Negotiators pose for a group photo following talks with Iran on its nuclear program in Vienna, Austria, on July 14, 2015. Source: AP/Ronald Zak
Washington, D.C. —(ENEWSPF)–July 17, 2015. This week, the United States and its partners announced a historic agreement with Iran that would eliminate Tehran’s ability to acquire a nuclear weapon. The deal provides for unprecedented access to Iran’s known nuclear facilities and its entire supply chain for nuclear weapon components; severely curtails Iran’s ability to create a clandestine weapons program without detection; and provides immediate repercussions should the Iranians not fully honor the deal, including the ability to reimpose international sanctions. It gives the United States more time to respond—including militarily—should Iran renege. In return, Iran will receive relief from economic sanctions imposed by the international community as it reaches the benchmarks stipulated in the agreement.
Today, the Center for American Progress released a pair of papers: one analyzing the deal in light of the alternatives and another looking beyond the nuclear issues to ways the United States and its partners can counter Iran’s support for terrorist organizations that continue to destabilize the region.
“The agreement negotiated by world powers and Iran is the best of any viable alternatives to keep Iran from building a nuclear weapon,” said Vikram Singh, Vice President for National Security and International Policy at CAP. “It preserves critical international unity against an Iranian nuclear weapon, which is the only way to accomplish this goal. Inspectors will have 24/7 access and monitoring for every part of Iran’s known nuclear program and an ability to force Iran to open any suspicious sites to inspection if needed. Critically, this deal does not limit U.S. options—including military action—if Iran cheats now or anytime in the future.”
However, as some critics have noted, Iran’s nuclear program is not the only way in which the nation exerts its destabilizing influence across the region. In the second paper released today, CAP experts outline how Tehran uses its financial largesse to support and arm terrorist groups throughout the Middle East, putting U.S. partners and allies in the region at risk. In working together with those partners, however, the United States retains the ability, regardless of the outcome of this deal, to combat state-sponsored support of Iran’s terrorist allies.
“Now that negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program have achieved a deal, the United States should lead efforts with partners in the region to counteract Iran’s destabilizing role,” said Brian Katulis, CAP Senior Fellow and co-author of both reports. “There are several active steps on which the United States can lead to address Iran’s destabilizing behavior—including increased security cooperation as outlined in the recent summit between the United States and the Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC, countries and stepped up coordination with Israel to address Iran’s negative actions in the region.”
Click here to read the analysis of the nuclear deal.
Click here to read how the U.S. and its partners can combat Iran’s support of terrorist groups.