VP and Scowcroft Center Director Barry Pavel and Brent Scowcroft Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Matthew Kroenig cowrite for the National Interest on what steps the P5+1 countries should take in order to achieve a comprehensive agreement with Iran while preventing significant proliferation risks attendant in such an agreement:
As diplomats return to talks in Vienna on July 2, many analysts hope for a successful negotiated settlement to the Iranian nuclear crisis. Yet, in its single-minded focus on achieving a deal, the international community has overlooked significant nuclear proliferation risks attendant to such an agreement. Diplomats should proceed full force, but to prevent new threats from materializing, the group of world powers known as the P5+1 should immediately take a number of steps, including incorporating new provisions into the diplomatic framework.
According to Secretary of State John Kerry, the envisioned comprehensive nuclear deal would leave Iran six to twelve months from a nuclear breakout capability. While such a breakout time would provide some reassurance that Iran couldn’t build nuclear weapons on short order, it still would pose many security challenges even if Iran abides by the agreement and doesn’t build nuclear weapons and even if Israel, our regional partner skeptical of the current diplomatic track, is willing to live with the deal America negotiates.