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STATEMENT: CAP President Neera Tanden on Iran Nuclear Deal

Washington, D.C. — With the announcement today of a final deal between the P5+1 countries and Iran over its nuclear program, Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden issued the following statement:

The agreement between the P5+1 and Iran that constrains Iran’s nuclear program is a historic achievement for the United States and its partners. Iran’s nuclear program will now fall under unprecedented international scrutiny to ensure that Tehran cannot pursue nuclear weapons. It represents the strongest possible outcome for the United States and its partners, avoiding both the passive appeasement of Iran and the dangers of military action. It is the best way to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

This agreement is the product of a comprehensive strategy of pressure implemented in recent years—including sanctions and security assistance to regional partners—that brought Iran to the negotiating table.

Based on the five criteria first laid out by CAP in April, the agreement reached in Vienna is, in fact, a good deal. It cuts off Iran’s major pathways to a nuclear weapon for a decade or more and provides for intrusive international inspections of all aspects of Iran’s nuclear program. Should Iran renege on the agreement, neither Russia nor China will be able to block the snapback of international sanctions, and the United States retains all the options it currently holds.

Now that a nuclear agreement has been concluded, the hard work of monitoring and verification begins. Congress played an important role in getting Iran to the table by supporting sanctions. Now it can play a constructive role to make the deal as strong as possible. It should provide additional support to America’s intelligence community and International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, inspectors to ensure that monitoring and verification of the agreement is as strong as possible. But above all, Congress should not block this historic opportunity.

By resolving the Iranian nuclear issue for at least a decade, the United States is in an even stronger position to oppose Iran’s other destabilizing behavior in the Middle East and around the world. Close attention must be paid to ensure robust implementation of an agreement, and Congress can play a critical role in making this agreement stronger. Should Iran use its added funds to expand its subversive activities, the United States and its partners are poised to respond forcefully to Iran. This agreement is only the beginning, not the end, of the hard work.

Related resource: 5 Criteria for a Nuclear Agreement with Iran by Vikram Singh, Shlomo Brom, and Ken Sofer

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at tcaiazza@americanprogress.org or 202.481.7141.

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