What’s the Deal? Crafting an Agreement on Iran’s Nuclear Program

Ever wondered exactly what an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program would look like? The NESA Center’s Strategic Studies Network (SSN) recently undertook the monumental task of drafting just such an agreement. Hosted at the Ca’Foscari University of Venice from 16 to 17 March, the SSN convened a specialized task force with that goal in mind. The group – consisting of P5+1, EU, GCC, Israeli, and Turkish experts and practitioners – was able to reach a shared understanding on a broad package that included a draft agreement, a phased reciprocal sequencing chart, and a sample of a bilateral “side letter” as a first step toward normalizing relations with Iran. As noted in the introduction to the report:

“Renewed negotiations surrounding Iran’s nuclear program have generated considerable commentary as international concerns about Tehran’s intentions rise and sanctions bite deeper into the country’s economy. The biggest headlines involve the military dimensions of the issue – debates over the relative merits of military action to destroy or delay Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapons capability versus deterrence or containment of a nuclear-armed Iran. Others shift the focus to diplomatic efforts and debate the potential scope of these negotiations – whether they should be narrowly focused on Iran’s nuclear program or encompass a broad set of issues constituting a “grand bargain.” Still others focus on the process of the talks themselves by exploring the effectiveness of particular negotiating tactics.

What is missing from the conversation, however, is an investigation of the substantive configuration of these elements that might constitute a successful and internationally acceptable agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. A thorough examination of how the various policy prescriptions articulated to date might be reflected in authentic negotiations would advance thought leadership in this area beyond theory toward practical application. Moreover, the negotiated settlement that might result from such an endeavor could serve as the cornerstone of a broader effort to normalize the international relations of Iran.”

The full report, which includes the text of the draft agreement, the phased reciprocal sequencing chart, and the sample bilateral “side letter,” can be found here under the Publications section of the SSN website.

This entry was posted in Gulf, Iran, Israel, Turkey, WMD & Terrorism and tagged , by FMalaikah. Bookmark the permalink.

About FMalaikah

Fahad Malaikah is the Program Manager of the Strategic Studies Network, an initiative of the NESA Center that is a consortium of over 40 think tanks from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Central Asia, and South Asia. His research interests include Identity Politics, Islamist Politics and Resistance Movements, Food Security and Agriculture, MENA Regional Integration, and Middle East History.

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