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Expert: Increasing Risk of “Bad Nuclear Deal with Iran”

Emily Landau, a senior research fellow at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies, warns in a paper published Wednesday that the P5+1, the six countries negotiation with Iran, risk “a bad nuclear deal” by failing to deal with two crucial issues.

While most of the public discussion about the negotiations has focused on enrichment, Landau writes that this is less important than Iran coming clean about its past weaponization work.

The most critical issue on the agenda – not least because it targets Iran’s narrative of nuclear “rights” – is the question of its weaponization activities. If the P5+1 were to insist on exposure of Iran’s blatant violation of the NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty], this would shatter Tehran’s long-held narrative. As a violator of the NPT, Iran could no longer profess innocence of any wrongdoing; it could not claim any “rights” according to the NPT, nor pronounce sanctions to be “illegal.” This could actually pave the way for greater P5+1 leverage vis-à-vis all of the dismantlement issues currently on the table.

Another crucial issue is the sunset provision – or how many years Iran will be required to adhere to the terms of a comprehensive agreement before it goes back to being considered an “ordinary” NPT member state. In fact, if Iran does not back away from its military aspirations, there is very little reason to accept that the provisions be short-lived or that restrictions be lifted.

In its parallel dealings with the International Atomic Energy Agency last week, Iran refused to allow the agency access to the military base at Parchin, where Iran is believed to have carried out exploding bridge wire (EBW) experiments. EBW is a technology for detonating nuclear bombs.

A similar concern was expressed by Emanuele Ottolenghi in How a Weak Iran Deal Makes Us All Less Safe and War More Likely, which appeared in the January 2014 issue of The Tower Magazine: “Similar to the sanctions easing, the interim deal has fatally undermined the NPT by watering down Iran’s compliance obligations, undercutting the IAEA’s authority in matters of verification, and ignoring the military dimensions of the program documented by the Agency, which are all at the heart of the dispute.”

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