Analysis & Opinions - Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Iranian Moves Offer Opportunity to Improve JCPOA

| December 23, 2016

Congress extended the Iran Sanctions Act earlier this month, prompting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to order retaliatory steps.  Tehran protested to the EU,  claiming the extension is a violation of last summer’s nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA – and requesting a meeting of the joint committee  established to settle disputes over the deal’s implementation. Based on Rouhani’s same directive, Iran has also ordered its scientists to develop a plan to design and manufacture a nuclear-propulsion system and fuel for marine transportation.

Initiating plans to build nuclear-powered vessels would not itself be a violation of the nuclear deal,  but Tehran’s steps do undermine the agreement’s spirit, as they would require uranium enrichment beyond the limits allowed by the deal. The United States and its partners in negotiating the deal should respond by initiating a process to address the flaws in the JCPOA that Iran can exploit.

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For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Heinonen, Olli.“Iranian Moves Offer Opportunity to Improve JCPOA.” Foundation for Defense of Democracies, December 23, 2016.

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