Testimony of Olli Heinonen of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs on "The Iran Nuclear Deal and Its Impact on Terrorism Financing" before the Committee on Financial Services Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing

July 22, 2015

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Thank you Chairman Fitzpatrick, Ranking Member Lynch, and members of this Task Force for the opportunity to discuss a crucial issue before us – the Iran nuclear deal.

In my testimony, I will focus on the verification aspects of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) concluded in Vienna on 14 July 2015 between P5+1 (China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States) with the Islamic Republic of Iran.  In my remarks, I am mindful that the JCPOA’s reference to the Road Map agreed between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran that is publicly available does not contain its confidential attachments.

Under the JCPOA, Iran will retain a sizable nuclear program with its supporting nuclear infrastructure. In technical terms, Iran has not changed its nuclear course. It will maintain substantial uranium enrichment capacity, and is permitted to expand it after 10 years without having technical or economical needs to do so. In addition, implementation of the Additional Protocol (AP) remains provisional until the time when the IAEA has reached a “broader conclusion” on the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. This contradicts current safeguards practices. Such conclusions have only been drawn by the IAEA when an AP is in force and ratified. This is not a matter to easily dismiss as we need to be mindful of potential complications down the road should Iran seek to leverage, pull back, or dilute some of its obligations at some point in time under its ‘provisional’ status.