UPDATES: P5+1 Iran Nuclear Negotiations Resource Center

March 27, 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. **


PAAIA News and Statements


House Members Send Cautionary Letter to President Obama on Iran Nuclear Negotiations, March 24, 2015

“As the deadline approaches to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1, members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent an open letter to President Obama cautioning that any agreement will require congressional approval for its implementation.”

President Obama Addresses Iranian People in Nowruz Message, March 20, 2015

“As he has done in previous years, President Obama yesterday released a special video message to those celebrating Nowruz, taking the opportunity to speak directly to the people of Iran and the Iranian leadership.This year’s Nowruz message precedes the March 31st deadline for international negotiators and Iran to reach the first stage of an agreement over Iran’s nuclear program.”


Administration Statements


March 24, 2015 –

White House spokesman Josh Earnest made the following statement:

“We would anticipate that Congress would play its rightful role in considering, after Iran has demonstrated sustained compliance with the agreement, a measure that would, down the line, as they described, offer permanent sanctions relief from congressionally mandated sanctions.”

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March 13, 2015 –

President Obama made the following statement in regards to the letter drafted and sent to Iran by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR):

“For them to address a letter to the Ayatollah, who they claim is our mortal enemy, and their basic argument to them is, ‘Don’t deal with our president because you can’t trust him to follow through on an agreement,’ that’s close to unprecedented,”

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Congressional Statements


March 26, 2015 –

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) made the following statement regarding the Kirk-Brown amendment:

“It’s my bill. It’s Boxer-Schatz. It’s the exact same thing that we wrote. What we say is the president should certify if Iran ever breaks out, and if they break out we have immediate votes and that’s my bill. I’m very happy.”

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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) made the following statement regarding the Kirk-Brown amendment:

“It’s what the president’s going to do anyway and we want to speak as Congress that he follows through on the sanctions and the certification. This amendment is minor and in my view the language that we negotiate with Kirk will underscore how important it is that negotiations go forward.”

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March 25, 2015 –

U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) made the following statement about obtaining information about the nuclear negotiations:

I have sometimes picked up the phone and called some of these negotiators. But it’s fascinating how we end up picking up far more information about what’s happening in our own foreign policy than you know the administration shares. And I would say that I’m one of the few people around here that at least attempts to work with them.”

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March 24, 2015 –

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following statement:

We all know that sanctions seem to be the only thing that have worked so far. So another heavy dose of sanctions would be an appropriate remedy if there’s no agreement at all.”

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U.S. Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA-7) made the following statement in regards to a letter the House of Representatives sent to the president concerning the Iran nuclear program:

“The whole idea was to derail it, and they’re speaking for [Benjamin] Netanyahu. They leave no alternative, because they won’t even let him finish the negotiations. They’ve already decided we’re going to war.”

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U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) made the following statement:

“The president has a right to have the space to negotiate the best deal he can. And then we’ll have a chance to opine.”

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U.S. Senator Angus King (I-ME) made the following statement concerning legislation that would allow Congress to approve or reject a deal:

“They are putting on a full-court press to say it’s a bad deal. The deal’s not done, it’s not completed and yet it’s being presented … as ‘it’s a bad deal.’ I’m not sure how you say it’s a bad deal. We don’t know what the deal is.”

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March 23, 2015

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) made the following statement:

“I have an amendment coming up that basically recommends a new round of sanctions…We are watching kind of a version of the ayatollah stole my homework.”

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following statement:

“We will be taking up the Corker-Menendez proposal at some point if there is an agreement…We’re hopeful there will be as many as 67 senators who will say, Mr. President, we really do need to be able to approve the final agreement…We all know that sanctions seem to be the only thing that have worked so far…So another heavy dose of sanctions would be an appropriate remedy if there’s no agreement at all.”

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Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) made the following statement:

“Well, if you can’t negotiate a settlement, then you’ve got to have a credible military component…So the credible military component would be to put a large set of targets on the table, not just a few, to make the regime believe that their very survivability is at stake…That means their navy, their army, their air force, their offensive capability.”

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March 16, 2015

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) made the following statement in regards to the letter drafted and sent to Iran by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR):

I want the president to negotiate from a position of strength, which means that he needs to be telling them in Iran, ‘I’ve got Congress to deal with… There’s no one in Washington more against war and more for a negotiated deal than I am. But I want the negotiated deal to be a good deal.”

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March 15, 2015 –

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement in regards to the letter drafted and sent to Iran by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR):

“I read [the letter to Iran]. I thought it was entirely appropriate…They are about to make a deal to allow the Iranians, one of the worst regimes in the world, to continue to have their nuclear infrastructure.”

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To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran – John R. Bolton: March 26, 2015

“For years, experts worried that the Middle East would face an uncontrollable nuclear-arms race if Iran ever acquired weapons capability. Given the region’s political, religious and ethnic conflicts, the logic is straightforward.”

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Why Iran’s Supreme Leader Wants a Nuclear Deal – Trita Parsi: March 26, 2015

“There are few world leaders as powerful yet mysterious as Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Most of what has been written about him in English only adds to the confusion surrounding the man (Akbar Ganji’s writings are a notable exception). The most common misinterpretation of him at the moment is that he is ideologically opposed to cutting a reasonable deal with the United States—the “Great Satan,” as America is known among some Iranian leaders—over his country’s nuclear program.”

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Look Before Leaping – Thomas L. Freidman: March 25, 2015

“I can think of many good reasons to go ahead with the nuclear deal with Iran, and I can think of just as many reasons not to. So, if you’re confused, let me see if I can confuse you even more.”

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Why Iran’s Hardliners Fear a Deal – Sadegh Zibakalam: March 25, 2015

“The nuclear negotiation between Iran and the United States represents a historic shift—one that is actually more significant for Iranians than it is for Americans. If there is a deal over the next week, as the two sides approach their end-of-March deadline, it will severely undermine the ideology that has been in place since the beginning of the Iranian Islamic Republic in 1979, and which regime hardliners have used to great effect to consolidate their power: anti-Americanism as a legitimizing force.”

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The Iran time bomb – Michael Hayden, Olli Heinonen and Ray Takeyh: March 22, 2015

“As negotiations between Iran and the great powers press forward, Secretary of State John F. Kerry seems to have settled on this defense of any agreement: The terms will leave Iran at least a year away from obtaining a nuclear bomb, thus giving the world plenty of time to react to infractions. The argument is meant to reassure, particularly when a sizable enrichment capacity and a sunset clause appear to have already been conceded. A careful assessment, however, reveals that a one-year breakout time may not be sufficient to detect and reverse Iranian violations.”

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No Iran Nuclear Treaty Without Congressional Action – Evan Bayh, Saxby Chambliss and Norm Coleman: March 18, 2015

Iran is on course to develop nuclear weapons. Few foreign policy challenges pose a greater threat to the security of the United States and our allies. To permanently and verifiably prevent Iranian nuclear weapons, America must be united and resolute. History and common sense indicate this is more likely if congressional approval is required of any final agreement negotiated by the president.”

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Congress Deserves a Vote on Iran – Joseph Lieberman: March 17, 2015

“As the Obama administration moves closer to a diplomatic agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear program, a bipartisan group of senators—including Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker and ranking Democrat Bob Menendez—has put forward legislation that would provide Congress with a mechanism to review such a deal.”

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It’s foolhardy to jeopardize Iran talks – Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN/9th) and Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (ret.): March 16, 2015

“Fortunately, the intensive diplomatic efforts to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran and another war didn’t stop after 47 Republican senators, led by freshman Sen. Tom Cotton, appeared to try to goad Iran’s leaders into forgoing a diplomatic solution to the nuclear dispute. Neither have they stopped since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered what was effectively a reelection campaign speech on the House floor.”

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War with Iran is probably our best option – Joshua Muravchik: March 16, 2015

“The logical flaw in the indictment of a looming “very bad” nuclear deal with Iran that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered before Congress this month was his claim that we could secure a “good deal” by calling Iran’s bluff and imposing tougher sanctions. The Iranian regime that Netanyahu described so vividly — violent, rapacious, devious and redolent with hatred for Israel and the United States — is bound to continue its quest for nuclear weapons by refusing any “good deal” or by cheating.”

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Obama’s failed Iran policy, not protocol, is the problem – Mark Thiessen: March 16, 2015

“So let’s get this straight: Iranian-backed rebels have overthrown the pro-American government in Yemen that was helping us fight al-Qaeda’s most dangerous branch. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has deployed its terrorist Quds Force into Iraq, and its infamous commander, Gen. Qasem Soleimani, is on the ground leading the offensive against the Islamic State. Iran is on the verge of getting the world to lift economic sanctions in exchange for a nuclear agreement so bad that it has actually united Arabs and Israelis in opposition. And Washington is concerned with.?.?. protocol.”

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