WASHINGTON – The Atlantic Council’s Iran Task Force, chaired by Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat and coordinated by Council Senior Fellow Barbara Slavin, issued a statement today applauding the efforts of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and Iran to negotiate a comprehensive nuclear deal. While the parties could not reach a final agreement, the Task Force urges everyone to “withhold judgment while negotiations proceed and refrain from actions that could jeopardize” such an agreement.

Full text of the Task Force statement:

The Iran Task Force applauds the efforts of the United States, the other four permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) and Iran in seeking to narrow the gaps toward a Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action (CJPOA) limiting Iran’s nuclear program and shutting off its principal pathways to developing nuclear weapons, in return for phased sanctions relief.

While the governments of the P5+1 and Iran could not finalize a CJPOA by their self-declared Nov. 24 deadline, they have agreed to extend an interim agreement for another seven months. The Task Force recommends that everyone withhold judgment while negotiations proceed and refrain from actions that could jeopardize a final deal. As Secretary of State John Kerry said in announcing the extension, “the world is safer” with the interim agreement still in place.

Kerry also noted that “We don’t want just any agreement; we want the right agreement.” The parties are continuing to seek a deal that would enhance verification, reduce Iran’s enrichment capacity and extend a potential breakout period. A solid, verifiable deal with real limits on Iran’s nuclear program would also help relieve the dire economic situation for ordinary Iranians. While all other options remain, none is superior to a sound diplomatic resolution of our differences with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Stuart Eizenstat, chairman, Iran Task Force; Barbara Slavin, Senior Fellow and Coordinator, Iran Task Force; and members: Odeh Aburene, James Cartwright, Joseph Cirincione, Michael V. Hayden, Jim Moody, John Limbert, Trita Parsi, Thomas R. Pickering, Ramin Asgard, William Reinsch, Richard Sawaya, Greg Thielmann, Harlan Ullman

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