal.

May 19, 2017: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is re-elected to a second term. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini congratulates Rouhani on Twitter and reaffirms the EU’s commitment to full JCPOA implementation.

June 2, 2017: The IAEA releases its second quarterly report in 2017 on Iran’s implementation of the JCPOA, reporting that Iran is meeting its obligations under the nuclear deal. 

June 15, 2017: Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017 (S.722) passes the Senate by a vote of 98-2. The bill was amended to correct sections that violated the JCPOA, but Iran continued to assert that the bill contradicts the spirit of the deal. 

June 20, 2017: The UN Secretary General releases the biannual report on UN Security Council Resolution 2231, affirming that Iran is complying with the JCPOA but raising concerns about Iran’s ballistic missile activity. 

July 10, 2017: White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that at the G20 summit, President Trump encouraged foreign leaders not to do business with Iran, which Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif later cited as a failure on the part of the United States to “implement its part of the bargain” in an interview

July 17, 2017: The Trump administration reluctantly certifies Iran's compliance with the JCPOA, delaying the announcement for hours and issuing new non-nuclear sanctions on Iran the next day.  

July 21, 2017: The Joint Commission of the JCPOA meets for the sixth time to address the implementation of the agreement. 

July 25, 2017: The U.S. House of Representatives passes H.R. 3364, the Countering Adversarial Nations Through Sanctions Act, which would impose new sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia. 

August 31, 2017: In its third quarterly report, the IAEA finds that as of Aug. 21, Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium was 88.4 kg (194.89 pounds), well below a 202.8-kg limit, and the level of enrichment did not exceed a 3.67 percent cap. Iran’s stock of heavy water, stood at 111 tons, below the 130 ton limit.

September 20, 2017: The foreign ministers of China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly for the ministerial meeting of the E3/EU+3 and Iran. In remarks following the meeting, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini states that all agreed that all sides are implementing the JCPOA.

September 22, 2017: Iran parades its new medium-range ballistic missile tested in January, the Khoramshahr, with a range of about 2,000 km, in a military parade.

October 13, 2017: Trump declares that, as part of a broader new strategy toward Iran, he will not certify under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA) that the suspension of sanctions under the JCPOA is "appropriate and proportionate" to measures taken by Iran under the deal. Trump's decertification itself does not violate the JCPOA. However, decertification opens up a window of 60 days where Congress may re-introduce sanctions waived under the nuclear deal with Iran under an expedited process. In his address, Trump encourages Congress to enact legislation against the JCPOA's "sunset clauses" which set dates after which certain restrictions under the deal on Iran's nuclear program will no longer apply. Trump says if his concerns about the deal are not resolved he will terminate the agreement.

Trump also states that he will further sanction the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for its support for terrorism, but does not designate the group as a terrorist organization.

Immediately following the announcement, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron released a joint statement expressing their continued support for the JCPOA.

November 13, 2017: The IAEA issues its fourth quarterly report for 2017 on Iran's implementation of the JCPOA. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano tells the agency's Board of Governors that the nuclear-related commitments are being implemented and that IAEA inspectors have had access to all locations they have needed to visit.

December 13, 2017: The JCPOA Joint Commission meets for the seventh time to oversee the implementation of the agreement.

December 15, 2017: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres issues the biannual report on the implementation of Resolution 2231. The report notes that the nuclear deal is being implemented but finds that Iran has violated the arms embargo provisions of Resolution 2231. The report also notes that the secretariat is continuing to investigate allegations that ballistic missiles launched at Saudi Arabia from Yemen were transferred by Iran to the Houthis in violation of 2231. Iran denies the claims.

2018

January 12, 2018: The Trump administration announces that it will re-issue waivers on nuclear-related sanctions on Iran to meet U.S. obligations under the agreement. However, Trump says he will not re-issue the waivers again and will withdraw from the deal unless Congress passes legislation addressing what he describes as flaws in the agreement. Trump says his administration is also engaging with European allies on a supplemental agreement of unlimited duration that would impose sanctions if Iran tests long-range missiles, thwarts inspections, or makes progress toward a nuclear weapon.

January 26, 2018: The UN panel of experts assessing implementation of sanctions on Yemen finds Iran in noncompliance with its obligations under the arms embargo established by Resolution 2216. The report notes that Iran did not take "necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer” of short-range ballistic missiles and other equipment. Iran disputes the report and argues that the evidence is fabricated.

February 22, 2018: The IAEA issues its first quarterly report for 2018 on Iran's implementation of the JCPOA. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano tells the agency's Board of Governors that the nuclear-related commitments are being implemented and that IAEA inspectors have had access to all locations they have needed to visit. As of Feb. 12, 2018, the quantity of Iran’s uranium enriched up to 3.67% U-235 was 109.5 kg. The report notes that Iran informed the agency of its intention to pursue naval nuclear propulsion in the future.

March 15, 2018: State Department Director of Policy Planning Brian Hook meets with representatives from the E3 (France, Germany, and the UK) in Berlin to continue discussions on the JCPOA and Trump's demand for a 'supplemental' agreement with the Europeans that addresses sunsets, ballistic missiles, and inspections.

March 16, 2018: The JCPOA Joint Commission meets to oversee implementation of the agreement.

March 19, 2018: EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council that the EU is not considering new sanctions on Iran's ballistic missile activities, amid reports that the E3 are developing such measures.

April 11, 2018: Political directors from the E3 (France, Germany, and the UK) and the United States meet in Washington, DC to continue talks on Trump's demand for a supplemental agreement that addresses sunsets, ballistic missiles, and inspections. 

April 11, 2018: China and Iran hold a seminar on civil nuclear cooperation under the JCPOA in Beijing. 

April 19, 2018: 500 British, French and German parliamentarians urge U.S. members of Congress to help "keep the JCPOA alive" in a letter.

April 24, 2018: U.S. President Trump hosts French President Emmanuel Macron for his first state visit. Macron reports having very frank discussions with Trump about the JCPOA and said that he and President Trump had agreed to work on a "new deal" that keeps the JCPOA, but incorporates additional measures, including on Iranian ballistic missiles.

May 8, 2018: President Trump announces that he is withdrawing the United States from the JCPOA and signs a presidential memorandum to institute the "highest level" of economic sanctions on Iran. In a statement, Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin states that sanctions will be reimposed subject to certain 90 day and 180 day "wind-down periods." In an address following Trump's announcement Iranian President Rouhani announces that Iran will continue negotiations with the other states in the agreement in order to try to continue the deal without the United States. British Prime Minister May, German Chancellor Merkel and French President Macron re-state their continued commitment to the deal and pledge to work with all parties to make sure its terms are upheld. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini states that the EU is committed to the JCPOA as long as Iran continues to implement its nuclear related commitments, as it has so far.

May 15, 2018: EU High Representative Federica Mogherini meets with the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, and the three European countries and Iran in two separate meetings to discuss future coordinated work following the U.S. violation of the JCPOA. They agree to "launch intensive expert discussions" to find practical solutions to the following issues in the next few weeks:

  • "Maintaining and deepening economic relations with Iran;
  • The continued sale of Iran's oil and gas condensate petroleum products and petrochemicals and related transfers;
  • Effective banking transactions with Iran;
  • Continued sea, land, air and rail transportation relations with Iran;
  • The further provision of export credit and development of special purpose vehicles in financial banking, insurance and trade areas, with the aim of facilitating economic and financial cooperation, including by offering practical support for trade and investment;
  • The further development and implementation of Memoranda of Understanding and contracts between European companies and Iranian counterparts;
  • Further investments in Iran;
  • The protection of European Union economic operators and ensuring legal certainty; 
  • And last but not least, the further development of a transparent, rules-based business environment in Iran."

May 17, 2018: The European Commission meets in Sofia and announces that it will pursue a "blocking statute" to ban European companies and courts from complying with U.S. sanctions against Iran.

May 21, 2018: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo presents the Trump administration's new strategy on Iran after the U.S. violation of the JCPOA in a speech at the Heritage Foundation, promising to "apply unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime" and work with allies to deter Iranian aggression. If the United States were to pursue a new deal, Pompeo lists 12 demands for Iran, including stopping enrichment, ending the proliferation of ballistic missiles and the development of nuclear-capable missile systems and allowing the International Atomic Energy Agency to have "unqualified access to all sites throughout the entire country." In exchange, the United States would be prepared to end "the principal components of every one of our sanctions against the regime," as well as re-establish full diplomatic and commercial relationships and allow Iran to have "advanced technology."

May 24, 2018: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that Iran is implementing all nuclear related commitments under the JCPOA in a quarterly report. Iran’s stockpile of uranium enriched to 3.67 percent uranium-235 is 123.9 kg, below the 300 kg limit set by the accord, according to the report. The report notes that Iran is implementing the Additional Protocol but that “timely and proactive cooperation by Iran in providing such access would facilitate implementation of the Additional Protocol and enhance confidence.”

June 6, 2018: Iran opens a new facility for centrifuge production, an act which does not violate the JCPOA. Reza Najafi, Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA, tells press June 6 that the decision to open the facility is the “preparatory works for a possible scenario” if the JCPOA fails and reiterated that Iran will not start “any activities contrary to the JCPOA” at this time.

The European Commission adopts an update of the Blocking Statute to include extraterritorial sanctions that the United States re-imposed on Iran and an update of the European Investment Bank (EIB)'s External Lending Mandate to make Iran eligible for investment activities by the EIB. "These measures are meant to help protecting the interests of EU companies investing in Iran and to demonstrate the EU's commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)," reads a European Commission press release

July 6, 2018: The JCPOA Joint Commission meets in Vienna and releases a statement on "the way forward to ensure the continued implementation of the JCPOA in all its aspects following the withdrawal of the United States from the deal." 

July 16, 2018: EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini confirms at a press conference that the United States refused a request by France, Germany, the UK and the EU to exempt entities doing legitimate business with Iran from U.S. sanctions penalties.

July 18, 2018: Iran's head of the Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, announces that Iran built a new factory to produce rotors for up to 60 IR-6 centrifuges a day. Salehi says building the facility does not violate the JCPOA.

July 26, 2018: Ten Republican Senators write a letter to the French, German, and British ambassadors to the United States urging compliance with the sanctions reimposed by Trump and warning against efforts to block or circumvent the measures. The letter says it would be "particularly troubling if you sought to evade or undermine American statutes" and doing so "could well prompt Congressional action." 

August 6, 2018: In a joint statement the EU, French, German, and British foreign ministers say they "deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the US" and note that they are "determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran, in accordance with EU law and with UN Security Council resolution 2231." They reiterate that preserving the JCPOA is a "matter of respecting international agreements and a matter of international security." 

August 7, 2018: Certain sanctions measures reimposed by Trump May 8 come into full effect. The measures include restricting Iran's purchase of U.S. dollars, trade in gold, precious metals, aluminum, steel, coal, software, and transactions related to sovereign debt and the automotive sector. Licenses allowing certain foodstuffs to be exported to the United States and Iran to purchase commercial aircraft are also revoked. 

Updated by Alicia Sanders-Zakre

Nuclear/Ballistic Missile Nonproliferation

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Posted: August 6, 2018

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) at a Glance

May 2018

Contact: Kelsey Davenport, Director of Nonproliferation Policy, (202) 463-8270 x102

May 2018

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a detailed, 159-page agreement with five annexes reached by Iran and the P5+1 (China France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) on July 14, 2015. The nuclear deal was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, adopted on July 20, 2015. Iran’s compliance with the nuclear-related provisions of the JCPOA will be verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) according to certain requirements set forth in the agreement. On May 8, 2018, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the JCPOA and reinstate U.S. nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime. 

The following is a summary of the timeline and key components of the multi-year agreement.

Timeline for Implementation

July 14, 2015, Finalization Day: conclusion of the agreement. Finalization day triggers Iran and the United States to begin domestic review processes of the JCPOA. Iran also begins providing the IAEA with information necessary for the agency to complete its investigation into past activities related to nuclear weapons development. 

October 18, 2015, Adoption Day: 90 days after the passage of the UN Security Council Resolution endorsing the deal (July 20, 2015). Adoption day triggers Iran and the P5+1 to take steps (outlined below) to meet the commitments to fully implement the JCPOA. 

 January 16, 2016, Implementation Day: the IAEA certifies that Iran has taken the key steps to restrict its nuclear program and has put in place increased monitoring. The IAEA's report on implementation day triggers U.S., EU, and UN sanctions relief. 

  • October 2023, Transition Day: Eight years after adoption day (or the IAEA reaching its broader conclusion on Iran's nuclear program, whichever is sooner). Adoption day triggers the UN to lift missile restrictions, Iran to seek ratification of its additional protocol, the EU to terminate all remaining nuclear sanctions, United States to remove certain entities from the sanctioned list, and the United States to seek legislative termination of certain sanctions.
  • October 2025, Termination Day: Ten years after adoption day. Termination day terminates Resolution 2231 and the Security Council closes Iran's nuclear file. 

 

 

Strategic Arms Control and Policy

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Posted: May 9, 2018

UN Security Council Resolutions on Iran

August 2017

Contact: Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, (202) 463-8270 x102

Updated: August 2017

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has adopted seven resolutions as part of international efforts to address Iran’s nuclear program, although only one is in effect today. When Iran and the P5+1 reached a comprehensive nuclear deal on July 14, 2015, the UN Security Council endorsed the deal and put in place measures to lift UN sanctions that targeted Iran's nuclear program. The resolution, 2231,retained some restrictions on ballistic missile activities and arms sales. It was passed on July 20, 2015 by a unanimous vote.

The central demand in the first six resolutions was that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment program, as well as undertake several confidence-building measures outlined in a February 2006 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors resolution - including reconsidering the construction of its heavy-water reactor and ratifying the IAEA Additional Protocol. The council initially laid out these calls in a nonbinding Security Council presidential statement adopted in March 2006. (See ACT, April 2006.)

Almost all the resolutions were adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, making most of the provisions of the resolutions legally binding on Iran, or all UN member states. Four of them included a series of progressively expansive sanctions on Iran and or Iranian persons and entities. The sanctions represented one track in a “dual-track approach” pursued by the permanent five members of the council and Germany (the so-called P5+1), to address Iran’s nuclear program. The other track involved a series of proposals to reach a negotiated settlement. (See History of Proposals on the Iranian Nuclear Issue.) Details on the first six resolutions can be found below the information for Resolution 2231.

UN Security Council Resolutions Quick Links

Resolution 1696 (2006)

Resolution 1737 (2006)

Resolution 1747 (2007)

Resolution 1803 (2008)

Resolution 1835 (2008)

Resolution 1929 (2010)

Resolution 2231 (2015)

Security Council Resolution 2231

On July 20, 2015, the UN Security Council unanimously passed resolution 2231. 

The full text of Resolution 2231 is available here. 

Resolution 2231's Principal Provisions

This resolution endorsed the comprehensive nuclear deal (known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) reached between Iran and the P5+1 on July 14, 2015, and laid the groundwork for the Security Council to lift nuclear-related sanctions on Iran when Tehran completed key steps under the deal that restricted its nuclear activities. Iran met the requirements in January 16, 2016.

Resolution 2231 retains the arms embargo on Iran for five years after implementation and the sanctions on Iran's ballistic missile program for eight years. Both could be lifted earlier if the IAEA reaches a determination about Iran’s nuclear program known as the Broader Conclusion. These sanctions are "nuclear-related" as they were put in place under Resolution 1929. Iran is also “called upon” not to undertake activities on ballistic missiles designed to be nuclear-capable.

The resolution requests that if states engage in the sale of dual-use materials to Iran, they use the procurement channel application process set up by the JCPOA to regulate Iran's imports of these materials.

Resolution 2231 also requests that the IAEA undertake the necessary monitoring and verification to implement the deal.

Resolution 2231's Monitoring Mechanisms

The resolution also puts in place language laying out the procedure to reimpose UN sanctions.

The Security Council resolution requests reports from the IAEA on implementation of the deal and the agency's efforts to reach a broader conclusion about Iran's nuclear program. The Resolution also requests reports every six months from the UN Secretary General on implementation of Resolution 2231. 

Prior UN Security Council Resolutions

Security Council Resolution 1696

On July 31, 2006, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1696 under Article 40 of the UN Charter. Fourteen countries voted in favor of the resolution; only Qatar voted against it.

The full text of Resolution 1696 is available here.

Resolution 1696’s Principal Provisions

In Resolution 1696, the council called on Tehran to suspend its enrichment program and verify its compliance with the IAEA Board of Governor’s requirements. It encouraged Iran to take these steps as confidence building measures.

The resolution expressed the council’s “intention…to adopt appropriate measures under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations” if Iran did not cooperate. However, such measures would not be adopted automatically. The resolution underlined that the council must undertake “further decisions…should such additional measures be necessary.”

The first Security Council resolution to address the Iranian nuclear program, Resolution 1696 did not contain sanctions, but was the basis for future sanctions resolutions Specifically it:

  • Demanded that Iran suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the IAEA.
  • Called on states to follow their existing domestic law and international law to “exercise vigilance and prevent the transfer of any items, materials, good and technology that could contribute to Iran’s enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and ballistic missile programmes.”

The resolution warned Iran that its failure to comply by August 31, 2006 could result in punitive Security Council measures, such as economic sanctions.

Resolution 1696’s Monitoring Mechanisms

The resolution called for a report from the Director General of the IAEA by August 31 on Iran’s compliance with this resolution.

Security Council Resolution 1737

On December 23, 2006, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1737 unanimously under Article 41 of the UN Charter in response to Iran’s failure to comply with Resolution 1696.

The full text of Resolution 1737 is available here.

Resolution 1737’s Principal Provisions

The resolution echoed the principal provisions of Resolution 1696, requiring Iran to suspend uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities, and to take other confidence-building measures. In addition, Resolution 1737:

  • Obligated Iran to suspend work on its heavy-water reactor projects rather than just reconsider them.
  • Called on Iran to ratify the IAEA’s Additional Protocol.

Resolution 1737’s Sanctions

The resolution imposed sanctions against both the state of Iran and Iranian individuals and entities deemed to be providing support for Iran’s proliferation-related activities.

Resolution 1737 decided that all states should:

  • Prevent the supply, sale, or transfer of designated nuclear and ballistic missile-related goods to Iran to ensure that Iran cannot employ the designated goods in its enrichment-related, reprocessing, or heavy water-related activities, or its development of nuclear weapon delivery systems.
  • Refrain from providing technical or financial assistance, training, or resources related to certain nuclear and ballistic missile-related goods.
  • Refrain from importing designated nuclear and ballistic missile-related items from Iran.

Three provisions in Resolution 1737 targeted Iranian individuals and entities by calling on states to:

  • Exercise vigilance regarding the entry into their territory of individuals engaged in Iran’s nuclear or ballistic missile activities.
  • Freeze the funds, financial assets, and economic resources of designated individuals who are involved with Iran’s nuclear programs.
  • Preventing the “specialized teaching or training of Iranian nationals” of subjects that would enhance Iran’s nuclear goals.

The resolution did permit states to export nuclear and ballistic missile-related goods that are not itemized in the resolution’s control lists if: certain guidelines were followed, end-user controls were put in place, and the 1737 Committee was notified. It was also necessary for states to notify the IAEA to export certain nuclear and ballistic missile-related materials to Iran.

Resolution 1737’s Monitoring Mechanisms

Resolution 1737 set out numerous measures to monitor compliance with the resolution. In paragraph 18 it established a Committee (known as the 1737 Committee) to oversee the implementation of the resolution’s key provisions. A subsequent paragraph required states to furnish reports to the Committee detailing their compliance with the resolution.

In addition, the Director General of the IAEA was required to report to the IAEA Board of Governors and to the Security Council within 60 days of the resolution being issued on whether Iran had suspended its enrichment and heavy water-related activities. The UNSC then reviewed Iran’s actions based on the findings of that report. It was then incumbent upon the council to decide to either suspend or terminate the resolution’s sanctions if Iran complied with them. In the event that Iran had not complied with the sanctions, the Security Council was empowered to adopt further measures as it saw fit.

Security Council Resolution 1747

On March 24, 2007, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1747 unanimously under Article 41 of the UN Charter.

The full text of Resolution 1747 is available here.

Resolution 1747’s Principal Provisions

This resolution was adopted as a result of Iran’s failure to comply with the previous two resolutions. It called on Iran to take the steps required by the IAEA Board of Governors and outlined in Resolution 1737 to verify that its nuclear program has only peaceful purposes. Resolution 1747 also encourages Iran to consider the June 2006 proposals to reach a long-term comprehensive agreement with the P5+1.

Resolution 1747’s Sanctions

The resolution repeated and enhanced some of the key sanctions from Resolution 1737 while also introducing some new measures.

Resolution 1747 enhanced its predecessor’s sanctions by:

  • Calling on states to exercise “restraint” (in addition to the “vigilance” called for in 1737) regarding the entry of persons into their territory associated with Iran’s nuclear program. Resolution 1747 added further names to the list of individuals entering their territory who must be reported to the 1737 Committee.
  • Requiring states to freeze the “funds, other financial assets and economic resources” of 28 additional individuals and entities.
  • Expanding the list of items prohibited for export to or import from Iran to include any arms or related material.

Resolution 1747 also introduced the following new sanctions:

  • Called on states to “exercise vigilance and restraint” in the supply, sale, or transfer of major military weapons systems and related material to Iran, as well as the provision of any technical assistance, financial assistance, or other service related to the provision of these items.
  • Called on states and international financial institutions “not to enter into new commitments for grants, financial assistance, and concessional loans” with the Iranian government unless for humanitarian or developmental purposes.

Resolution 1747’s Monitoring Mechanisms

Like its predecessor, all states were required to report to the 1737 Committee within 60 days of Resolution 1747’s adoption on the steps taken to implement it. Also within 60 days, the Director General of the IAEA was instructed to furnish a report on Iran’s compliance with the resolution to both the IAEA Board of Governors and to the Security Council.

Security Council Resolution 1803

On March 3, 2008, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1803 with 14 of the council’s 15 members voting in favor. Indonesia abstained from the vote stating that it “remain[ed] to be convinced of the efficacy of adopting additional sanctions” against Iran.

The full text of Resolution 1803 is available here.

Resolution 1803’s Principal Provisions

This resolution was adopted as a response to Iran’s decision not to comply with any of the previous resolutions. It reiterates the council’s desire that Iran halt its enrichment program and urges Iran to comply with the IAEA.

Resolution 1803’s Sanctions

Resolution 1803 enhanced the previous sanctions on individuals and entities involved with Iran’s nuclear program by:

  • Augmenting the list of people that states must report to the 1737 Committee if they enter their territory.
  • Requiring states, for the first time, to “prevent the entry into or transit through their territories” of designated individuals involved in pursuing Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
  • Expanding the number of individuals subjected to frozen funds, financial assets, and economic resources.

Resolution 1803 also outlines sanctions that apply directly to the Iranian state, by:

  • Broadening the scope of restrictions on the supply, sale, or transfer of nuclear and ballistic missile-related items to Iran established in Resolution 1737 and setting down new provisions to prevent Iran from developing its nuclear program.
  • Calling on states to be vigilant “in entering new commitments for public provided financial support for trade with Iran,” lest such support be used by Iran to pursue its nuclear weapons ambitions.
  • Calling on states to “exercise vigilance over the activities of financial institutions in their territories with all banks domiciled in Iran,” to prevent such activities from enhancing Iran’s nuclear program.
  • Calling on states to inspect cargo going to or from Iran on aircraft and vessels owned or operated by Iran Air Cargo and Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line, where they have reasonable grounds for suspecting the cargo consists of goods prohibited under resolutions 1737, 1747, or 1803.

Resolution 1803’s Monitoring Mechanisms

Like its predecessors, Resolution 1803 set out a number of reporting mechanisms that states and the Director General of the IAEA were to fulfill to monitor compliance with this resolution. Echoing previous resolutions, Resolution 1803 required states to file reports with the 1737 Committee within 60 days of being issued, detailing the steps taken to implement the resolution.

It also requested the Director General of the IAEA to submit a report to the IAEA Board of Governors and to the Security Council within 90 days of the resolution’s adoption, stating the extent to which Iran had complied with Resolutions 1737, 1747 and 1803. Upon receiving the Director General’s report, the Security Council was empowered to suspend, terminate or extend the sanctions in place against Iran as deemed appropriate.

Resolution 1803 extended the 1737 Committee’s scope from overseeing the implementation of only Resolution 1737 to also overseeing the implementation of Resolutions 1747 and 1803. 

This resolution also introduced a requirement that states must report to the Security Council when they inspect the cargo of an Iranian aircraft or vessel. The report must be filed within five working days of the inspection and it must detail “the grounds for the inspection, as well as information on its time, place circumstances, results and other relevant details.”

Security Council Resolution 1835

Resolution 1835 was unanimously adopted on September 27, 2008.

The full text of Resolution 1835 is available here. 

Resolution 1835’s Principal Provisions

In contrast to its predecessors, Resolution 1835 was not adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, nor did it set out new provisions that Tehran was required to comply with. Instead, it simply reaffirmed the four previous resolutions, as well as a statement made by the Security Council’s President on March 29, 2006. It then reaffirmed the council’s commitment “to an early negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.”

Resolution 1835’s Sanctions

This resolution did not outline new sanctions against Iran.

Resolution 1835’s Monitoring Mechanisms

This resolution did not outline new monitoring mechanisms.

Security Council Resolution 1929

On June 9, 2010, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1929, with 12 countries voting in favor, Brazil and Turkey voting against, and Lebanon abstaining.

The full text of Resolution 1929 is available here.

Resolution 1929’s Principal Provisions

The resolution reiterated the UNSC’s demands from previous resolutions that Iran halt all enrichment activity and other activities related to nuclear weapons development.

Resolution 1929’s Sanctions

This resolution, the sixth round of sanctions against Iran, included:

  • Banning Iran from investing in nuclear and missile technology abroad, including investment in uranium mining. 
  • Establishing a complete arms embargo on Iran, banning the sale of “battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems” to Iran.
  • Prohibiting Iran from undertaking any activity related to ballistic missiles. The resolution requires states to take necessary measures to prevent technology relevant to ballistic missiles from reaching Iran.  It also updates the list of items banned for transfer to and from Iran. 

Resolution 1929 also subjected Iran to a new inspection regime designed to detect and stop Iranian smuggling.  States are:

  • Called upon to inspect vessels on their territory that are suspected of carrying Iranian prohibited cargo, and are expected to comply with these rules on the high seas, including disposing of confiscated Iranian prohibited cargo. 
  • Required to refuse services to ships that are not in compliance with these sanctions.

Lastly, this resolution included financial sanctions targeting Iran’s ability to finance proliferation activities by:

  • Subjecting three companies related to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, 15 IRGC-related companies and 40 other Iranian companies to an asset freeze.

Further, states were:

  • Requested to report any circumventing of sanctions by Iran. 
  • Required to obligate their citizens and corporations to “exercise vigilance” when doing business with Iran or Iranian entities that contribute to proliferation efforts. 
  • Called upon to limit their interactions with Iranian financial institutions.

Resolution 1929’s Monitoring Mechanisms

Resolution 1929 requested that the Secretary-General create a panel of eight experts to “assist the Committee in carrying out its mandate” and “make recommendations on actions the Council, or the Committee or State, may consider to improve implementation of the relevant measures.”

It “urge[d]” states and relevant UN bodies to comply with the recommendations of the Panel of Experts and “call[ed] upon” states to submit a report 60 days after the adoption of the resolution on how they plan to comply with the sanctions regime.  It also requested a report within 90 days of the resolution’s adoption from the IAEA on whether Iran had complied with the demands of this and previous resolutions.

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Posted: August 6, 2017

IAEA Investigations of Iran's Nuclear Activities

July 2017

Contact: Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, (202) 463-8270 x102

Updated: July 2017

Ali Akbar Salehi (left), the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, and Yukiya Amano, director-general of the IAEA, sign a framework agreement in Tehran on November 11, 2013. (Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) first publicly outlined its concerns about Iranian activities related to the development of a nuclear weapon in an annex to its November 2011 quarterly report on Iran's nuclear program. The report laid out 12 main areas for investigation, discussed in detail below. These issues became known as the possible military dimensions, or PMDs, of Iran’s nuclear program. The IAEA’s concerns about these activities pre-dated the public report, and little progress was made to resolve these issues until 2013. 

In November 2013, Iran and the IAEA announced a Joint Framework for Cooperation in which Iran agreed to take several steps to address the IAEA’s concerns, including providing information and access to research reactors and production plants. The IAEA added additional steps in 2014. Before Iran completed all of the steps, the 2013 Framework for Cooperation was superseded by the 2015 Roadmap for the Clarification of Past and Present Outstanding Issues regarding Iran’s Nuclear Program, which required Iran to provide information on all the concerns the IAEA had identified in the 2011 report.

The 2015 Roadmap was announced concurrently with the nuclear deal concluded between Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States). Sanctions relief in the nuclear deal was contingent upon Iran cooperating with the agency’s investigation. The IAEA released its assessment to conclude the Roadmap process in December 2015. 

2015 Roadmap for the Clarification of Past and Present Outstanding Issues Regarding Iran’s Nuclear Program 

The July 14, 2015 Roadmap laid out a schedule for Iran to address the IAEA’s concerns and the agency to complete its investigation.

The IAEA announced on August 15, 2015 that Iran met the first deadline for providing documents and written explanations to the agency's questions regarding the 12 main areas for investigation as outlined in the November 2011 annex. The agency submitted follow-up questions to Iran on September 9, and on September 20, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano and Deputy Director General Tero Varjoranta traveled to Tehran to discuss the investigation and visit the Parchin site. They confirmed that environmental samples were taken at Parchin for analysis in IAEA labs. On October 15, 2015, the deadline for additional responses, the IAEA confirmed that Iran had responded to its follow-up questions and completed all activities under the roadmap.

The completed assessment, released on December 2, 2015, concluded that Iran had pursued a nuclear weapons program prior to 2003, including a coordinated “range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device,” but did not divert nuclear material from its civilian nuclear program as part of its weaponization efforts.

The report found that although Tehran’s organized nuclear weapons program ended in 2003, some activities continued through 2009. According to the assessment, the “activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities.” The agency said it found “no credible indications” that nuclear material was diverted to the weapons program or that any undeclared activities have taken place since 2009.

In several areas, like nuclear testing preparations and fuzing, arming, and firing a payload, the IAEA did not receive any new information. In other areas, such as Iran’s work at a uranium mine, the IAEA assessed that Tehran’s activities were consistent with its declaration to the IAEA. However, the IAEA assessed that Iran’s program structure, computer modelling of a nuclear explosive device, and certain types of experiments with detonators were part of a nuclear weapons development program prior to 2003.

Mark Toner, deputy spokesman at the U.S. Department of State, said on December 2 that the IAEA’s conclusion is “consistent with what the United States has long assessed with high confidence.”

Following a meeting on December 15, 2015, the 35-member IAEA Board of Governors voted unanimously to close the investigation into Iran's past weaponization work while continuing to report on Iran's implementation of the July 2015 nuclear deal with the P5+1.

Iran's ambassador to the IAEA Reza Najafi said that Iran "disagreed" with some of the agencies findings, arguing that the “scientific studies of dual-use technologies have always been for peaceful civilian or conventional military uses” rather than nuclear weapons work, he said.

The full text of the "road-map for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear program" is available here. Highlights of the IAEA's findings in each of the 12 areas are below:

  1. Program management structure: The IAEA assessed that, prior to 2003, Iran had an organized structure “suitable for the coordination of a range of activities relevant” to nuclear weapons design. The activities that continued beyond 2003 were not a coordinated program.
     
  2. Procurement activities: The IAEA had “indications” that Tehran attempted to purchase items relevant to developing a nuclear weapon prior to 2007 and information that Iran purchased materials for its fuel cycle activities through companies not affiliated with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. Iran admitted to looking into procuring a high speed camera for conventional purposes, but said it ultimately did not do so.
     
  3. Nuclear material acquisition: The IAEA assessed that the Gchine uranium mine, previously thought to be a potential source of uranium for undeclared nuclear activities between 2000-2003, would not have produced any substantial amounts of nuclear material before 2006. The IAEA found that the activities at the mine were consistent with Iran’s explanations and declarations. Overall, the IAEA assessed that “any quantity of nuclear material” that would have been available for the nuclear weapons development program “would have been within the uncertainties associated with nuclear material accountancy and related measurements.”
     
  4. Nuclear components for an explosive device: The IAEA had evidence that Tehran had access to documentation on the conversion of uranium compounds to uranium metal, which is part of the weaponization process, and made progress on reducing a uranium compound into a metal form. Tehran denied that it conducted any metallurgical work for weapons purposes. The IAEA’s final assessment found no indication of Iran conducting activities related to the uranium metal document.
     
  5. Detonator development: The IAEA assessed that Iran’s work on explosive bridgewire detonators have “characteristics relevant to a nuclear explosive device.” The agency found that some of Iran’s explanations, that the detonators were developed as a safer alternative because of explosive accidents, were “inconsistent” and “unrelated” to the IAEA’s timeframe for detonator development.
     
  6. Initiation of high explosives and associated experiments: Iran admitted to the IAEA in August and September 2015 that it conducted work on certain types of explosives, but had a “technical requirement for the development” of multipoint initiation explosive technology for conventional weaponry. The IAEA noted that there are non-nuclear weapons applications for the development, but assessed that the work was “relevant to a nuclear explosive device.”
     
  7. Hydrodynamic experiments: As part of its investigation over the past several months, IAEA officials were able to visit Parchin, a military site where the agency suspected that Tehran conducted hydrodynamic tests in an explosive chamber. Since the IAEA requested access in 2012, Iran conducted extensive construction and renovations. Tehran said in September 2015 discussions with the IAEA that one of the main buildings in question was used for storing chemicals for the production of explosives. Environmental sampling at the site found “chemically man-made particles of uranium” but did not indicate that it was used for long-term storage of chemicals as Iran claimed. The IAEA assessed that its satellite imagery analysis and environmental sampling “does not support Iran’s statements on the purpose of the building” and that Iran’s activities at the site impeded the agency’s investigation. The IAEA did not draw a definite assessment as to what occurred at Parchin.
     
  8. Modelling and calculations: The IAEA assessed that Iran conducted modelling and calculations related to nuclear explosive configurations prior to 2004 and between 2005-2009. During the agency’s investigation between August-October 2015, Iran maintained that it was not in a position to discuss its work on hydrodynamic modelling because it was for conventional military purposes and not an IAEA concern. The IAEA noted in its report that there are conventional applications for such modelling, and that the calculations derived from the modelling were incomplete and fragmented, but assessed overall that Iran conducted computer modelling of a nuclear explosive device between 2005-2009.
     
  9. Neutron initiator: The IAEA’s evidence indicated that Iran continued work on neutron initiators after 2004, although the agency assessed prior to the July 2015 agreement with Iran that some of the indicators that Iran undertook work on generating neutrons through shock-compression was “weaker than previously considered.” Iran provided the IAEA with information about its neutron research and let the IAEA visit a research intuition in October 2015. Iran maintained that its research in the area was not related to “shock-driven neutron sources.”
     
  10. Conducting a test: The IAEA noted it has not received any additional information regarding Tehran's plans to conduct a nuclear test since its November 2011 report. The IAEA noted in the November 2011 report that Iran may have undertaken “preparatory experimentation” relevant to a nuclear weapons explosive device and obtained a document on the safety arrangements for explosive nuclear testing.
     
  11. Integration into a missile delivery vehicle: The IAEA assessed that two of the workshops it identified in 2011 as producing components and mock up parts for engineering of a Shahab-3 (Iran’s medium-range ballistic missile) re-entry vehicle for a nuclear warhead exist, and that the capabilities are “consistent with those described” in documentation provided to the agency on Tehran’s work on a re-entry vehicle.
     
  12. Fuzing, arming, and firing system: The IAEA report noted in the Final Assessment report that it had not received any new information since the November 2011 report on development of a prototype firing system for a Shahab-3 payload that would allow the missile’s payload to safely re-enter the atmosphere and then explode above a target or upon impact.

2013 Joint Statement on Framework for Cooperation

Prior to reaching the July 2015 roadmap, the IAEA and Iran had taken some steps to clarify the outstanding issues between 2013-2014. 

Under the November 11, 2013 Framework for Cooperation, Iran and the IAEA committed to resolve the agency's concerns through a step-by-step process to address all of the outstanding issues. An annex to the framework laid out the first six actions that Iran pledged to take within three months (see details below).

On February 9, 2014, Iran and the IAEA announced a further seven actions that Iran would take by May 15, 2014 (see details below). Iran completed the initial two sets of actions within the time period specified, all of which fall into one of the 12 main areas of investigation. In June 2014, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said that the agency would not issue an assessment on any action until the investigation was completed and the agency could assess the information gathered as a system.

A May 20, 2014 meeting resulted in an agreement on an additional 5 actions to be taken by August 25, 2014 (see details below). Iran completed three of the five actions by the end of August 2014. Two remaining issues related to nuclear weapons development remained unresolved. Iran and the IAEA met several times throughout the spring, and in its May 29, 2015 quarterly report, the IAEA noted that Iran shared information on one of the outstanding issues related to nuclear weapons development. Before all of these actions were completed, this agreement was superseded by the July 2015 Roadmap. 

The full text of the initial Framework for Cooperation and its accompanying annex is available here. The detailed steps taken under the original framework are laid out below.

Iranian Actions to be Completed by February 11, 2014

Status

Provide mutually agreed relevant information and managed access to the Gchine mine in Bandar Abbas.

Completed

Iran facilitated IAEA access to the Gchine uranium mine on January 29, 2014.

Provide mutually agreed relevant information and managed access to the Heavy Water Production Plant.

Completed

The IAEA visited the Heavy Water Production Plant at the Arak site on December 8, 2013.

Provide information on all new research reactors.

Completed

In a February 9 joint statement, the IAEA and Iran announced that Iran completed the actions agreed to on November 11.

Provide information with regard to the identification of 16 sites designated for the construction of nuclear power plants.

Completed

In a February 9 joint statement, the IAEA and Iran announced that Iran completed the actions agreed to on November 11.

Clarification of the announcement made by Iran regarding additional enrichment facilities.

Completed

In a February 9 joint statement, the IAEA and Iran announced that Iran completed the actions agreed to on November 11.

Further clarification of the announcement made by Iran with respect to laser enrichment technology.

Completed

In a February 9 joint statement, the IAEA and Iran announced that Iran completed the actions agreed to on November 11.

Iranian Actions to be Completed by May 15, 2014

Status 

Providing mutually agreed relevant information and managed access to the Saghand mine in Yazd.

Completed

An IAEA team was provided access to the Saghand mine on a May 5-6 visit to Iran.

Providing mutually agreed relevant information and managed access to the Ardakan concentration plant.

Completed

An IAEA team was provided access to the Ardakan plant on a May 6 visit to Iran.

Submission of an updated Design Information Questionnaire (DIQ) for the IR-40 Reactor (Heavy Water Reactor at Arak).

Completed

In its March 20 report on the Joint Plan of Action, the IAEA noted that Iran completed an updated DIQ for the agency on February 12. Iran provided follow-up information in response to the agency's questions about the DIQ on March 29.

Taking steps to agree with the Agency on the conclusion of a Safeguards Approach for the IR 40 Reactor.

Completed

Iran and the IAEA met on May 5 to continue work on the safeguards for the IR-40 reactor at Arak. The approach is not yet completed.

Providing mutually agreed relevant information and arranging for a technical visit to Lashkar Ab’ad Laser Centre.

Completed

The agency was able to visit the center on March 12.

Providing information on source material, which has not reached the composition and purity suitable for fuel fabrication or for being isotopically enriched, including imports of such material and on Iran’s extraction of uranium from phosphates.

Completed

Iran provided this information to the IAEA in an April 29 letter.

Providing information and explanations for the Agency to assess Iran’s stated need or application for the development of Exploding Bridge Wire detonators.

Completed

Iran provided the IAEA with information on the detonators at a meeting on April 26 and in subsequent letters on April 30 and an additional May 20 meeting.

Iranian Actions to be Completed by August 25, 2014

Status

Exchanging information with the Agency with respect to the allegations related to the initiation of high explosives, including the conduct of large scale high explosives experimentation in Iran.

Completed
In its May 29, 2015 quarterly report, the IAEA noted that Iran shared information on one of the outstanding issues related to nuclear weapons development.

(While Iran did not complete this activity on schedule, it was resolved by Aug. 15, 2015 as part of the new July 14, 2015 roadmap)

Providing mutually agreed relevant information and explanations related to studies made and/or papers published in Iran in relation to neutron transport and associated modelling and calculations and their alleged application to compressed materials.

Completed

In its May 29, 2015 quarterly report, the IAEA noted that Iran shared information on one of the outstanding issues related to nuclear weapons development.

(While Iran did not complete this activity on schedule, it was resolved by Aug. 15, 2015 as part of the new July 14, 2015 roadmap)

Providing mutually agreed information and arranging a technical visit to a centrifuge research and development centre.

Completed

According to the Sept. 5 IAEA quarterly report, IAEA inspectors were able to visit this facility on Aug. 31.

Providing mutually agreed information and managed access to centrifuge assembly workshops, centrifuge rotor production workshops and storage facilities.

Completed

The Sept. 5 IAEA quarterly report said that the agency was able to access these sites Aug. 18-20.

Concluding the safeguards approach for the IR-40 reactor.

Completed

The agency and Iran completed the safeguards approach on Aug. 31, six days after the Aug. 25 deadline.

Note: this factsheet was previously titled "Implementation of the Iran-IAEA Framework for Cooperation"

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Posted: July 20, 2017

Implementation of the Joint Plan of Action At A Glance

February 2015

Contact: Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, (202) 463-8270 x102

Updated: October 2015

On November 24, 2013, Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) reached an interim deal on Iran’s nuclear program. The agreement, or Joint Plan of Action, required Iran and the P5+1 countries to take specific steps while negotiators worked on a comprehensive deal. 

The obligations under the interim deal remained in place until October 18, 2015. At that point, each side began implementing the obligations under the comprehensive deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was agreed to on July 14, 2015. For more information about the JCPOA, see The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action at a Glance

Implementation of the interim agreement, the Joint Plan of Action, began on January 20, 2014 and was to last through July 20, 2014, although it was extended several times and additional commitments for Iran and the P5+1 were added.

During the announcement of the second extension on November 24, 2014, former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said both Iran and the P5+1 implemented their commitments from the Joint Plan of Action. In total, the obligations froze Iran’s nuclear program and rolled back the most proliferation-sensitive elements. In return, Iran received limited sanctions relief and access to frozen assets.

The full text of the Joint Plan of Action is available here. The White House factsheet on implementation is available here and the European Union factsheet is available here. A summary of the key actions are listed below.

Iranian Actions

Status

By January 20, halt production of near-20% enriched uranium hexafluoride gas (UF6) and commit to only enrich up to 5%.

Completed

According to the January 20 IAEA report, Iran had halted enrichment to 20% UF6.

By January 20, disable the configuration of the centrifuge cascades Iran has been using to produce 20% enriched UF6.

Completed

According to the January 20 IAEA report, Iran had ceased operating its interconnected centrifuges enriching to 20% UF6. The February 20 IAEA report said that Iran is now using the four cascades at Fordow to enrich uranium to 5%.

On January 20, continue conversion of half of its stockpile of near-20% uranium hexafluoride gas (UF6) into uranium oxide powder as working stock for fabricating fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor.

Completed

According to the July 20 IAEA report, Iran completed the process of converting half of its stockpile of 20% enriched UF6 gas (~104 kg) to uranium oxide powder.

On January 20, begin dilution of half of its stockpile of 20% UF6 to no more than 5% enriched UF6 and complete dilution by April 20.

Completed

According to the April IAEA report, Iran completed the dilution of half of its stockpile of 20 percent-enriched uranium.

Continue only its safeguarded research and development practices, including its current enrichment research practices, which were not designated for accumulation of the enriched uranium.

Completed

In the February 20 IAEA report, the agency verified that Iran was continuing its safeguarded research and development practices at Natanz and was not using the research to accumulate uranium as it tested advanced models.

By April 20, provide the IAEA with:

 
  • plans for nuclear facilities

Completed

Iran submitted details on site selection for 16 nuclear power plants to the IAEA, its initial plans for 10 future enrichment sites, and a light water reactor.

  • descriptions of buildings located on nuclear sites

Completed

  • the scale of operations for each location

Completed

  • information on uranium mines and mills

Completed

According to the May 23 IAEA report, Iran had visited the Gchine Mine, the Saghand Mine and the Ardakan Uranium production plant.

  • information on source material

Completed

Iran provided the IAEA with information about source material on April 20, according to the May 23 IAEA report.

Submit an updated Design Information Questionnaire (DIQ) for the reactor at Arak (IR-40).

Completed

Iran submitted at updated DIQ on the reactor to the IAEA on February 12, according to the agency's Feb. 20 report.

Take steps to conclude a safeguards approach with the IAEA for the Arak reactor.

Completed

The IAEA and Iran met on May 5 to discuss the revised safeguards approach. According to the June 20 report, Iran had reached an agreement with the agency on the safeguards approach.

Allow daily IAEA inspector access at Fordow and Nantanz, including scheduled and unannounced inspections and access to surveillance information on a daily basis.

Completed

As of the February 20 IAEA report, the IAEA was able to install surveillance measures at Natanz and Fordow to facilitate daily monitoring and came to an agreement regarding the facilitation of daily access.

(Prior to the Joint Plan of Action, the IAEA had accessed Fordow on a weekly basis, and Natanz on a biweekly basis.)

Allow the IAEA to conduct monthly inspections of the heavy water reactor at Arak and associated facilities.

Completed

The IAEA was able to make its first monthly visit and access the heavy water reactor on Feb. 12, according to the agency's Feb. 20 IAEA report.

(Prior inspections were conducted at the reactor once every three months, and other facilities at the site were not included.)

Provide information to allow the IAEA inspectors managed access to:

 
  • centrifuge assembly workshops

Completed

The IAEA was able to visit the facility between February 3-7.

  • centrifuge rotor production

Completed

The IAEA was able to visit the facility between February 3-7.

  • workshops and storage facilities

Completed

The IAEA was able to visit the facility between February 3-7.

 

  • uranium mines and mills

Completed

The IAEA had been able to access Iran's two uranium mines at Gchine and Saghand and the milling facility at Ardakan.

Provide figures that will allow the IAEA to verify that centrifuge production will be dedicated to the replacement of damaged machines.

Completed

The IAEA had access to Iran's centrifuge workshops and facilities.

Cap the size of the 5% enriched UF6 stockpile.

Completed

The November 24 IAEA report on implementation of the Joint Plan of Action noted that Iran's stockpile of UF6 gas was 7,400 kg, below January's level of 7,560 kg.

Iran Will Refrain From the Following Actions

Status

Refrain from installing a reconversion line to reconvert uranium oxide powder to 20% UF6.

Complied

The January 20 IAEA report said that Iran does not have a reconversion line in place.

Refrain from reprocessing or constructing a facility capable of reprocessing materials.

Complied

In a January 18 letter to the IAEA, Iran said it would not engage in reprocessing or construct a reprocessing facility over the six months of the deal. The January 20 IAEA report confirmed that no reprocessing was taking place at the Tehran Research Reactor or MIX facility.

Refrain from making any further advances of its activities at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant.

(This includes not installing new centrifuges and not feeding UF6 into the roughly half the centrifuges at Natanz that are installed but not yet enriching uranium.)

Complied

The IAEA verified in the February 20 report that Iran did not made any further advances and no new centrifuges were enriching uranium.

Refrain from making any further advances of its activities at Fordow.

(This includes not installing new centrifuges, not feeding UF6 into the three quarters at Fordow that are installed but not yet enriching uranium, and not interconnecting the cascades.)

Complied

The IAEA verified that Iran did not made any further advances and no new centrifuges are enriching uranium.

Replacing existing centrifuges only with centrifuges of the same type.

Complied

As of the February 20 IAEA report, the agency did not report any violation of this restriction, and surveillance has been set up to monitor any changes.

Refrain from commissioning the heavy water reactor at Arak.

Complied

The February 20 IAEA report said that Iran had not conducted any activities to further the Arak reactor.

Refrain from transferring fuel or heavy water to the Arak reactor.

Complied

The February 20 IAEA report said that Iran had not conducted any activities to further the Arak reactor.

Refrain from testing additional fuel or producing more fuel.

Complied

The February 20 IAEA report said that Iran had not manufactured or tested any reactor fuel, and the number of fuel rods produced remains at 11.

Refrain from installing any additional reactor components at the Arak site.

Complied

The February 20 IAEA report said that Iran had not conducted any activities to further advance the Arak reactor.

Limit centrifuge production to those needed to replace damaged machines.

Complied

The IAEA has regular managed access to centrifuge assembly workshops.

Refrain from constructing any new locations for enrichment.

Complied

In a January 18 letter to the IAEA Iran said it would not pursue any new uranium enrichment sites during the six months of the agreement.

 

P5+1 Actions

Status

Pause efforts to reduce Iran’s crude oil sales, allowing Iran’s current customers to purchase their current average amounts of crude oil, including the EU prohibition on providing insurance for vessels carrying Iranian oil.

Complied

In a January 20 press release, the EU Council of Foreign Ministers announced the suspension of sanctions preventing the insurance of vessels. However, not enough time has passed to determine if Iran's current oil customers were importing at their current average amounts.

Enable the repatriation of $4.2 billion of Iranian revenue held abroad on the following schedule:

 
  • Feb. 1: $550 million

Completed**

Iran received its first installment as scheduled on February 1. These funds were released from Japan.

  • March 1: $450 million (half of the dilution of the 20% stockpile of UF6 complete)

Completed**

IAEA Director General Amano confirmed that half of the dilution was completed on time in his remarks to the IAEA Board of Governors on March 3.

  • March 7: $550 million

Completed**

  • April 10: $550 million

Completed**

  • April 15: $450 million (dilution of the entire stockpile of 20% UF6 complete)

Completed**

  • May 14: $550 million

Completed

  • June 17: $550 million

Completed

  • July 20: $550 million.

Completed

Suspend US sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical exports and associated services.*

Completed

In a January 20 statement, the White House announced that the United States would begin suspending sanctions.

Suspend US sanctions on Iran's import and export of gold and precious metals as well as sanctions on associated services.*

Completed

In a January 20 statement, the White House announced that the United States would begin suspending sanctions.

Suspend U.S. sanctions on Iran imports of goods and services for its automotive manufacturing sector.

Completed

In a January 20 statement, the White House announced that the United States would begin suspending sanctions.

Suspend EU sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical exports and associated services.*

Completed

In a January 20 press release, the EU Council of Foreign Ministers announced the suspension of sanctions.

Suspend EU sanctions on Iran's import and export of gold and precious metals as well as associated services.*

Completed

In a January 20 press release, the EU Council of Foreign Ministers announced the suspension of sanctions.

License the supply of spare parts and services for safety of flight for Iranian civil aviation and associated services.*

Completed

In a January 20 statement, White House Press announced that the United States would begin suspending sanctions. On April 4, Boeing confirmed that it received a license from the Treasury Department for exporting spare aircraft parts.

License safety related inspections and repairs in Iran for Iranian civil aviation sector as well as associated services.*

Completed

In a January 20 statement, White House Press secretary said that the United States would begin suspending sanctions.

Establish a financial channel to facilitate humanitarian trade for Iran’s domestic needs using Iranian oil revenue held abroad:

  • food and agricultural products
  • medicine, medical devices, and medical expenses incurred abroad
  • Iran's UN dues
  • tuition payments to universities and colleges for Iranian students studying abroad.

Completed

Increase the EU authorization thresholds for transactions for non-sanctioned trade to an agreed amount.

Completed

In a January 20 press release, the EU Council of Foreign Ministers increased by tenfold the thresholds for authorizing financial transfers.

P5+1 Will Refrain From the Following Actions

Status

Not pass new nuclear-related UN Security Council sanctions.

Complied

There were no new UN Security Council resolutions sanctioning Iran.

Not pass new EU nuclear-related sanctions.

Complied

On December 16, the EU Council of Foreign Ministers committed not to impose any further sanctions on Iran during the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action.

Not impose new U.S. nuclear-related sanctions.

Complied

 

Iranian Actions ( to be completed as part of the extension before Nov. 24, 2014)

Status

Convert 25 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium powder from oxide form to fuel plates for the Tehran Research Reactor

Completed

According to the IAEA's monthly progress report, Iran completed the conversion.

Convert the stockpile of uranium enriched to less than 2 percent (about 3 metric tons) to natural uranium

Completed

According to the November 2014 quarterly IAEA report, Iran completed blending down the tails.

 

P5+1 Actions ( to be completed as part of the extension before Nov. 24, 2014)

Status

Enable the repatriation of $2.8 billion dollars in frozen Iranian oil revenues held abroad

Completed

Iran received $2.8 billion in repatriated funds.

 

Iranian Actions ( to be completed as part of the extension before June 30, 2015)

Status

Convert 35 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium powder from oxide form to fuel plates for the Tehran Research Reactor

Completed

Expand IAEA access to centrifuge production facilities to double the current frequency and allow for no-notice or "snap" inspections

Complied

Limit research and development on advanced centrifuges that move the machines to the next level of development including:

  • Iran cannot pursue semi-industrial-scale operation of the IR-2M, and without that Iran does not have the confidence to mass-produce this type of centrifuge, which would be necessary in any breakout scenario.
  • Iran cannot feed the IR-5 with uranium gas, the next step in its development.
  • Iran cannot pursue gas testing of the IR-6 on a cascade level, the next step in its development.
  • Iran cannot install the IR-8 at the Natanz Pilot Plant, without which Iran cannot move beyond mechanical testing and into gas testing.

(While most of this pre-existed the extension -- the extension helps plug the gaps and ensure that all models of Iran's advanced centrifuges cannot move to the next phase of testing.)

Complied

The IAEA has regular access to the research and development area for advanced centrifuges at Natanz and has noted no violations as of December.

Forgo any other forms of enrichment, including laser enrichment.

Complied

 

P5+1 Actions ( to be completed as part of the extension before June 30, 2015)

Status

Enable the repatriation of $700 million dollars per month in frozen Iranian oil revenues held abroad

Complied

*“Sanctions on Associated Services” means any service, such as insurance, transportation, or financial, subject to the underlying U.S. or EU sanctions applicable, insofar as each service is related to the underlying sanction and required to facilitate the desired transactions. These services could involve any non-designated Iranian entities.

**While the funds were released, there were reported difficulties in transferring portions of the funds to Iranian banks. It was unclear what portion of the funds remained to be transferred.

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Posted: October 5, 2015

Official Proposals on the Iranian Nuclear Issue, 2003-2013

July 2015

Contact: Kelsey Davenport, Director of Nonproliferation Policy, (202) 463-8270 x102

Updated: July 2015

Before the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, (JCPOA), there were several diplomatic proposals to address Iran’s nuclear program, several of which are discussed in detail below.

For a full account, see: Timeline of Nuclear Diplomacy with Iran.

Tehran devised a number of these proposals between 2003 and 2005, some of which included provisions to initially limit operations at its key nuclear facilities and implement transparency measures for its nuclear activities. 

France, Germany, and the United Kingdom (the EU3) also offered Iran several proposals to resolve the nuclear issue during negotiations with Iran in 2004 and 2005. China, Russia, and the United States joined the three European countries in 2006 to offer “P5+1” proposals to Iran.

Below is a list of key proposals from 2003-2013.

2003

According to Tim Guldimann, former Swiss ambassador to Tehran, Iran issued a proposal to the United States in May 2003 calling for negotiations on a variety of contentious issues between the two countries. The document listed a number of agenda items that the two countries would negotiate and proposed the creation of three parallel working groups to carry out negotiations on disarmament, regional security, and economic cooperation. Key among the agenda items were:

  • Relief of all U.S. sanctions on Iran
  • Cooperation to stabilize Iraq
  • Full transparency over Iran’s nuclear program, including the Additional Protocol
  • Cooperation against terrorist organizations, particularly the Mujahedin-e Khalq and al-Qaeda
  • Iran’s acceptance of the Arab League’s 2002 “land for peace” declaration on Israel/Palestine
  • Iran’s full access to peaceful nuclear technology, as well as chemical and bio-technology

The Bush administration dismissed the proposal in favor of placing additional pressure on Iran.

2005

Several months later, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom agreed to discuss with Iran a range of nuclear, security, and economic issues as long as Tehran suspended work on its uranium enrichment program and cooperated fully with an investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). However, that agreement unraveled the following year when Tehran continued work on uranium conversion, the precursor to enrichment. Iran then agreed with the EU3 in November 2004 to implement a more stringent suspension. Negotiations between the two sides began shortly afterward.

Iran presented four proposals during the course of these negotiations. In addition to Iran’s nuclear program, the proposals covered subjects such as Tehran’s support for terrorist organizations, regional security issues, and economic cooperation.

January 17, 2005

This Iranian proposal to the EU3/Iran Political and Security Working Group outlined commitments on both sides in general terms, including:

  • An Iranian commitment not to pursue weapons of mass destruction
  • A rejection of any attacks, threats of attack, or sabotage of Iran’s nuclear facilities
  • Cooperation on combating terrorism, including intensifying the exchange of information and the denial of safe havens
  • Regional security cooperation, including on Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Cooperation on strategic trade controls and the EU removal of restrictions on transfers of conventional arms and dual use goods to Iran

March 23, 2005

The Iranian proposal to the EU3/Iran steering committee in March provided greater detail into the “objective guarantees” Iran was willing to discuss regarding its nuclear program, including:

  • Iran’s adoption of the IAEA Additional Protocol and continuous on-site inspections at key facilities
  • Limiting the expansion of Iran’s enrichment program and a policy declaration of no reprocessing
  • Immediately converting all enriched uranium to fuel rods
  • An EU declaration recognizing Iran as a major source of energy for Europe
  • Iran’s guaranteed access to advanced nuclear technology along with contracts for the construction of nuclear plants in Iran by the EU
  • Normalizing Iran’s status under G8 export controls

April 29, 2005

In April Iran’s proposal repeated some of the items in the March proposal, but focused more on short-term confidence-building measures than long term resolutions. Its key terms included:

  • Iran’s adoption of the IAEA Additional Protocol
  • A policy declaration of no reprocessing by Iran
  • Continued enrichment suspension for six months
  • Establishment of joint task forces on counter-terrorism and export control
  • An EU declaration recognizing Iran as a major source of energy for Europe

July 18, 2005

Iranian Message from Hassan Rouhani, then-Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, to France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. In his statement Rouhani proposes:

  • An agreement on initial limitations on uranium enrichment at Natanz
  • Negotiations for the full-scale operation of Natanz
  • Arrangements to import material for uranium conversion and the export of UF6
  • Negotiation of an “optimized” IAEA monitoring mechanism for Natanz

August 2005

The three European countries presented their own comprehensive proposal for a long-term agreement, outlining the following:

  • Arrangements for the assured supply of low enriched uranium for any light water reactors constructed in Iran
  • Establishing a buffer store of nuclear fuel located in a third country
  • A commitment by Iran not to pursue fuel cycle technologies, reviewable after 10 years
  • A legally binding commitment by Iran not to withdraw from the NPT and Iran’s adoption of the Additional Protocol
  • Arrangements for Iran to return spent nuclear fuel to supplier countries
  • EU recognition of Iran as a long-term source of fossil fuel energy
  • EU-Iran cooperation in a variety of political-security areas, including Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorism, and drug trafficking

Iran rejected that proposal days later, claiming that it did not recognize Iran’s right to enrichment. Tehran proceeded with uranium conversion, breaking the suspension agreement with the EU3 and ending negotiations.

October 2005

In order to support Iran’s talks with the EU, Russia proposed to Iran in October 2005 that Tehran share ownership of a uranium-enrichment plant located in Russia. Following months of discussions on that proposal, Iran ultimately rejected it in March 2006.

2006

June 2006

China, Russia, and the United States joined the three EU3 countries in June 2006 to offer another proposal for comprehensive negotiations with Iran. The proposal mirrored some of the previous offers for negotiations and included the following key points:

  • Iran’s suspension of enrichment-related and reprocessing activities
  • The establishment of a mechanism to review this moratorium
  • Iran’s resumption of the Additional Protocol
  • The provision of state-of-the-art light water reactors to Iran through joint projects, along with nuclear fuel guarantees and a 5-year buffer stock of fuel
  • Suspension of the discussion of Iran’s nuclear program in the UN Security Council
  • Cooperation on civil aviation, telecommunications, high-technology, and agriculture, and other areas, between the United States, EU, and Iran

August 2006

Tehran responded to this proposal in August 2006. It rejected the terms of the proposal due to its requirement that Iran suspend its enrichment-related activities, but noted that the proposal contained “useful foundations and capacities for comprehensive and long-term cooperation between the two sides.” It did not, however, identify what those useful foundations were.

2008

March 2008

In March 2008, the P5+1 agreed to “repackage” the June 2006 proposal in order to specify some of the benefits that they would offer Iran as part of a long-term agreement on its nuclear program and to better demonstrate the nature of those benefits to the Iranian public. This agreement to revise the 2006 proposal coincided with the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1803, the third UN sanctions resolution on Iran.

Before that package was formally submitted to Iran, however, Tehran issued its own proposal to the six-country group. While the Iranian proposal also called for comprehensive negotiations leading to cooperation on nuclear energy, and political and economic concerns, it offered very few details regarding the steps Iran would take to resolve concerns related to its nuclear program. Some of its key provisions were:

  • “Establishing enrichment and nuclear fuel production consortiums in different parts of the world-including Iran”
  • Improved IAEA supervision “in different states”
  • Cooperation on nuclear safety and physical protection
  • Cooperation on export controls
  • Cooperation on regional security and global economic issues

June 2008

The P5+1 group presented their revised package during a June 2008 meeting in Tehran which included participants from five of the six countries, excluding the United States. During the meeting, the six-countries relayed an understanding that preliminary talks could begin under a six-week “freeze-for-freeze” period in which Iran would halt the expansion of its enrichment program while the six countries would agree not to pursue additional sanctions against Tehran. The proposal also entailed:

  • The 2006 package remains on the table
  • Consideration of nuclear energy R&D and treatment of Iran’s nuclear program as any other NPT non-nuclear-weapons state once confidence is restored
  • Technological and financial assistance for Iran’s nuclear energy program
  • Reaffirmation of the UN Charter obligation to refrain from the use and threat of use of force in a manner inconsistent with the Charter
  • Cooperation on Afghanistan, including drug-trafficking, refugee return, reconstruction, and border controls
  • Steps towards normalizing economic and trade relations, including support for WTO membership for Iran
  • Further details on the prospect for cooperation on agriculture, the environment and infrastructure, civil aviation, and social development and humanitarian issues

July 2008

Representatives of the six-country group, including the United States for the first time, followed up the June meeting with a meeting in July 2008 in Geneva. At the meeting, Iran issued a non-paper proposing a process for negotiations, highlighting that such discussions would be “based on the commonalities of the two packages” issued by Iran and the P5+1 group in May and June. Both the P5+1 and Iranian proposals called for political, economic, and security cooperation but the Iranian proposal did not address steps that Tehran would take in regard to its nuclear program. The Geneva discussions were inconclusive.

2009

April 2009

Following the election of U.S. President Barack Obama, who sought to abandon the previous U.S. policy requiring Iran to fulfill UN Security Council demands to suspend nuclear fuel cycle activities prior to negotiations, the P5+1 sought to renew their negotiations with Iran. They issued a statement in April 2009 in which the other five countries welcomed “the new direction of U.S. policy towards Iran,” formally inviting Iran to talks once again. Iran did not respond to that invitation until that September, when Tehran issued a revised proposal. Although that proposal repeated several of the provisions of the one Iran issued in 2008, it did not include a section on the nuclear issue. Instead, the proposal covered the following:

  • Cooperation to address terrorism, drug trafficking, organized crime, and piracy
  • UN and Security Council reform
  • The codification of rights for the use of space
  • Promoting a “rule-based” and “equitable” IAEA oversight function
  • Promoting NPT universality and WMD nonproliferation

June 2009

Taheran Research Reactor "Fuel Swap" Proposal

In June 2009, Iran informed the IAEA that it was seeking assistance to refuel its Tehran Research Reactor (TRR), a U.S.-supplied 5 megawatt research reactor that produces medical isotopes. Following Iran’s entreaty, the United States proposed that, in return for a supply of 120 kilograms of fuel for the TRR, Iran ship out an equivalent amount of uranium enriched to 4%, totaling about 1,200 kilograms. The 1,200 kilograms accounted for roughly 80% of Iran’s LEU stockpile at that time, a percentage that diminished as Iran continued to produce LEU.

October 2009

At an initial meeting between the United States, France, Russia, Iran, and the IAEA on October 1, 2009, Iranian officials agreed “in principle” to the exchange.

  • Iran exports 1,200 kilograms of LEU in a single batch before the end of the 2009
  • Russia further enriches Iran’s LEU to about 20%, a process producing about 120 kilograms of 20%-enriched uranium for the TRR fuel rods
  • France manufactures the TRR fuel rods for delivery about one year after the conclusion of the agreement, prior to the depletion of the current TRR fuel supply
  • The United States works with the IAEA to improve safety and control implementation at the TRR

Following reservations expressed by Iran about the terms of the deal, the P5+1 indicated their readiness to take some steps to facilitate the arrangement:

  • A political statement of support by the six countries to guarantee that the TRR fuel would be delivered to Iran
  • Financing for the movement of LEU and fuel
  • An option for the IAEA to hold Iran’s LEU in escrow in a third country until the TRR fuel is delivered

In the months following the initial agreement of the TRR proposal October 1, Iran delayed giving the IAEA and the P5+1 a definitive response to the proposal, with many prominent Iranian politicians voicing their opposition to the arrangement, motivated at least in part by their opposition to President Ahmadinejad. Iranian officials publicly suggested alterations to the fuel swap proposal, including: staggering the export of Iran’s LEU over the course of a year or transporting 400 kilograms of LEU to Iran’s Kish Island to exchange for TRR fuel. These proposals, however, undermined or eliminated the confidence-building nature of the export of the bulk of Iran’s LEU. Tehran began to increase the enrichment level of some of its LEU to 20% in February 2010, ostensibly for TRR fuel.

2010

Brazil, Turkey, Iran Tehran Declaration

Brazil and Turkey carried out a diplomatic initiative in the spring of 2010 to broker the TRR fuel swap with Iran. In an April 20 letter to the leaders of the two countries, President Obama said Iran’s agreement to export 1,200 kilograms of LEU “would build confidence and reduce regional tensions by substantially reducing Iran’s LEU stockpile.” The initiative resulted in the May 17 Tehran Declaration agreed between Presidents Lula da Silva, Erdogan, and Ahmadinejad.

  • The three countries “recall the right of all State Parties, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy (as well as nuclear fuel cycle including enrichment activities)”
  • Iran transfers 1,200 kilograms of LEU to be held in escrow in Turkey within one month
  • Pending their approval of the Tehran Declaration, the IAEA, France, Russia, and the United States (the Vienna Group) would agree to provide 120 kilograms of 20%-enriched uranium fuel to Iran within one year
  • If the terms were not filled by the Vienna Group, Turkey would transfer the LEU back to Iran (which maintains legal possession of the material)

France, Russia, and the United States rejected the Tehran Declaration on a number of grounds identified in a June 9 letter to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. The key critique was that the declaration did not address Iran’s production of 20%-enriched uranium and Iran’s accumulation of a larger amount of LEU.

Russian Step-by-Step Proposal

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov first publicly proposed a “road map” to implement the P5+1’s proposed incentives package July 12, 2011 during a speech in Washington. Its key elements were described by former Iranian deputy nuclear negotiator Hossein Mousavian as follows.

Step 1

  • Iran limits enrichment to Natanz, does not install any additional centrifuges, and halts the production of advanced centrifuges.
  • The P5+1 suspends some UN sanctions, including financial sanctions and ship inspections.

Step 2

  • Iran agrees to provide early design information to the IAEA under Code 3.1, caps its enrichment level at 5%, and allows greater IAEA monitoring over its centrifuges.
  • The P5+1 suspends most UN sanctions and gradually lifts unilateral sanctions.

Step 3

  • Iran implements the IAEA Additional Protocol.
  • The P5+1 suspends all UN sanctions in a phased manner.

Step 4

  • Iran suspends all enrichment-related activities for 3 months.
  • The P5+1 lifts all sanctions and begins to implement the group’s proposed incentives.

Although U.S. officials said that Washington would study the proposal, and held meetings with Moscow regarding the plan, and Iran publicly welcomed the proposal, it ultimately did not gain traction.

2012 

In April 2012, the P5+1 and Iran renewed diplomatic negotiations in Istanbul. Two more rounds of talks were held May 23-24 in Baghdad, and June 18-19 in Moscow. The negotiators decided in Istanbul to adopt a step-by-step process with reciprocal actions, in order to create momentum towards a long-term solution. Two proposals were discussed in the negotiations, one by the P5+1 and another from the Iranians. Both sides agreed to expert-level talks, which took place in Istanbul on July 3, to discuss the technical aspects of each proposal. 

    Iranian 5 Step Proposal

    Step 1 - Guidelines

    • Iran emphasizes commitments under the NPT and its opposition to nuclear weapons based on the Supreme Leader's fatwa.
    • P5+1 recognizes and openly announces Iran’s nuclear rights, particularly its enrichment activities, based on NPT Article IV.

    Step 2 - Transparency Measures

    • Iran continues broad cooperation with IAEA and will transparently cooperate with the IAEA on “possible military dimensions.”
    • P5+1 will end unilateral and multilateral sanctions against Iran outside of the UNSC resolutions.

    Step 3 - Confidence Building Steps

    • Beyond continuous IAEA monitoring of enrichment activities for Tehran Research Reactor (TRR) fuel, Iran will cooperate with P5+1 to provide enriched fuel needed for TRR.
    • P5+1 will terminate the UN sanctions and remove Iran’s nuclear file from UNSC agenda.

    Step 4 - Strengthening Cooperation on Mutual Interests

    • Parties will start and boost cooperation on: designing and building nuclear power plants and research reactors (Iran’s priorities);
    • And light water research reactors, nuclear safety and security, nuclear fusion (P5+1 priorities).

    Step 5 - Strengthening Joint Cooperation

    • Parties will start cooperating on: regional issues, especially Syria and Bahrain (Iran’s priorities);
    • And combating piracy and countering narcotics activities (P5+1 priorities).

        P5+1 Proposal

        Iranian actions:

        • Iran halts all 20 percent enrichment activities.
        • Iran transfers all 20 percent enriched uranium to a third country under IAEA custody.
        • Iran shuts down the Fordow facility.

        P5+1 Actions:

        • P5+1 will provide fuel assemblies for the Tehran Research Reactor.
        • P5+1 will support IAEA technical cooperation to modernize and maintain the safety of the TRR.
        • P5+1 could review the IAEA technical cooperation projects and recommend to the IAEA Board restarting some of them.
        • P5+1 has put together a detailed package to provide medical isotopes for cancer patients in Iran.
        • The United States is prepared to permit safety-related inspection and repair in Iran for Iranian commercial aircraft and provide spare parts.
        • The P5+1 will cooperate in acquiring a light water research reactor to produce medical isotopes.

          2013

          April 2013

          Iran and the P5+1 held talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan April 5-6. The two sides had resumed negotiations in Almaty in February 2013 after a nine-month interval. Each side brought a proposal to the April talks, but failed to reach consensus on a way forward and no further meetings were scheduled.

          Iran’s proposal on day 1 of the April Almaty talks was similar to the five-step proposal Tehran brought to the negotiations in 2012. However, after the P5+1 expressed dissatisfaction with this proposal, which it viewed as a step backward, Iran revised its proposal for the second day of talks.

            Iranian Proposal

            Iranian Actions

            • Iran freezes centrifuge installation at Fordow.
            • Iran continues talks with the IAEA.
            • Iran continues converting 20 percent enriched urnaium hexalfouride to uranium oxide.
            • Iran suspends enrichment of uranium to 20 percent.

            P5+1 Actions

            • The P5+1 lifts all sanctions against Iran.
            • The P5+1 recognizes Iran's nuclear rights.

                The P5+1 proposal was based on the proposal from the 2012 negotiations. The 2013 proposal, however, left open the possibility of resuming activities at Fordow, allowed Iran to keep part of its stockpile or uranium enriched to 20 percent, and provided some sanctions relief.

                  P5+1 Proposal

                  Iranian actions:

                  • Iran halts all 20 percent enrichment activities.
                  • Iran transfers part of its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium to a third country under IAEA custody.
                  • Iran suspends all operations at the Fordow facility.
                  • Iran provides the IAEA with information to address the outstanding allegations of possible military activities, commits to the additional protocol and the modified version of the subsidiary arrangement to Iran’s safeguards agreement, known as Code 3.1.

                  P5+1 Actions:

                  • P5+1 will provide fuel assemblies for the Tehran Research Reactor.
                  • P5+1 will support IAEA technical cooperation to modernize and maintain the safety of the TRR.
                  • P5+1 could review the IAEA technical cooperation projects and recommend to the IAEA Board restarting some of them.
                  • P5+1 has put together a detailed package to provide medical isotopes for cancer patients in Iran.
                  • The United States is prepared to permit safety-related inspection and repair in Iran for Iranian commercial aircraft and provide spare parts.
                  • The P5+1 will cooperate in acquiring a light water research reactor to produce medical isotopes.
                  • The P5+1 will provide sanctions relief on sales of precious metals and petrochemicals.
                  • The P5+1 will not impose any new proliferation related sanctions on Iran.

                    October 2013

                    Negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 resumed in Geneva on October 15-16. Iran was represented by its new negotiating team, headed by Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

                    Iran presented a new proposal during the talks, which outlined the broad framework for a comprehensive end-state agreement and specific steps for each side to take in a first-phase agreement. On November 24, Foreign Minister Zarif and Catherine Ashton, head of the P5+1 negotiating team, signed the proposal, known as the Joint Plan of Action. For more information, see: Implementation of the Joint Plan of Action at a Glance. The Joint Plan of Action was in place from January 20, 2014 until it was replaced by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, (JCPOA), known colloquially as the Iran nuclear deal. For more information, see The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) at a Glance. 

                     

                     

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                    Posted: July 30, 2015

                    Editorials Supporting an Iran Nuclear Deal, January - September 2015

                    A wide-range of newspaper editorials from across the country have noted the challenges facing the nuclear negotiations between the United States, its allies, and Iran over Iran’s nuclear program. 

                    Updated: September 2015 

                    The P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany) and Iran have agreed on a framework for a comprehensive nuclear agreement that will ensure Iran’s nuclear program remains exclusively peaceful.  

                    A wide-range of newspaper editorials from across the country have noted the challenges facing the negotiations, some of which have been dealt with and some of which remain—and the vast majority have expressed support for the emerging agreement. Below is a selection of recent editorials on the issue. 

                    America’s Role: U.S. Leadership is Maintained With the Iran Deal—“All in all, senators who worked to keep the Iran deal on track acted clearly in America’s interests.”—Pittsburg Post-Gazette [9/13/2015]

                    An Iran Agreement Worth Testing—“This agreement is a diplomatic advance worth testing. And if it fails as critics predict? A supportive United States will be in a much stronger position to lead the response.”—Akron Beacon Journal [9/11/2015]

                    Iran Deal is a Victory for Effective Global Diplomacy—"If the deal had been blocked in Congress, the sanctions regime likely would have unraveled, and Iran would have continued to be months, not years, from being able to develop a nuclear weapon."—Star Tribune [9/10/2015]

                    Iran Deal Warrants Approval—"Opponents claim they don't want war. Instead, they say, a rejection by Congress would force everyone back to the negotiating table for a "better deal." Let's get real. That simply won’t happen. America's negotiating partners — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — have warned that they won't return to the talks. And why would they, when Congress could simply reject any new deal all over again?"—USA Today [9/09/2015]

                    Peace Has a Chance With Iran Nuclear Deal—"What opponents have failed to do is consider what would happen if they did succeed in blocking the deal. If the deal fell apart now, the international sanctions regime — painstakingly put in place over years — would collapse as it became clear that the United States was not a serious negotiator."—St. Louis Post-Dispatch [9/09/2015]

                    A Senseless Delay on the Iran Deal—"The debate has been vitriolic and raw, with opponents waging a multimillion-dollar campaign that relied heavily on distortions and made supporters of the strong and worthy deal out to be anti-Israel or worse."—The New York Times [9/09/2015]

                    A Cautious ‘Yes’ on the Iran Deal—“It’s not a perfect deal by any means, but it’s better than any alternative that opponents have been able to cite. Congress should support it.“—Montgomery News [9/08/2015]

                    Sen. Heitkamp Makes Right Call on Iran Accord—“Opponents of the deal have offered no credible alternative (war?). Heitkamp said her decision ‘is about seeking diplomacy rather than conflict.’ She’s got it right.”—The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead [9/06/2015]

                    Good News on Iran Deal—"Even if President Obama hasn’t tended well to congressional egos, he’s certainly due credit for engineering a political victory on the Iran treaty that’s good for the country. He has ensured the affirmation of a multi-nation nuclear deal with Iran that will prevent that nation from developing a nuclear weapon for years to come."—The News & Observer [9/04/2015]

                    Deal Assured: The Iran Accord is the Best Option for the Future—"Although squashing for the time being Iran’s nascent nuclear weapons ambitions was the immediate objective of the accord, it and Iran’s resulting contact with other countries should also open up opportunities for that nation to rejoin a world that it left to a great degree in 1979 when the revolution took place. One result could be Iran’s playing a more positive role in the Middle East. All in all, this was the right outcome."—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [9/04/2015]

                    Let's Get on With the Iran Nuclear Deal—"But something else has become clear in the weeks of debate about whether Congress should approve this deal. There is not an alternative that would better protect U.S. interests. Rejection of the deal by Congress would likely isolate the U.S. and carry significant risks for this nation's security."—Chicago Tribune [9/03/2015]

                    Don't Bunker-Bust the Nuclear Deal With Iran—"The international nuclear deal achieved with Iran avoids Plan W — a future declaration of war by the United States in response to an Iran that might be developing nuclear weapons."—The Montclair Times [9/03/2015]

                    Good Luck, Mr. Biden, Selling Nuke Deal—"It's also worth noting that a majority of American Jews support the deal, 49 percent to 31 percent, according to a poll by the Los Angeles Jewish Journal. We support the deal, too, just as we have always supported Israel's right to defend its people. We know Israel has the most to lose if Iran develops nuclear capability. But we strongly believe this deal will make it more difficult for Iran to achieve that goal."—The Sun Sentinel [9/02/2015]

                    Casey Right on Iran Deal—"Iran knows how to make a nuclear weapon and there is no scenario where it will lose that knowledge. Mr. Casey’s exhaustive analysis has led him to the correct conclusion: The agreement is the best course available to contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions."—Scranton Times-Tribune [9/02/2015]

                    Follow Merkley's Lead—"Wyden should join Merkley in announcing support for the deal and provide the Obama administration with what could prove the final vote it needs to protect the pact in Congress."—The Register Guard [9/01/2015]

                    Susan Collins Should Choose the Responsible Path on Iran—"A headline in The Hill newspaper last week called Collins 'Obama’s last hope for GOP support on Iran.' Collins’ vote might not determine the deal’s fate in either direction — President Barack Obama likely has enough support to veto a vote of disapproval and have his veto sustained — but the Maine senator has the chance to send a powerful message when everybody’s listening. That message should be that the deal negotiated with Iran, while not perfect, is the most responsible course of action available both in terms of containing the nuclear capabilities of a state sponsor of terrorism and preserving the United States’ position of leadership in the world."—Bangor Daily News [8/31/2015]

                    Weighing the Iran Nuclear Deal: Far From Perfect, but the Alternatives are Worse—"We urge members of Congress to vote against the resolution and, if it passes anyway, to support President Obama when he vetoes it, as he almost certainly would do. After that, Congress should press the administration to make good on its promises to counter Iran's dangerous meddling in the affairs of its neighbors and to respond decisively if Iran is found to have cheated on this agreement."—The Los Angeles Times [8/30/2015]

                    A Cautious "Yes" on the Iran Nuclear Deal—"It's not a perfect deal by any means, but it's better than any alternative that opponents have been able to cite. Congress should support it."—The Denver Post [8/29/2015]

                    Casey Should Support Deal—"The agreement has been endorsed by leading U.S. nuclear scientists, retired military leaders, several former U.S. ambassadors to Israel, Catholic bishops, many Christian leaders, a majority of American Jews and — despite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bellicose opposition — much of the Israeli security establishment. Mr. Casey should join that group in supporting the agreement."—Scranton Times Tribune [8/25/2015]

                    Don't Toss Aside Iran Deal Lightly—"Reaching an agreement with Iran — not to mention Russia and China — was no small achievement, and the deal should not be lightly tossed aside."—Norwich Bulletin [08/24/2015]

                    Menendez Opposition to Iran Pact Risks War—"Menendez is no hawk. But he has his blinds spots. He's unreasonable on Cuba, opposing a détente even after a half century of futile sanctions. Derailing the Iran deal could have far more deadly consequences. Our fervent hope is that Sen. Cory Booker does not make a historic mistake by following his lead. Because Obama is right -- rejecting this agreement could put the United States and Iran on a path towards war."—New Jersey Star-Ledger [8/20/2015]

                    South Florida's Congressional Delegation Should Back Iran Deal—"But sensitive or not, a critical choice is coming up, and the votes of South Florida's delegation could very well affect the result. Elected officials must vote their consciences, but unless they can offer what President Obama calls a "plausible" alternative — and no, we haven't heard one — we urge the undecided members of our delegation to support the deal."—Sun Sentinel [8/18/2015]

                    The Case for the Iran Deal—“The deal in hand may not be perfect — what agreement ever is? — but it's far better than the alternatives. Those who think we can simply sit back and wait for Iran to come up with a better offer are dreaming.”—The Baltimore Sun [8/12/2015] 

                    Voices of Expertise and Reason for the Iran Deal—“Hard bargaining produced the agreement. Now the deal should be tested, leading scientists and engineers making a persuasive case that it is well worth trying.”—Akron Beacon Journal [8/10/2015]

                    As Obama Promotes Iran Deal, Hiroshima Echos Still—"The world has to remember and learn and choose a path that might lead to a diplomatic solution in Iran -- and not the destructive alternative."—Newsday [8/5/2015]

                    Obama Takes on Opponents of the Iran Deal—"President Obama on Wednesday made a powerful case for the strong and effective nuclear agreement with Iran."—The New York Times [8/5/2015]

                    Iran Deal Critics Sell A Fantasy: Our View"But those who insist there’s a better deal to be had, if only Congress rejects this one, are gambling that an international coalition, which joined the U.S. to place tough economic sanctions on Iran, can be reassembled. The odds of that happening are about the same as winning the lottery. As President Obama put it in his speech Wednesday, 'Those who say we can just walk away from this deal and maintain sanctions are selling a fantasy.' The fact is, the deal on the table took a decade of painstaking work."—USA Today [8/5/2015]

                    Republican Hypocrisy on Iran—“The exaggerations and half-truths that some Republicans are using to derail President Obama‘s important and necessary nuclear deal with Iran are beyond ugly.”—The New York Times [8/1/2015]

                    Iran Nuclear Deal is Better Than Status Quo—“Does the deal improve our ability to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon as compared to the status quo? Clearly it does. Unless critics can offer something better — something that is acceptable to the other nations participating in the imposition of sanctions — they should embrace the agreement as being beneficial, if not perfect.”—Decatur Daily [7/30/2015]

                    Heated Rhetoric on Iran Deal Does Nothing but Enrich the Few—“There are scads of money to be made anytime the United States wages war on another nation. If Iran is allowed to develop a nuclear bomb, there is no question that Israel will find a way to strike and that action could lead to a conflagration that makes the current upheavals in the Middle East seem petty by comparison. Are we ready to step back into that fray? Or are we willing to let this deal spin out? We choose the latter.”—Bennington Banner[7/29/2015]

                    Rigorously Enforce the Iran Nuclear Deal“If Congress kills the deal or significantly alters its terms, America would be blamed for the accord's failure and draw the ire of nations that joined the United States in hammering out an exhaustive pact only to see it crumble. The strong sanctions alliance would unravel and Iran would revive its bomb effort — and Washington's prestige and ability to marshal a global response to Tehran's renewed weapons push would be diminished."—Defence News [7/20/15]

                    Iran Deal a Gamble, but No Deal Would Be Worse—Without an agreement, however, Iran already is pursuing its aggression and terror. It is acting outside the sphere of responsible states. This agreement creates a scenario in which that fundamentalist dynamic might change. Is it guaranteed? Not at all. But none of the doubters have offered a better idea. This is what we've got.”—El Paso Times [7/20/15]

                    The Nuclear Deal With Iran is Better Than the Alternatives—War or No Deal at All—“A country of Iran’s size and sophistication will get a bomb if it really wants one. Nothing can change that. But this pact offers the chance of holding Iran back and shifting its course. The world should embrace it, cautiously.”—The Economist [7/18/15] 

                    Negotiations Produced Nuclear Agreement, Not Iranageddon“Sanctions brought Iran to the table. An agreement required accepting that the perfect is not possible. Now, Congress should read the agreement, debate the issues involved seriously, and make a final decision in the real world.”—Idaho Mountain Express [7/17/15]

                    Iran Nuclear Deal is a Path Away From War“The pact with Iran announced Tuesday is about diminishing the chances of the United States going to war to stop Iran from deploying a nuclear weapon. To that end, the U.S. and its negotiating partners forged a sound deal. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry should be hailed for a historic achievement."—Savannah Morning News [7/17/15]

                    Utah Politicians Attack Iran Deal With No Alternative—“If Iran cheats, the very unpleasant question of whether to attack that nation's nuclear facilities will still be before us. But even if the bombers do fly — now or 10 years from now — that would be no guarantee of a nuclear-free Iran. So the pact is well worth trying, if only because it stands to at least delay the threat of another costly and almost certainly pointless war in the Middle East.”—The Salt Lake Tribune [7/17/15]

                    Agreement Should be Given a Chance to Prevent Iran from Building Nuclear Weapons“Failure to craft an agreement all but guarantees that Iran will continue to seek nuclear weapons, perhaps igniting a war as the United States and Israel make good on pledges to prevent that nation from achieving nuclear capability. Only two paths are available, neither of them guaranteed to work: military or diplomatic. The Obama administration and other countries involved in the negotiations have chosen diplomacy. It was the right decision – really, the only decision – even given Iran’s behavior.”—The Buffalo News [7/17/15]

                    Iran Deal a Lesson in the Value of Diplomacy“Yet even so, here is a profound piece of evidence in favour of talking, of being willing to extend a hand, as US President Barack Obama once put it, if another country was "willing to unclench their fist". It tells us that violent enmities can be improved, and that common interests can be found. It tells us that nothing is pre-ordained – not the antagonisms we presume will last forever, or the conflicts that seem to replay themselves over and over.”—The Dominion Post [7/17/15]

                    Nukes Deal a Triumph for Iran and US“The deal agreed this week by Iran and the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany is, therefore, a triumph of perseverance and diplomacy. In one swoop, the prospect of Tehran developing nuclear weaponry has been largely eliminated and the chance of it playing a more constructive role in world, and especially Middle Eastern, affairs has been much enhanced.”—The New Zealand Herald [7/17/15]

                    Diplomacy, Not War, Goal of Iran Nuclear Deal“War is the ultimate failure of diplomacy, British politician Tony Benn once said. Right now, diplomacy holds the greatest promise of success.”—Detroit Free Press [7/16/15]

                    Enough With Netanyahu's Iran Deal Hysteria“Netanyahu’s pretention to teach the world history has no basis. His previous assessments regarding the materialization of the Iranian threat have proved false. Only five years ago, he objected to the same sanctions whose removal today he calls “a historic mistake.” Had he been given his wish at the time and had Iran’s nuclear facilities been bombed, either by Israel or the United States, the reactors would have been rehabilitated by now and Iran would be closer than ever to obtaining nuclear weapons.”—Haaretz [7/16/15]

                    Looking at Iran Nuclear Deal“Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that without a deal, Iran will be free to develop its nuclear program without any restrictions. Iran has everything it needs, including skilled scientists. Informed guesses range from months to years on how quickly Iran could create a nuclear weapon.”—Journal Star [7/16/15]

                    Iran Deal: Congress Should Think and Listen, ­Then Maybe Even Read the Agreement“Republicans understandably oppose the president on many fronts, which reflects honest philosophical differences, as well as party politics. But Obama’s support for something does not automatically constitute a logical reason to endorse its opposite. The Iran agreement is supposed to help keep nukes out of the hands of crazies. Denouncing it without actually knowing what is in it or hearing from military and foreign-policy experts about how it might work is irresponsible and dangerous.”—The Durango Herald [7/16/15] 

                    Diplomacy Creates Hope of a Responsible Iran“Mr Obama's Republican rivals insist they will tear up the agreement in given the chance. But what is the alternative to a deal? The Herald believes there isn't a viable one. Engagement at least offers some optimism, where before there was none.”—The Sydney Morning Herald [7/16/15]

                    Iran Deal: the World Becomes a Safer Place“The agreement, signed after 20 months of negotiations, offers real hope on at least two fronts. First, there are verifiable measures to contain and reduce the threat of Iran's nuclear capabilities for more than a decade. Under the terms of the agreement, Iran will dismantle much of its nuclear infrastructure. The country's capacity to enrich uranium will be be reduced by two-thirds, while its stockpile of enriched uranium will be reduced by 96 per cent. UN inspectors will be able to enter sites where they suspect any undeclared nuclear activity may be occurring. The impact of a successful containment of Iran's nuclear threat in a volatile Middle East cannot be overstated.”—The Age [7/16/15]

                    Few Seem Happy With U.S.-Iran Nuclear Deal — and Rightfully So“Yes, it’s a terrible deal, but breaking off negotiations and letting Iran run wild would be even more terrible. It would also likely lead to war, which is the most terrible alternative imaginable. With that perspective, this deal can be viewed as the least-worst of a number of very bad options.”—Desert News [7/16/15]

                    A Deal With Iran: The Accord Promises a Decade of Containment“Is the agreement perfect? Certainly not, but it is far better than allowing Iran to fester in dangerous isolation.”—Pittsburgh Post Gazette [7/15/15]

                    Despite GOP, Israeli Critics, the Iran Deal is a Good One“But the truth is, this is a good deal. It is not perfect, and it is time-limited (Iran will not be able to build beyond a limit on enriched uranium for 10 years) but it is preferable to war, which seems to be the Republican alternative.”—The News & Observer [7/15/15]

                    Congress Should Support Deal With Iran—“The Iran agreement helps America's national security, protects Israel and contains Iran's nuclear ambitions. It is a compromise, but that is not a criticism. Nothing except a compromise was possible.”—Sun Sentinel [7/15/15]

                    Better to See Iran Back Away From Nuclear Weapons“The president made a choice, one of those difficult calls that arrive in the White House. Worth adding is that he is not alone. Germany, France and Britain joined in the agreement, along with Russia and China. All concluded the greater danger resided in Iran becoming a nuclear power. To their credit, the partners (for this endeavor [sic]) gained a deal that puts clear and formidable obstacles in the path of Iran.”—Akron Beacon Journal [7/15/15]

                    Iran Deal is Better Than No Deal at All“After two years of grueling negotiations, the Obama administration has finally pulled off a historic deal with Iran that resolves — at least for the time being — one of the most pressing foreign policy challenges facing the world: concerns that Iran could be building a nuclear bomb.”—The Boston Globe [7/15/15]

                    Examine Iran Deal Carefully Before Deciding“So let's not rush to judgment. Before we allow cable news mavens of whatever stripe tell us what to think, let's spend time investigating and having an honest discussion with the goal of giving our government guidance on how to proceed.”—Contra Costa Times [7/15/15]

                    Outcomes Uncertain on Iran Deal, Political Future“The historic agreement announced by the United States and its partners with Iran on Tuesday offers the welcome prospect that, for the next 15 years, the Islamic republic will be restrained from producing a nuclear weapon.”—Santa Cruz Sentinel [7/15/15]

                    Iran Nuclear Agreement Imperfect but Realistic“Critics have offered no alternative other than a Middle East nuclear arms race among Iran and its rival Sunni states and Israel, and the prospect of a massive regional war. The agreement is realistic, more akin to President Richard Nixon’s outreach to China more than 40 years ago than to appeasement. China remains, in many ways, an adversary. But it is part of the global community and less dangerous than it might have been in isolation. The same prospect now arises relative to Iran.”—PA Citizen Voice [7/15/15]

                    A Historic Accord on Iran’s Nuclear Program“Yes, this agreement should be closely vetted. But until opponents come up with a realistic strategy, it is the best option available.”—The Fresno Bee [7/15/15]

                    Question but Give Fair Hearing to Iran Pact“Reaching agreement to freeze Iran’s march toward nuclear capability without resorting to war is a credit to the Obama administration’s persistence.”—Miami Herald [7/15/15]

                    Diplomacy Over War“[T]he Obama administration has won a victory that prevents another bloodbath. The treaty negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry will let international inspectors verify that Iran’s nuclear power program is doing nothing that might put an atomic bomb into the hands of suicidal terrorists, or governments.”—Charleston Gazette [7/15/15]

                    The Iran Deal Cuts the Risk of Another Mideast War“But critics of the deal tend to ignore two hard realities. One is that Iran is well along on the path to building nuclear weapons, and will surely acquire them if this agreement is rejected. Even if sanctions are kept in place, a nuclear Iran would be far more dangerous.”—The Star-Ledger [7/15/15]

                    Proponents Need to Sell Iran Nuclear Agreement“With the next step in the process soon to begin – congressional review of the pact – there'll be plenty of time for questions, but as a start, one should trump all others: Is an imperfect agreement better than no pact at all? That question is at least based in reality. It judges this deal against an actual alternative, not as opposed to some imagined perfect pact.”—The Republican [7/15/15]

                    The Nuclear Deal With Iran“To evaluate the agreement, let's keep in mind that the alternatives are not many and that there aren't more favorable [sic] ones if the goal is to control Iran's nuclear ambitions.”—Los Angeles Opinion [7/15/15]

                    Iran Deal Best One Available“But anyone who thought that Iran was going to abandon its nuclear capability was unrealistic. This agreement commits Iran to reducing its potential nuclear material stockpile by 98 percent and diminishing its capacity to produce that fuel by about two-thirds, and to allow independent inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The provisions increase the period that it would take to produce a weapon from about three months to about a year.” The Times-Tribune [7/15/15]

                    Iran Nuclear Deal Needs Careful Study, Not a Political Pie Fight“Still, an agreement with a reasonable shot at success is worth trying because the alternative is another war, and that should be a last resort.”—San Jose Mercury News [7/15/15]

                    Is the Iran Deal Good Enough?—“Our preliminary assessment is that, if its terms are strictly enforced, the deal is likely to put nuclear weapons beyond Iran's reach for a decade or more, a significant achievement and probably the best outcome available.”—Los Angeles Times [7/15/15]

                    For Iran Nuclear Deal, Implementation Will Be Key“Which is scarier: An unconstrained Iran that already has enough fissile material to build ten to 12 nuclear bombs within two to three months? Or an Iran that's agreed to give up all of its highly-enriched uranium, all of its plutonium and key elements of the technology for achieving a bomb, while accepting intrusive and far-reaching international safeguards and inspections?”—Cleveland Plain Dealer [7/15/15]

                    Global Effort Needed to Prevent Iran Nuclear Deal From Fizzling Out“With Iran agreeing to shrink the program, the nightmare of Iran going nuclear has receded. And with the lifting of sanctions by Europe and the United States, Iran will emerge from its isolation that began with the 1979 Iranian Revolution and start rejoining the international community. The possibility of the United States and Iran working together to bring stability to the Middle East has become more real.”—The Asahi Shimbun [7/15/15]

                    An Historic Deal to Curb Iranian Nuclear Ambitions“The long-awaited Iranian nuclear deal finalized on Tuesday appears to be the very best — and most certainly the only realistic — shot at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.”—Chicago Sun-Times [7/14/15]

                    The Importance of Iran Deal“If the deal stops "the spread of nuclear weapons in this region," as Obama insisted Tuesday, it will be a magnificent achievement.”—The Denver Post [7/14/15]

                    Good Faith Needed on Iran Deal“Given this, Tuesday’s announcement that a U.S.-led effort to strike a deal limiting Iran’s nuclear ambitions is welcome news if — and it’s a big if — all parties can stick to the terms of the accord. Count as a positive anything that puts off full-scale war and offers at least a chance of a more peaceful world.”—The Anniston Star [7/14/15]

                    An Iran Nuclear Deal That Reduces the Chance of War“The final deal with Iran announced by the United States and other major world powers does what no amount of political posturing and vague threats of military action had managed to do before. It puts strong, verifiable limits on Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon for at least the next 10 to 15 years and is potentially one of the most consequential accords in recent diplomatic history, with the ability not just to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon but also to reshape Middle East politics.”—The New York Times [7/14/15]

                    Iran Nuclear Deal Appears Promising“A seriously flawed agreement is worse than no agreement. But the initial overview of this deal is positive for the nation and for the world. As Congress wades into the details, it should measure them against the present and the possible — not against the perfect.”—Tampa Bay Times [7/14/15]

                    Is Iran Nuclear Deal Better Than no Deal? Yes: Our View“So what has been won by these arduous negotiations? First, an option other than war to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions, one that positions the U.S. as a leader in making the world a safer place with a stroke of a pen rather than at the tip of a sword.”—USA Today [7/14/15]

                    The Guardian View on the Iran Nuclear Deal: a Triumph of Diplomacy—“Instead of politicians opting for military solutions, this has been a triumph for diplomats and pragmatists, working hour after hour on the detail of a deal that secures a peaceful compromise – and which represents a heartening success in the global quest to halt nuclear proliferation.”—The Guardian [7/14/15]

                    Pushing Back Iran’s Nuclear Threat—“They may want to nudge back the hands of the Doomsday Clock. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders have managed to rein in Iran’s worrisome nuclear program, granting the Middle East a reprieve from the spectre of war.”—The Star [7/14/15] 

                    Bargaining With Tehran—“Republicans are right that we can't trust Iran, and we shouldn't. That's why the U.S. is insisting on a robust inspection and monitoring regime that can respond promptly to evidence of Iranian cheating.”—The Baltimore Sun [7/14/15]

                    Give the Iran Nuclear Agreement a Chance“The nuclear agreement signed Tuesday between Iran and the six world powers is an incredible diplomatic achievement and a historic milestone in the West’s relations with Iran since that country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.”—Haaretz [7/14/15]

                    Iran Nuclear Deal is a Path Away From War“But if Congress succeeded in clearing the high bar needed to reject the pact, our nation would be left with only one viable option for deterring a nuclear Iran. That option is war. And we know where that leads. The pact announced Tuesday is a path away from conflagration.”—The Kansas City Star [7/14/15]

                    Congress Must Fully Vet Iran Deal“On Tuesday, the U.S., its international colleagues and Iran reached an agreement that purports to bar Iran from developing nuclear weaponry. Sanctions against Iran will be lifted in return for Iranian promises to be nice. Congress will have an opportunity to assess the agreement. It would be presumptuous to pass immediate judgment when Congress will devote two months to the debate.” Richmond Times-Dispatch [7/14/15]

                    Give Iran Deal a Chance to SucceedThis deal wasn’t slapped together with little thought given to the consequences — it was reached after two years of negotiations involving six world world powers with vastly disparate views on Iran. That’s not appeasement, it’s pragmatism.”—The Ottawa Citizen [7/14/15]

                    A Historic Accord on Iran’s Nuclear Program“When you listen to the critics, ask yourself: Are they offering any kind of plausible alternative? Without this pact, we’re left with what? More economic sanctions that hurt the civilian population as much as Iran’s leaders? A military strike that may or may not completely wipe out Iran’s nuclear capability, but could spark a wider war in the Middle East, where there is more than enough bloodshed already?”—The Sacramento Bee[7/14/15] 

                    Deeper Opportunities in Iran Nuclear Pact“Its nuclear program was just one of many strategic aims to enable Iran to lead the Islamic world’s 1.6 billion believers, or 23 percent of the world’s population. Iran (the country) claimed geopolitical reasons for needing to acquire advanced nuclear know-how. But perhaps Iran (the religious revolutionary) decided its secretive, militarized nuclear program was hurting its reputation as the leader of all Muslims. After all, a violent and political version of Islam has lost much support since 9/11 in favor of an Islam that is peaceful.” The Christian Science Monitor [7/14/15]

                    Carefully Consider All Aspects of Iran Deal—“[I]t is precisely the nature of the regime that makes this accord so important. President Obama, who in his statement said the deal was “not built on trust, it is built on verification,” offered “extensive briefings” to members of Congress. They should take him up on that.”—Star Tribune [7/14/15]

                    No Need to Rush on Iran Nuclear Deal“It has always been a long shot, the hope that the U.S. could reach an accord with Iran that would keep that country from building nuclear weapons for many years. Yet the goal is attractive enough to justify the Obama administration's pursuit of such a deal.”—The Denver Post [7/9/15]

                    Take Time for Verifiable Iran Nuclear Deal“It’s true that Iran already is fomenting conflict in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and across the region. Iran, however, would be even more of a regional menace – and a global threat – if it were armed with nuclear weapons. Done right, a negotiated deal can stop that from happening for years to come.”—The Sacramento Bee [6/30/15]

                    Ayatollah Khamenei’s Fateful Choice“Compromises are part of any negotiation. Any agreement can really be judged only when the text is signed and details are made public. The April framework accord was a solid basis on which to build a credible final deal. Ayatollah Khamenei must decide whether he and his government can live with the economic and political consequences if he sabotages this deal.” —The New York Times [6/24/15]

                    Rubio on Wrong Side of Iran Deal“While nothing is perfect, we were disappointed to see Rubio try to scuttle the deal with political gamesmanship. As [Deputy National Security Advisor Ben] Rhodes said, ‘this deal is a far better choice than a military confrontation or a world in which Iran exists as a nuclear weapon state.’ Amen to that.”—Sun Sentinel [5/7/15]

                    Among Iran Options, One Makes Sense—"To put it simply, Wilkerson believes that it’s important for the good of the world that the United States cultivates a meaningful relationship with Iran. ...The art of diplomacy has marked the forward progress of mankind since the first victim of the first weapon of war fell dead to the ground. Be skeptical of any politician who claims the path to peace must run through fields of blood.”—Concord Monitor [4/21/15]

                    A Reckless Act in the Senate on Iran“Congress has formally muscled its way into President Obama’s negotiations with Iran, creating new and potentially dangerous uncertainties for an agreement that offers the best chance of restraining that country’s nuclear program.”—The New York Times [4/14/15]

                    Israel’s Unworkable Demands on Iran—“[Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s] government made new demands that it claimed would ensure a better deal than the preliminary one that Iran, President Obama and other leaders of major powers announced last week. The new demands are unrealistic and, if pursued, would not mean a better deal but no deal at all.”—The New York Times [4/7/15]

                    Iran Deal Better Than Expected—“The agreement falls short of achieving the goals initially spelled out by the White House. But it does place enough restrictions on Iran's nuclear program to offer at least some hope its ambitions to produce a weapon will be significantly delayed, if not completely deterred.”—The Detroit News [4/4/15]

                    Nuclear Deal With Iran is Worth a Try—"Congress and others are correct to be wary of Iran and its intentions. Yet that is no reason not to attempt to negotiate a workable agreement. Who trusted the Soviet Union when Republican presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan both negotiated arms control agreements with the Soviet regime? On both of those occasions, the Soviet Union had many nuclear weapons in place ready and targeted upon the United States and vice versa.”—West Central Tribune [4/4/15]

                    Critics of Iran Deal are Off-BaseIf a nuclear agreement were a reward for Iranian good behavior across the board — or if it were a clear first step toward a full rapprochement with the Islamic Republic — the critics might have a point. But that's not what the agreement is. Rather, it is more narrowly designed to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, a goal that (if it can be achieved) would serve the interests of the whole world.”—The Los Angeles Times [4/3/15]

                    Negotiating With IranMonths more of hard bargaining will be needed to work out the details of how those principles translate into a final agreement acceptable to both sides. But the fact that negotiators appear to have cleared this first major hurdle is a hopeful sign that the goal of preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons through diplomatic means is achievable.”—Baltimore Sun [4/3/15]

                    Warmongers Aren't Happy About Iran Nuke Deal, the Rest of Us Should Be—“A nuclear Iran was not an option, and the Obama Administration has succeeded in outlining a comprehensive framework to defang the problem. Yet early criticisms of the plan seem to be rooted in a stubborn ignorance over the level of enriched uranium that is required to build a nuclear weapon.”—Star Ledger [4/3/15]

                    A Promising Step Toward an Iran Deal—“[T]his framework significantly reduces the risk of Iran covertly acquiring a nuclear weapon. It drastically reduces the number of Iran's centrifuges and the size of its uranium stockpile, dismantles or repurposes some of its most problematic nuclear facilities, places limits on its development of nuclear technology, and imposes a regime of surveillance and inspections that in some cases will continue for 25 years.”—Metro-West Daily News [4/3/15]

                    In Judging Iran Nuclear Deal Consider the Alternatives—“Would another war have been preferable? That's the simple, straightforward question that must be answered by those who'd dismiss the outline of a pact limiting Iran's nuclear capabilities.”— The Republican [4/3/15]

                    The Guardian View on the Iranian Nuclear Agreement: Diplomacy Shows Its Worth—“There are stronger reassurances on weaponisation, because – as a condition of getting sanctions relief – Iran has to provide the International Atomic Energy Authority with access to sites and people of interest. All told, it kicks the can down the road. It makes it almost impossible for Iran to go for a bomb in the next decade…”—The Guardian [4/3/15]

                    Give the Iran Nuclear Deal a ChanceBut Thursday, Iran and the so-called P5+1 — the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany — announced "parameters" for an agreement that were highly specific and, frankly, somewhat reassuring. At a minimum they justify continued negotiations with the aim of producing a final compact by the end of June. In the meantime, Congress should refrain from aggressive actions that could undermine the delicate process.”—The Los Angeles Times [4/3/15]

                    A Big Step to Stop Iran’s Nuclear Bomb Ambitions“[M]oving forward on the tentative framework announced Thursday is far more promising than the alternatives – giving up on diplomacy and increasing sanctions, or launching a military strike that could lead to a wider war in the Middle East.”—Sacramento Bee [4/3/15]

                     A Promising Iran AgreementAll that said, the framework's scope and strength are promising. Congress should refrain from passing any legislation that would impose additional sanctions and mandates on the talks, or otherwise seek to tie the president's hands.”—Bloomberg [4/2/15]

                    A Promising Nuclear Deal With Iran—“Over the long run, an agreement could make the Middle East safer and offer a path for Iran, the leading Shiite country, to rejoin the international community.”—The New York Times [4/2/15]

                    Iran Accord May Be the Real Deal—“The real naivete is among those who think Iran can be pressured into eliminating its nuclear program altogether or say the U.S. must never negotiate with an untrustworthy regime.”—Denver Post [4/2/15]

                    Outline of Iran Deal Offers the Best Chance to Thaw Relations“…[T]he concessions made by Iranian diplomats, and the level of specificity offered to the public, show that all sides were negotiating in good faith. It is now up to Congress to give the negotiators the time they need to finalize the deal — and they should do so by refraining from proposing more sanctions that could jeopardize months of hard work.”—Boston Globe [4/2/15]

                    Iran Deal Watchwords: Distrust and Verify—“…[T]he deal is crafted to block all pathways to a bomb. Iran would not be allowed to enrich uranium to weapons grade and would have to abandon its push toward plutonium production.”—Newsday [4/2/2015]

                    Give Nuclear Deal With Iran a Chance“The agreement the United States, other major world powers and Tehran announced Thursday for containing Iran's nuclear program could set the stage for peacefully resolving one of the longest-running threats to global security.”—Tampa Bay Times [4/2/15]

                    Gazette Opinion: Daines Was Wrong on Iran Letter“[Montana Sen. Steve Daines’] participation in this half-baked scheme doesn’t just make him look foolish; it has a destabilizing effect on the world and undermines U.S. credibility. In other words, he’s done just the opposite of what should be expected from our leaders: His actions make the world less safe, not more.”—Billings Gazette [3/17/15]

                    Letter to Iran—“Even in the current Washington environment, writing letters to hostile foreign governments at a time when the State Department is trying to achieve a diplomatic breakthrough seems well beyond the pale. The Republican senators did not serve their country or their party well with this stunt.”—Providence Journal [3/16/15]

                    With Letter to Iran, GOP Senators Place Spite Before Diplomacy“[The senators] said as much in a duplicitous, disrespectful letter to Iranian leaders that sought to undermine delicate international negotiations and the authority of the White House.”—The Kansas City Star [3/15/15]

                    Constitutional Lesson Lost in Letter to Iran—“To the 47 Republican senators who sent that letter to the Islamic Republic of Iran downplaying the significance of any nuclear development deal they might make with President Obama: Boy, did you whiff it.”—Daily Miner [3/15/15]

                    GOP Senators Demean Office With Letter“This extreme example of congressional interference in diplomatic negotiations begins with the condescending assertion that the leaders of Iran ‘may not fully understand our constitutional system.’ After providing a brief lesson in American civics, the senators make clear that they ‘will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Barack Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei.’”—The Press Democrat [3/14/15]

                    Who Needs the Civics Lesson: Ayatollahs or GOP Senators?“In reality, the letter was an orchestrated attempt to undermine U.S. efforts to negotiate an agreement with Iran on a critically important issue: the use of nuclear materials by one of America's most volatile foreign adversaries.”—The Des Moines Register [3/14/15]

                    Senate Republicans Should Not Interfere With Iran Negotiations“…[I]t is astounding that Sen. Marco Rubio and nearly all of his fellow Republican senators would send a letter to Iran looking to scuttle a potential diplomatic deal that could freeze Iran's nuclear program for at least a decade.”—Tampa Bay Times [3/13/15]

                    Capito Unwisely Joined ‘Rush to War’“The White House called these actions ‘a partisan strategy to undermine the president’s ability to conduct foreign policy and advance our national security.... The rush to war or at least the rush to the military option that many Republicans are advocating is not at all in the best interest of the United States.’ In other words, Republicans would rather unleash military strikes on Iran and sink America into another Mideast war, instead of letting international inspectors verify that Iran isn’t building nukes.”—Charleston Gazette [3/13/15]

                    Senators' Iran Stunt Takes Disrespect to New Level“It’s one thing to criticize the administration’s actions, or try to impede them through the legislative process. But to directly communicate with a foreign power in order to undermine ongoing negotiations? That is appalling. The only direct precedent I can think of for this occurred in 1968, when as a presidential candidate Richard Nixon secretly communicated with the government of South Vietnam in an attempt to scuttle peace negotiations the Johnson administration was engaged in. It worked, and the war dragged on for another seven years.”—The Journal Gazette [3/12/15]

                    Republican Idiocy on Iran—“Senator John McCain, a former Republican presidential candidate, is now sort of acknowledging his error. ‘Maybe that wasn’t exactly the best way to do that,’ he said on Fox News on Tuesday. He was referring to the disgraceful and irresponsible letter that he and 46 Senate colleagues sent to Iran’s leaders this week that generated outrage from Democrats and even some conservatives.”—The New York Times [3/12/15]

                    Interfering With Obama on Iran Comforts Our Foes“The letter sent by 47 Republican senators to Iran's leaders — saying that any agreement the U.S. reached with them without congressional approval could be reversed by the next president "with a stroke of a pen" — is wrong on so many levels that it is hard to know where to start.”—The Commercial Appeal [3/12/15]

                    GOP Letter to Iran Diminishes World Standing“The freelance foreign policy overture to Iran's clerics by 47 Republican senators was not quite the treason proclaimed by tabloid headlines this week. Nor was it the first time the party out of presidential power tried to scuttle a foreign policy initiative. But it was a stunning display of arrogance, and it may well have doomed the only chance of peacefully resolving Iran's nuclear status. That is bad enough.”—San Jose Mercury News [3/12/15]

                    47 GOP Senators Have Wrong Strategy on Iran“One has to wonder exactly what the Republicans were trying to accomplish. If they were trying to gain support of American opinion, this was a classic fail. If the hope was to derail the negotiations completely, they have likely only offended five other nations who also are working in earnest to control Iranian nuclear aspirations.”—Longview News-Journal [3/12/15]

                    47 GOP Senators Send Open Letter to Iran“The 47 Republican Senators who brazenly issued an open letter Monday to Iran’s leaders not only undermine President Barack Obama’s attempts to negotiate a nuclear agreement with Iran, but they undercut their whole purpose of writing the letter in the first place — to achieve Congressional buy-in of any accord.”—Canton Repository [3/12/15]

                    Our View: Risch, Crapo Antagonize Iran—"This isn’t about good policy. This isn’t about facing the challenges posed when desperate groups with desperate agendas have an interest in the same turf. The 47 Senate Republicans want only the status quo with Iran: continued isolation, which could culminate in escalating hostility and a nuclear state."—Times-News [3/11/15]

                    Corker, Alexander Refused to Sign Iran Letter. Good.—“The new Senate leadership has decided that instead of allowing experienced professional diplomats to try to negotiate a nuclear disarmament deal with America’s longtime enemy Iran, it should let a freshman senator lead an amateurish and unprecedented effort to undermine U.S. foreign policy.”—The Tennessean [3/11/15]

                    Senators’ Iran Stunt Off Base“But [Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake] also recognizes the executive branch has the responsibility for negotiating such agreements: ‘I’m not very bullish on the chance of these negotiations resulting in a good agreement, or an agreement at all, but we ought to explore it. We ought to give it every opportunity to succeed.’ That kind of maturity and restraint is too often missing today in a Washington where vicious sound bites and partisan one-upmanship are valued more than governance.”—The Tampa Tribune [3/11/15]

                    Republican Letter to Iran Puts Politics Above Nation“Just seven of 54 GOP senators had the good sense not to sign the letter. The others acted rashly and allowed their passions to rule the day. They imprudently and shamefully put politics above our national interest,”—The Republican [3/11/15]

                    Outrageous Senators"The American people do not want to find themselves engaged in a new ground war in the Middle East. Preventing Iran from having nuclear capabilities is a priority for U.S. officials and an imperative for Israel's security.”—The Record [3/11/15]

                    Republican Senators go Nuclear With Missive to Iran—“But what is most objectionable about the senators' letter is neither its condescending tone nor its legal analysis. It's the fact that the letter injects the senators into ongoing international negotiations that are properly the prerogative of the executive branch — with the obvious intention of subverting those negotiations.”— The Los Angeles Times [3/11/15]

                    GOP Letter to Iran was Outrageous“Senate Republicans hit a new low with their group letter to Iran’s leaders encouraging them to reject current nuclear talks with the United States and five other nations. It was a dumb move both in terms of its own cynical partisan goals and, more importantly, in how it might undermine national and global security.”—The Herald [3/11/15]

                    ‘Dear Iran’ Letter Subverts Nuclear Talks“It’s not every day that you see U.S. senators pressing leaders of a hostile power to help them kill off American-led negotiations aimed at removing a potential nuclear threat to the United States and its allies. In fact, nothing quite like that had ever happened until Monday, when 47 Republican senators wrote a letter to the leaders of Iran warning that any agreement they reach with President Barack Obama to curtail Iran’s nuclear weapons program might be reversed by a future president.”—The Daily Journal [3/11/15]

                    An Ignorable Letter From 47 SenatorsAn open letter to the 47 U.S. senators who signed a letter addressed to Iran’s political leaders: We are struck by your letter that condescendingly attempts to lecture Iran’s leadership on the fine points of the U.S. Constitution while at the same time blatantly trampled on the constitutionally defined roles in foreign affairs of presidents and members of Congress.”—The Anniston Star [3/11/15]

                    GOP's Political Posturing on Iran Could Ostracize the U.S.“[Senator Tom Cotton] has since been denounced by members of his own party. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said it best: ‘We ought to support the negotiations going on,’ he said, ‘and this effort does not do that.’”—New Jersey Star Tribune [3/11/15]

                    GOP Senators' Dumb, Destructive Letter“The sanctions that convinced Iran to roll back and freeze its nuclear program and join the talks are enforced by all the parties to the negotiations. The U.S., which has nearly no trade with Iran, depends on those who do – principally Russia and China – to apply the pressure. If these talks fall apart, Russia and China could make the sanctions effectively disappear, and there would be nothing to stop Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. Is that what the Senate Republicans want?”—Metro-West Daily News [3/11/15]

                    Where's Issue in Iran Deal?“There are, in fact, too many mysteries involving federal lawmakers, presidents and judges to list in this space. But now, we can add another mystery to the list — why would mostly Republicans in Congress not want Iran to agree to forego building a nuclear weapon?”—Lampoc Record [3/11/15]

                    GOP Senators Need Lessons in Both Civics and Politics—“Everyone wants to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. If diplomacy can delay the day of reckoning for a decade, that is far preferable than a military strike that could spark a wider war in the Middle East.”—Fresno Bee [3/11/15]

                    A Deeply Misguided Senate Letter to the Leaders of Iran“The signatories, who sadly include the usually rational Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and John McCain of Arizona, have lost sight of national interest -- and of how their letter is undercutting it.”--Cleveland Plain Dealer [3/11/15]

                    Hate Mail: Senators Seek to Sabotage Obama’s Foreign Policy“America’s partners in the talks are among the world’s most important nations — China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom. They can only be appalled at seeing Secretary of State John Kerry and the president, who are charged with making the nation’s foreign policy, hit from behind by one house of the federal legislature. The senators who signed the letter should be ashamed.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [3/11/15]

                    47 Senators Stomp on the Constitution—“A member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Flake acknowledges he is "not very bullish on the chance of these negotiations resulting in a good agreement." But Congress nevertheless must give them every opportunity to succeed.”—Arizona Republic [3/11/15]

                    Burr, Tillis Add Their Names to Outrageous Letter to Iran—“This is one of the most horrid and tangible examples of pure partisanship run amok in modern times. So much do Republicans resent the fact that President Obama has won two terms they’ll now resort to blowing up a negotiation aimed at preventing war in the Middle East.”—The News & Observer [3/10/15]

                    'Dear Iran' Letter Subverts Nuclear Talks—“It's not every day that you see U.S. senators pressing leaders of a hostile power to help them kill off American-led negotiations aimed at removing a potential nuclear threat to the United States and its allies.”—USA Today [3/10/15]

                    Republicans Fumble Their Chance to Focus Attention on an Iran Deal“Congressional republicans are trying to obstruct President Obama from concluding a nuclear agreement with Iran, but the only tangible result of their efforts has been to impede serious debate about the legitimate issues arising from the potential deal.”—Washington Post [3/10/15]

                    GOP Senators Need a Civics Lesson and Should Stop Meddling in Iran Nuclear Deal“Everyone wants to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. If diplomacy can delay the day of reckoning for a decade, that is far preferable than a military strike that could spark a wider war in the Middle East.”—Sacramento Bee [3/10/15]

                    A Stunning Breach of Protocol“If the treaty is scuttled, there will be no inspection regime to make sure Iran is not cooking up a nuclear weapon. One gets the impression that Netanyahu and his fellow hard-liners want to proceed straight to a bombing campaign without any diplomatic do-si-do preceding it. If bombs fell on Iran, it would likely only forestall the development of a nuclear program there for a few years and further inflame passions in the Middle East.”—Observer-Reporter [3/10/15]

                    The Real Key to Any Nuclear Deal With Iran“The risk, however, is sabotaging the multination negotiations and leaving Iran unrestrained in building nuclear weapons. That's a bad path that could lead to use of military force to stop Iran's pursuit of a bomb.”—Newsday [3/10/15]

                    GOP Senators Play Dangerous Game With U.S. Foreign Policy“The 47 senators seem to be blithely ignoring necessary perspectives from London, Paris, Berlin, Beijing and Moscow, as well as other capitals influenced by these powers. If Iran is able to claim that it was Washington, not Tehran, that torpedoed the talks, the sanctions regime may well unravel without Iran having to compromise on its nuclear program.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune [3/10/15]

                    Letter of Intent“The letter is little more than a mischievous attempt to throw a monkey wrench into a years-long, multinational effort to obtain a secure, verifiable agreement with Iran to stop its nuclear-weapons program through diplomacy, rather than war.”—Miami Herald [3/10/15]

                    Was Iran Letter Traitorous or Just Treacherous for GOP Sens. Blunt, Roberts and Moran?“Obama and the leaders of several other nations are trying to find ways to get Iran to stop its efforts to obtain a nuclear bomb. It’s a reasonable quest. Properly so, even some in the GOP didn’t agree to sign the letter, saying it could backfire on the party. It could make Iran more likely to sign a deal with Obama — one that the Republicans might not like at all.”—Kansas City Star [3/10/13]

                    GOP Letter to Iran Disgraces America“America looks weakest when its internal arguments spill over into its international diplomacy — something that has been rare in the nation's history. That it is happening now is a blot on the 114th U.S. Senate; specifically, on the 47 Republican senators who signed an open letter to the Islamic Republic of Iran, a missive whose sole purpose is to end President Barack Obama's ongoing nuclear negotiations with that country.”—Detroit Free Press [3/10/15]

                    Senate Saboteurs“A blatant attempt to sabotage the discussions to limit Iran’s nuclear capacity, the letter is signed by by (sic) 47 GOP senators, aligning themselves — President Obama noted ironically — with hardliners in Iran who oppose any deal with the United States.”—Courier-Journal [3/10/15]

                    Ayotte Signs Up for a Dangerous Political Game—“The Iran nuclear situation is complex and worthy of vigorous debate. In fact, there are plenty of Democrats who are not thrilled with the goal of the talks, namely a 10-year pact that would reduce but not eliminate Iran’s nuclear program. But what they and seven Republican senators who didn’t sign the letter understand is that diplomacy is a fragile art that doesn’t happen in a vacuum.”—Concord Monitor [3/10/15]

                    GOP Letter to Iran is a Reckless Intrusion Into Nuclear Talks“Under the guise of an American civics lesson pointedly but also pointlessly aimed at Iran’s already isolated, mistrustful, hostile-to-the-United States leadership, Senate Republicans may sabotage highly delicate negotiations to persuade Tehran to curb its nuclear development program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.”—Boston Globe [3/10/15]

                    The GOP's Poison Pen Note“That Senate Republicans are so intent on denouncing anything that could possibly come out of the talks — even if it ultimately benefits the U.S. and its allies — suggests they are all too inclined to let the national interest take a back seat to partisan politics.”—Baltimore Sun [3/10/15]

                    GOP Senators Play Dangerous Game With U.S. Foreign Policy“The 47 senators seem to be blithely ignoring necessary perspectives from London, Paris, Berlin, Beijing and Moscow, as well as other capitals influenced by these powers. If Iran is able to claim that it was Washington, not Tehran, that torpedoed the talks, the sanctions regime may well unravel without Iran having to compromise on its nuclear program. If so, the next step could include military action, which could spiral into yet another major Mideast war. The GOP senators should be as blunt about this possibility as they are about their opinions on Obama’s diplomacy.”—StarTribune [3/10/15]

                    The Real Key to Any Nuclear Deal With Iran“In addition to flexing for their political base, the senators may be gambling that their intransigence will result in a better deal. The risk, however, is sabotaging the multination negotiations and leaving Iran unrestrained in building nuclear weapons. That’s a bad path that could lead to use of military force to stop Iran’s pursuit of a bomb.”—Newsday [3/10/15]

                    GOP Senators Need a Civics Lesson and Should Stop Meddling in Iran Nuclear Deal—“Everyone wants to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. If diplomacy can delay the day of reckoning for a decade, that is far preferable than a military strike that could spark a wider war in the Middle East.”—The Sacramento Bee [3/10/15]

                    Sabotaging a Deal With Iran—“After more than a year of negotiations, the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany can take credit for an interim deal that has sharply limited Iran’s nuclear activities, and they are on the verge of a more permanent agreement that could further reduce the risk of Iran’s developing a nuclear weapon. Congress needs to think hard about the best way to support a verifiable nuclear deal and not play political games that could leave America isolated, the sanctions regime in tatters and Iran’s nuclear program unshackled.”—The New York Times [3/7/15]

                    Let's Hope Netanyahu Loses“Netanyahu is it making it impossible to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians by relentlessly expanding housing settlements on the West Bank. He is using Israel's military superiority not just to secure the nation's borders, but to answer the demands of religious zealots and others who are determined to hold onto land that is essential to building a Palestinian state.”—New Jersey Star-Ledger [2/26/15]

                    Bipartisan Supporters of Israel Should Skip Netanyahu Speech“In a bald breach of protocol, Republican House Speaker John Boehner invited Netanyahu without informing the Democrat in the White House, who sees negotiations with Iran as the best hope for preventing that country from obtaining a nuclear bomb. The alternative is military action. Like President Obama, we’d rather take a shot at peace first.”—Chicago Sun Times [2/26/15]

                    An Emerging Nuclear Deal With Iran“The agreement must be judged on the complete package, not on any single provision. Even if the deal is not perfect, the greater risk could well be walking away and allowing Iran to continue its nuclear activities unfettered.”—The New York Times [2/25/15]

                    Boehner's Netanyahu Ploy Runs Onto the Rocks“Even if the ploy succeeds in torpedoing the arms negotiations, it would be a costly win, raising troubling questions about the degree of control Netanyahu has over decisions that could cost American lives. There is no more sensitive task — or a more hazardous one — than trying to keep nuclear weapons out of Iran's hands. Throughout the talks, the six nations negotiating with Iran have shown remarkable unity. It would be a shame if all that effort was lost because of political gamesmanship here or in Israel. Politics, as they used to say, should end at the water's edge.”—USA Today [2/1/15]

                    Menendez Steps Back From Fight With Obama Over Iran—“If Obama is right about the political dynamic in Iran, Menendez's bill could scuttle a deal. And without a deal, pressure will build for air strikes against Iran's dozens of nuclear facilities. Military experts say such a campaign would require weeks of repeated bombings and lead to significant civilian casualties, since many of the targets are in cities and densely populated suburbs.”—Newark Star Ledger [1/28/15]

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                    Posted: June 24, 2015

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