Leading specialists support continuation of the Iran deal

18 September 2017

More than 80 of the world's leading nuclear nonproliferation specialists issued a joint statement on 13 September explaining why the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between six world powers and Iran “has proven to be an effective and verifiable arrangement that is a net plus for international nuclear nonproliferation efforts”. The statement was signed by Hans Blix (former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency - IAEA), Jon Finer (former US State Department Chief of Staff and Director of Policy Planning) as well as by former US nuclear negotiators, former senior US nonproliferation and intelligence officials, a former member of the UN Panel of Experts on Iran, and leading nuclear specialists from leading think-tanks worldwide.

“Since the nuclear deal was implemented in January 2016, the JCPOA has dramatically reduced the risk posed by Iran’s nuclear program and mandated unprecedented monitoring and transparency measures that make it very likely that any possible future effort by Iran to pursue nuclear weapons, even a clandestine programme, would be detected promptly,” the statement noted. It expressed concern that “the Trump administration may be seeking to create a false pretext for accusing Iran of non-cooperation or noncompliance with the agreement in order to trigger the re-imposition of nuclear-related sanctions against Iran”.

Under the terms of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, the administration must certify to Congress every 90 days that Iran is fully implementing the nuclear deal. Failure to issue the certification would open the door for Congress, under expedited procedures, to introduce legislation to reimpose nuclear sanctions that were lifted in exchange for restrictions on Iran’s nuclear programme. The next certification deadline arrives in mid-October.

To date, US intelligence reports, IAEA inspections and reports from the other parties to JCPOA make it clear that Iran is meeting its commitments. These include long-term, verifiable restrictions on Iran's sensitive nuclear fuel cycle activities, many of which will last for 10 years, some for 15 years, some for 25 years, with enhanced IAEA monitoring under Iran's additional protocol agreement with the IAEA and modified code 3.1 safeguards provisions lasting indefinitely. The statement concludes: “we urge the Trump administration and the U.S. Congress to continue to fulfil Washington’s commitments under the accord and to refrain from actions that undermine US obligations in the agreement.”

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