03
Apr

UPDATES: P5+1 Iran Nuclear Negotiations Resource Center

April 3, 2015, Washington, D.C. – Like much of the world, Iranian Americans have followed the Iran nuclear negotiations and ensuing developments with great interest. The PAAIA Public Policy Center is pleased to provide a resource page that provides easily accessible information about the ongoing nuclear negotiations between Iran and the members of the P5+1 (U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China, and Germany). 

The resource page includes a compilation of information provided by the U.S. government on the negotiations as well as viewpoints from members of Congress, editorials from leading news sources, and analyses from foreign policy and national security experts. 

While PAAIA supports efforts to pursue a diplomatic resolution to the decade-long stalemate over Iran’s nuclear program, we recognize the importance of ensuring that Iranian Americans are well informed and aware of the positions held by their elected officials and others related to this matter. 

Set forth below is a collection of the most recent updates to the P5+1 Iran Nuclear Negotiations Resource Center.

 **The views expressed in these articles are solely the views of author or the interviewee, and should not be attributed to the views of PAAIA. **

 

Administration Statements

April 2, 2015 –

U.S. President Barack Obama made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“Over a year ago, we took the first step towards today’s framework with a deal to stop the progress of Iran’s nuclear program and roll it back in key areas.  And recall that at the time, skeptics argued that Iran would cheat, and that we could not verify their compliance and the interim agreement would fail. Instead, it has succeeded exactly as intended.  Iran has met all of its obligations.  It eliminated its stockpile of dangerous nuclear material.  Inspections of Iran’s program increased.  And we continued negotiations to see if we could achieve a more comprehensive deal.”

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“We still have a lot of work to do.  We have agreed on the most challenging and overarching issues, but now there are a number of technical decisions that need to be made, and there are still policy decisions that have to be made.  But we have the outline; we have the basic framing, if you will – the construction. And as we continue on, the United States and our P5+1 partners will exhibit the same vigilance, the same unity of purpose, the same comprehensive approach, and the same good faith among us that has brought us this far.” 

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Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

 “From the outset of this Administration, President Obama has made preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon a national security priority of the highest order.  To address this threat, we have worked together with Congress and our international partners to establish and implement the most comprehensive set of economic sanctions in history.  These sanctions helped bring Iran to the negotiating table to engage in serious diplomacy to address the world’s concerns about its nuclear program. 

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March 31, 2015 –

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest made the following statement regarding the March deadline for a political framework agreement with Iran:

“If they’re unwilling to make those kinds of commitments that give us that assurance — and by us I mean not just the United States, I mean the international community — then we’ll have to walk away from the negotiating table and consider what other options may be available to us, and there is certainly the possibility that that could happen.”

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White House Spokesman Eric Schultz made the following statement regarding the March deadline for a political framework agreement with Iran:

“I’m not going to presuppose failure. Those negotiations are going to go down to the wire.”

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Congressional Statements

April 2, 2015 –

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“The Obama Administration has worked tirelessly to reach this point and I will work to ensure that Congress has the patience to support this diplomatic effort because the risks of walking away from the table are simply too high.” 

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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“Americans want to find a peaceful means of ensuring Iran cannot develop a nuclear weapon. It appears the framework agreement with Iran reached by the U.S. and other UN Security Council nations will serve as the basis for the kind of comprehensive and verifiable agreement for which we had been hoping.”

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U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“As Ranking Member, I look forward to becoming even more engaged in our unified national effort to ensure Iran is not allowed to have nuclear weapons.”

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U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“A nuclear-armed Iran would lead to a less safe and less secure world, which is why the stakes are so high in the pursuit of a strong agreement that is fully enforceable, verifiable and is in our national security interests.”

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U.S. Representative John Boehner (R-OH) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“The president says negotiators have cleared the basic threshold needed to continue talks, but the parameters for a final deal represent an alarming departure from the White House’s initial goals. My longtime concerns about the parameters of this potential agreement remain, but my immediate concern is the administration signaling it will provide near-term sanctions relief.  Congress must be allowed to fully review the details of any agreement before any sanctions are lifted.”

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U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“I’m encouraged to hear that negotiators have agreed to a framework—a major step toward achieving a final deal. Our shared goal in the United States is clear: to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. The stakes couldn’t be higher and I commend Secretary Kerry and our entire negotiating team for their commitment to finding a diplomatic solution that guarantees our security and that of our allies.”

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U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“There is no realistic solution to Iran’s nuclear program outside of a verifiable, broad-based and ironclad diplomatic agreement. After being briefed and reviewing the parameters, I believe the negotiators have made substantial progress and that this is a sufficient framework to produce a final agreement by the end of June.”

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U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“Americans want to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and they would prefer to do it through diplomacy rather than military action. This breakthrough agreement is an important step toward that goal. I believe that Congress now should give our negotiators time and space to work out the details of a strong, verifiable comprehensive agreement.”

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U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“I will continue urging my Senate colleagues to allow negotiators to represent the United States’ best interests without taking action that would, intentionally or not, jeopardize the discussions taking place. Those who are critical of today’s framework have the responsibility to present a serious, credible alternative that would get us to our ultimate goal: achieving a nuclear-free Iran in a way that doesn’t require another war in the Middle East.”

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U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“Those who would thwart diplomacy or undermine the talks should remember that failure could come at a steep price for our troops and national security.  Some of the loudest critics of diplomacy with Iran today wrongly backed a rush to war with Iraq, which ended up empowering Tehran and strengthening their hand in the region.  We can’t afford to repeat the mistakes of the past.” 

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U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“I spoke to President Obama today and he informed me that negotiators have agreed upon a framework with the goal of preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. I am cautiously optimistic about this framework. We must always remain vigilant about preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon but there is no question that a diplomatic solution is vastly preferable to the alternatives.”

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U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“Secretary Kerry and Secretary Moniz have worked long and hard and their announcement deserves careful, rigorous and deliberate analysis. I’ll be giving the framework a very careful look.”

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U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“The announcement of a framework for a comprehensive agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program is a positive development. I look forward to closely reviewing the framework and continuing my work, as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to ensure that Iran cannot develop nuclear weapons.”

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U.S. Representative Donald Beyer (D-VA-8) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“I congratulate the American negotiators, led by Secretary Kerry, as well as our P5+1 partners on reaching this political framework agreement. More issues remain to be resolved, but this framework could form the basis of a historic agreement that will peacefully prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, thereby removing one of the greatest threats to the security of a region which certainly needs no more instability.”

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U.S. Representative John Conyers (D-MI-13) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“The Obama Administration’s painstaking diplomatic efforts are yielding one of the great international agreements of our time: a verifiable plan to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The framework agreement will not only promote long-term security in the Middle East but also help remove the short-term specter of a destructive military confrontation. Today’s announcement will unquestionably make the Middle East and the broader world safer.”

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U.S. Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN-5) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“The framework agreement announced today is a positive step towards securing a final agreement that will prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. President Obama, President Rouhani and the P5+1 remain committed to the difficult work of diplomacy—even as hardliners in the United States and Iran call for war. Peaceful diplomacy, especially at a time when the divide between the United States and Iran is so wide, is always preferable to war. This agreement shows that there is political will on all sides to cross the finish line to a final agreement.”

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U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX-1) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“President Obama is exposing the American people to unparalleled danger for the sake of a claimed political deal by allowing one of America’s most committed enemies to move to the brink of possessing nuclear weapons. This desperate legacy ploy not only shatters U.S. credibility in foreign relations, it rewards one of the worst violators of human rights with the most powerful weapon the world knows.”

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U.S. Representative Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD-5) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“I will be looking very closely at the details of the framework reached today with Iran. A negotiated agreement has always been the preferred outcome, and, as I have said previously, any deal with Iran must prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, deal with militarization, and provide for what Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken called ‘the  strongest, most intrusive inspection and access program’ in history. The international com munity must be able to verify that Iran is adhering to the terms of any deal.”

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U.S. Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA-13) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“Today’s framework agreement would prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon, enhances our national security and shows that diplomacy works. This is a major step forward for diplomacy, national security and global peace. This type of smart, strategic diplomacy brings us closer to a more peaceful and secure world while promoting U.S. national security.”

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U.S. Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA-2) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“As outlined by the framework, the final agreement would not only be a “good deal” – it has the potential of being an historic one.  A strong and verifiable final agreement will also avert the U.S. and other nations from engaging in yet another war in the Middle East, which I believe is an unthinkable alternative.  At the same time, this framework and the final agreement would strengthen all efforts to contain nuclear weapons globally.”

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U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

 “I commend President Obama and Secretary Kerry for their smart, tough leadership in reaching the preliminary nuclear framework announced today.”

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U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-CA-39) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“Congress has repeatedly made clear that an acceptable agreement must effectively block Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon. 367 Members of Congress are on record stating that such a deal must last for multiple decades and include full disclosure of Iran’s past efforts to build a nuclear weapon, a dramatic reduction in the number of centrifuges, as well as intrusive inspection and verification measures.”

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U.S. Representative Adam Smith (D-WA-9) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“This deal has the potential to cut off all of Iran’s paths to a nuclear weapon in a verifiable way. Opponents should seek to guide the framework towards a positive outcome, not attempt to derail a final comprehensive deal. No final deal will be perfect, but the objective is to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapon without going to war. In the months ahead, I will follow negotiations closely and encourage a peaceful and positive outcome.”

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April 1, 2015 –

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“You have to be willing to walk away from the table and to reapply leverage to Iran. And the fact that they’re not willing to do that, that we’re still sitting in Switzerland negotiating when three of our negotiating partners have already left just demonstrates to Iran that they can continue to demand dangerous concessions from the West.”

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Representative Martha McSally (R-AZ-2) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“We’re potentially [legitimizing Iran] having a nuclear infrastructure. We don’t know exactly what’s behind closed doors.”

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March 30, 2015 –

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“As the deadline approaches on negotiations for the U.S. and our international partners to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran, I remain hopeful we will see a tough, verifiable agreement, with intrusive inspections, which will prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. I have consistently said Congress must have an opportunity to review any proposed deal, and I believe the Corker-Menendez legislation provides the appropriate avenue for Congress to weigh in on any agreement.”

Click here to view the senators Press Release.

 

March 29, 2015 –

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“Well, listen, I think that’s better than a bad deal. And I have got a really bad feeling about what they might come with.”

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Editorials/Op-Eds

 

The Fruits of Diplomacy with Iran, Bill Burns: April 2, 2015

“In a perfect world, there would be no nuclear enrichment in Iran, and its existing enrichment facilities would be dismantled. But we don’t live in a perfect world. We can’t wish or bomb away the basic know-how and enrichment capability that Iran has developed. What we can do is sharply constrain it over a long duration, monitor it with unprecedented intrusiveness, and prevent the Iranian leadership from enriching material to weapons grade and building a bomb.”

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A Promising Iran Agreement, Bloomberg Editorial Board: April 2, 2015

“Whether by choice or circumstance, the agreement to come to an agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program followed one of the oldest rules in the diplomatic playbook: Set expectations low, then exceed them. Even a few hours before representatives from the U.S., the European Union and Iran took to the podium Thursday in Switzerland, the betting was that only a vague plan to keep talking was in the offing.”

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Outline of Iran deal offers the best chance to thaw relations, Boston Globe Editorial Board: April 2, 2015

“The broad parameters of the deal designed to curb Iran’s nuclear program, which were laid out on Thursday after marathon negotiation sessions in the Swiss city of Lausanne, offer the best chance in 35 years to thaw relations between the Islamic Republic and the West. The agreement isn’t perfect, nor is it final. But the concessions made by Iranian diplomats, and the level of specificity offered to the public, show that all sides were negotiating in good faith. It is now up to Congress to give the negotiators the time they need to finalize the deal — and they should do so by refraining from proposing more sanctions that could jeopardize months of hard work.”

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The ‘New’ Deal with Iran, Boston Herald Staff: April 2, 2015

“So after President Obama stopped patting himself on the back for what he called the “historic understanding” reached yesterday with Iran, what have those negotiations actually wrought?”

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A Nuke Deal Iran Could Love, New York Daily News Editorial Board: April 2, 2015

“President Obama sought to dispel doubt about his tentative Iranian nuclear deal by revealing that the rogue regime had pulled within as little as two months of having the makings of a bomb, and would wind up at least a year from the atomic red line if the pact proceeds like clockwork.”

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Iran deal watchwords: distrust and verify, New York Newsday Editorial Board: April 2, 2015

“The United States appears tantalizingly close to a deal to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.The framework announced Thursday in Washington and Laussane, Switzerland, won’t quiet all the critics of this high-stakes diplomacy. And the agreement could still collapse in the coming months as the final details are worked out. But this peaceful approach to defanging Iran deserves a chance.”

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Get Ready for a Nuclear Iran, New York Post Editorial Board: April 2, 2015

“Here’s one fast way to judge the new sketch of an Iran nuclear deal: President Obama on Thursday allowed as how the Iranians are two to three months from building nukes — then proclaimed that the deadline for a deal he hopes will stop them is in .?.?. three months.”

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A Promising Nuclear Deal With Iran, New York Times Editorial Board: April 2, 2015

“The preliminary agreement between Iran and the major powers is a significant achievement that makes it more likely Iran will never be a nuclear threat. President Obama said it would “cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon.”’

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I’m a Republican and I Support the Iran Nuclear Deal, Kori Schake: April 2, 2015

“The deal reached between the P5, Germany, and Iran is only provisional and important items like the timing of sanctions relief are still to be fully ironed out. The president is already making outlandish claims — “over-egging the pudding” as Francois Heisbourg put it. It is not true, for example, that “Iran has met all of its obligations,” as President Obama claimed in announcing the deal. Iran has not satisfied the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) concerns about militarization of its program, for one. And I dread the forthcoming effusion of praise from Ben Rhodes for the president’s compelling genius driving every technical detail under consideration.”

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Iran Nuke Deal Full of Holes, Amir Taheri: April 2, 2015

“What we actually have in writing about the areas of agreement between Iran and the US-led P5+1 group of nations is full of holes. Worse, it is already being described differently in English and in Persian — a matter that will surely complicate the task of writing a final, binding draft by June 30.”

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Deal offers chance to ease Iran’s nuclear threat, USA Today Editorial Board: April 2, 2015

“Any course the United States might have chosen for reining in Iran’s nuclear weapons program was sure to require a gamble of historic scale, and the agreement reached Thursday in Switzerland certainly qualifies.”

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Obama’s Iran deal falls far short of his own goals, Washington Post Editorial Board: April 2, 2015

“The key parameters” for an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program released Thursday fall well short of the goals originally set by the Obama administration. None of Iran’s nuclear facilities — including the Fordow center buried under a mountain — will be closed. Not one of the country’s 19,000 centrifuges will be dismantled. Tehran’s existing stockpile of enriched uranium will be “reduced” but not necessarily shipped out of the country. In effect, Iran’s nuclear infrastructure will remain intact, though some of it will be mothballed for 10 years. When the accord lapses, the Islamic republic will instantly become a threshold nuclear state.”

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Deal or no deal, the Iran talks have borne fruit – David Ignatius: April 1, 2015

“The British diplomat Harold Nicolson observed in 1960 that “a good negotiation takes about as long as it takes an elephant to have a baby.” That has been true in the protracted Iran nuclear talks, although in this case, the baby may turn out to be stillborn. Negotiators were still haggling over the framework as they pushed through Tuesday night’s deadline. Officials cautioned that some details remained fuzzy. “

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The Alternative to an Iran Deal Isn’t Inevitable War – Bobby Ghosh: April1, 2015

For months now, those in favor of a nuclear deal with the regime in Tehran have been arguing that the alternative is, inexorably, war between the US—along with its Western allies—against Iran, to prevent it from getting nukes. This allows them to label those who oppose a deal as hawks and war-mongers.”

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