November 24, 2014, Washington, D.C. – Following the negotiations between members of the P5+1 (U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China, and Germany) and representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) in Vienna, the Obama Administration announced today that talks will be extended past the November 24th deadline of the initial agreement for another seven months. PAAIA welcomes the extension as an important step towards peacefully resolving the decade-long standoff over Iran’s nuclear program.
Reports indicate that the initial agreement (Joint Plan of Action) has frozen and helped roll back key elements of Iran’s nuclear program in return for limited sanctions relief. It is important for this progress to be preserved in order to maintain the possibility of reaching a comprehensive permanent agreement. The alternative options to a diplomatic resolution to Iran’s nuclear program could increase the chances of an Iranian nuclear weapon or another war in the Middle East.
“Progress was indeed made on some of the most vexing challenges that we face and we now see the path toward potentially resolving some issues that had been intractable,” explained Secretary of State John Kerry at a news conference in Vienna. “We would be fools to walk away from a situation where the breakout time has already been expanded rather than narrowed, and where the world is safer because this program is in place.”
PAAIA applauds those involved in the negotiations for their continued focus and pursuit of a diplomatic resolution to the impasse over Iran’s nuclear program. U.S. negotiators are working hard to achieve an agreement that effectively cuts off Iran’s pathway to a nuclear weapon and allows for a stringent international monitoring regime ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program could only be used for peaceful purposes.
PAAIA’s 2014 National Public Opinion Survey of Iranian Americans indicates that an overwhelming number of Iranian Americans would like to see a diplomatic resolution to the nuclear dispute with Iran. Nearly two-thirds would support the removal of nuclear-related sanctions if a comprehensive deal is successfully brokered.
Iranian Americans have deep ties to the people of Iran. They want to see an Iran that is democratic and respects human rights. A successfully negotiated settlement will increase Iran’s engagement with the international community. This, in turn, will help the international community’s efforts to hold Iran accountable to its human rights obligations.
Furthermore, a negotiated settlement on the nuclear issue could open possibilities for greater people-to people ties between the United States and Iran through cultural and educational exchanges. Such exchanges with Iran will uphold positive features of American society and help cultivate the goodwill of the Iranian people towards the United States.