In July 2015, foreign ministers from China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (E3/EU+3) met with the foreign minister of Iran in Vienna to negotiate the text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), developed in April 2015. On July 14, the foreign ministers agreed to the plan, which involves limitations on Iran’s nuclear program and lifting of some United Nations Security Council and other multilateral and national sanctions on Iran related to its nuclear program. The JCPOA includes a main text and annexes on nuclear, sanctions, civil nuclear energy cooperation, a joint commission, and implementation.
As the deadline looms for the completion of a deal to limit Iran's nuclear program, this issue guide provides background on the diplomatic progress and stumbling blocks, and possible consequences of an agreement.
In his testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Ray Takeyh argues that before the impending nuclear agreement with Iran places Tehran inches away from the bomb, the United States should insist on additional parameters to assure that the deal will be an advantageous one for the international community.
This statement was released April 28, 2015, during the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York City. It outlines the United States and Japan's stances toward disarmament, peaceful uses of nuclear technology, and addressing noncompliance.
Authors: Adam Mount and Naomi Egel Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
On Monday, diplomats will gather in New York for a conference to review the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Held once every five years, the Review Conference is an opportunity to assess progress on the treaty’s basic bargain: States without nuclear weapons promise not to build them if the five nuclear states promise to get rid of theirs. This conference comes at a critical time. For 70 years, the nonproliferation regime has limited the spread of nuclear weapons. Today, it is marked by deep discord.
On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to New York to convince the world that the United States is working toward a world free of nuclear weapons. He has a stronger case than you might think.
In November 2013, the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China, facilitated by the European Union) and Iran released a Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), which required Iran to stop developing its nuclear capabilities and in return P5+1 would reduce economic sanctions. In March 2015, the P5+1 met again with Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland and on April 2, 2015, released a joint statement on Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The framework lays out the parameters for the final text of the plan, which is due June 30, 2015. The ministers agreed upon the final text on July 14, 2015.
The prospect of sanctions relief as part of an Iran nuclear agreement has alarmed some in Congress, but they should see the value of a UN Security Council resolution affirming the deal, says CFR’s John B. Bellinger III.
Vice President Joseph Biden wrote a response to the May 9, 2015 letter from Republican Senators to Iran, which stated that Congress had to approve international agreements related to Iran's nuclear program. Vice President Biden responded that international negotiations and diplomacy often take place outside of congressional approval.
Forty-seven U.S. Senate Republicans signed an open letter to leaders in Iran about the U.S. participation in P5+1 talks on Iran's nuclear program. The letter states that any agreement reached must be approved by Congress and that Congress can overturn any agreement reached after President Obama leaves office. Vice President Joseph Biden responded with a statement about the nature of international agreements and Congress's role.
CFR experts Robert Danin and Ray Takeyh discuss Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's March 3, 2015 speech before a joint session of U.S. Congress. Experts discuss U.S.-Israel relations, Prime Minister Netanyahu's strategic objectives, and ongoing talks over Iran's nuclear program.
In his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Ray Takeyh argues that irrespective of the ebbs and flows of nuclear diplomacy, the United States should continue to focus its efforts on ways of limiting Iran's aggressive policies in the Middle East.
The nuclear negotiations with Iran should continue, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass. Though any reachable deal will inevitably be imperfect, it should be judged against the potential alternatives of war or multiple nuclear-armed states in the Middle East.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »