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Commentary | 29 June 2015

Experts discuss prospects for the Iran deal

Image of Bruno Tertrais

Bruno Tertrais |Senior Research Fellow at Fondation pour la recherche stratégique

Iran JCPOA Middle East Global Security

The European Leadership Network, the APPG on Global Security and Non Proliferation, and the European Foundation for Democracy, hosted a parliamentary briefing on the Iranian nuclear negotiations on Wednesday 17 June with expert speakers Dr. Bruno Tertrais and Lukasz Kulesa.

Dr Tertrais and Mr Kulesa discussed what form a deal with Iran would take as well as its likelihood for success. The event was chaired by Lord Hannay of Chiswick.

Following the failure to reach concensus in November 2014 a new deadline for the negotiations was set for the end of June 2015. Details of the 2 April agreement on key parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action remain scarce, but the two speakers both found reasons to remain sceptical regarding the negotiation’s prospects.

Solutions can be found to all the problems still on the table, especially if one party to negotiations would be willing to agree on a trade-off in one area to gain more in others. The agreement would need to be examined against two main criteria: the strength of the non-proliferation and verification provisions and the scope and speed of sanctions relief and nature of future nuclear cooperation with Iran. The real value of the deal won’t be obvious on the day of its adoption. We may be able to draw more definitive conclusions on its worth based on the way in which the sides will deal with the first implementation crisis. Iran rejecting an IAEA request for access to a specific site where nuclear weapon program-related work may be ongoing can be the first such test.