Diplomacy Works

Thanks to the U.S. pursuing diplomatic solutions, Iran no longer has enough fuel to build a nuclear bomb. Yet the kind of sustained diplomacy that led to this agreement often does not have political support in this country.

Diplomats stand in front of their flags after reaching the Iran deal

Diplomats celebrate the newly-negotiated nuclear deal with Iran. Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs / Flickr

After more than 30 years of threats and confrontation that put the U.S. on the brink of war with Iran several times, diplomacy with Iran has made the world safer.

The deal dramatically shrinks Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran has ripped out 2/3 of its centrifuges, shipped out virtually its entire stockpile, and poured concrete into the plutonium reactor so it can no longer be used to make a bomb. For the first time in nearly a decade, Iran does not have enough enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon.

Inspectors have the access they need.

Iran is subjected to the most comprehensive nuclear inspection regime ever negotiated in history. Inspectors have 24/7 access to Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran has to grant inspectors access to other suspicious sites within a maximum of 24 days, if the U.S. and E.U. demand it. Inspectors would detect nuclear material not only days but many years after nuclear activities take place.

This deal opens the door to other diplomatic negotiations.

The nuclear talks helped create the political space for five U.S. citizens to be freed from Iran in 2016. The U.S. and others can now more effectively work through separate diplomatic channels to address Iran’s human rights abuses and secure the release of the U.S. citizens still detained in Iran. Sabotaging this deal would make it harder to negotiate on these and other issues including Iran’s ballistic missile program and de-escalation of the wars in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.

Congress must continue to support the deal.

If Congress were to impose new sanctions on Iran, it could put the deal in danger and send us back down the path to escalation and war. We encourage members of Congress to continue to speak out in support of the deal and its positive impacts, and to oppose sanctions or other saber-rattling measures that would jeopardize the Iran nuclear accord.

Iran and Diplomacy in the Middle East

This agreement was possible because the U.S. and Iran were willing to talk through their disagreements in sustained negotiations rather than ever-escalating saber-rattling. These talks have repercussions beyond the agreement itself — Iran’s participation in the Syrian peace talks is one important result. Iran continues to play a de-stabilizing role in the Middle East, among other powers, which is all the more reason why the U.S. must engage Iran on regional crises.

The U.S. needs to build on this diplomatic success in the Middle East. Nonviolent diplomatic engagement with all the major stakeholders in the conflicts in the Middle East — such as in Syria, Yemen and Israel-Palestine — can help de-escalate and even prevent violence.