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Policy Briefings

 

IU experts available to discuss tentative Iran nuclear deal

April 2, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The European Union has announced that the basis for a deal on a peaceful Iranian nuclear program has been reached. Faculty members in the Indiana University School of Global and International Studies and IU Maurer School of Law are available to offer perspectives.

Caution needed, but a positive development in U.S.-Iran relations

"A deal that substantially impairs Iran's ability to build nuclear weapons is in the interests of the entire international community," said Feisal Istrabadi, founding director of the IU Center for the Study of the Middle East and Iraq's ambassador and deputy permanent representative to the United Nations in 2004-07. "It appears that the negotiators are headed in that direction. As a matter of U.S.-Iran bilateral relations, any improvement and de-escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Iran is positive. Still, we have yet to see the details of a final agreement, so caution is appropriate.

"The United States and Iran do not have inherent conflicts of strategic interest. Iran was, after all, an ally of the U.S. for decades before the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Although there is much water under the bridge since 1979, it is possible to conceive of a series of confidence-building measures undertaken between the two countries -- including this nuclear deal, should a final deal be reached -- that could gradually improve relations. We already know that the United States and Iran have coordinated or cooperated, probably directly, to some level in fighting ISIL in Iraq, as well as in regards to other shared interests in Iraq.

"Regional powers, including perhaps both Israel and Saudi Arabia, will likely seek opportunities to limit any rapprochement between the U.S. and Iran. There will also be political forces within each, the United States and Iran, that will see any such rapprochement as a threat to their entrenched interests. There will, therefore, be opportunities for missteps in the bilateral relationship, but again, any opportunity to de-escalate tensions should be pursued."

Istrabadi also is professor of the practice of international law and diplomacy in both the IU Maurer School of Law and the School of Global and International Studies. He can be reached at 812-855-4221 (office), 646-483-8081 (mobile) or fistraba@indiana.edu.

Keys to success must include verification

"The announcement today in Lausanne of key parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will prove highly significant if those parameters are enshrined in a binding agreement whose text has still to be finalized over the next three months," said Jamsheed Choksy, Distinguished Professor of Central Eurasian studies, Middle Eastern and Islamic studies and history at IU Bloomington. "If that forthcoming agreement does indeed contain the full details announced today, and if the Islamic Republic of Iran cooperates routinely and fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency's verification teams, then the world should be delighted that Iran is re-entering the global arena as a responsible partner.

"The keys to success over the long-term -- the next 10 to 25 years which the announcement and the forthcoming agreement are supposed to cover -- will be cooperation and verification," Choksy added.

Choksy can be reached at 317-989-4178 or jchoksy@indiana.edu.