- Policy Briefs
Reactions to the recently-announced interim nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 have ranged across the spectrum, from cautious but hopeful optimism to skepticism and condemnation. The agreement calls for a six-month freeze of Iran’s uranium enrichment above the 5% level, dilution of Tehran’s existing stocks of 20% enriched uranium, and enhanced access for international inspectors. In return, the P5+1 have pledged to suspend current sanctions on petrochemicals, precious metals, and automobiles as well as refrain from imposing any new nuclear-related sanctions.
The European members of the P5+1 have voiced optimism about the prospects for reaching a comprehensive agreement in the coming months. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle termed the Geneva accord a “turning point” in the ongoing negotiations between Iran and the West. In a statement, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called the agreement "an important step in the right direction […] toward an end to Iran's military nuclear program." Moscow and Beijing have sounded similar tones in official statements, with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Wi claiming the deal will help ensure “peace and stability” in the Middle East and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov calling the accord a “win-win for everyone.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu renewed his objections to the outcome in Geneva in remarks before the start of a weekly cabinet meeting, saying the deal represents a “historic mistake” and that Iran’s “cosmetic” concessions can be quickly reversed. In Riyadh, the Saudi Cabinet released a statement expressing the hope that the Iran agreement could be a positive first step toward a comprehensive solution of the nuclear issue.
On Capitol Hill, skeptics of the deal expressed dismay that Iran was not required to dismantle components of its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief and said the interim agreement established an Iranian right to uranium enrichment while abandoning the “no enrichment” position embodied in multiple United Nations resolutions.
Read reactions and analysis from around the world:
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle calls P5+1 agreement a “turning point” and “major step” toward preventing a nuclear-armed Iran, 11-24-13.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says the interim accord represents "an important step in the right direction” 11-22-13.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov calls Iran nuclear accord a “win-win for everyone,” 11-24-13.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Iran deal is a “historic mistake,” calls Iranian concessions “cosmetic,” 11-24-13.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Wi says Iran deal will help “safeguard peace and stability in the Middle East,” 11-24-13.
Saudi Cabinet issues statement saying Iran accord could be first step toward a comprehensive solution of the Iranian nuclear issue, 11-25-13.
U.S. Senator Bob Corker, the ranking Republican member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says Congress must hold the administration’s “feet to the fire” to ensure the interim deal with Iran does not become a final agreement, 11-24-13.
U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner questions whether existing international sanctions against Iran can be maintained until a final deal is reached, 11-24-13.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says there is “no doubt” the U.S. will expand sanctions if Iran fails to live up to its obligations under the deal, 11-24-13.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer says the P5+1-Iran deal “does not seem proportional,” 11-24-13.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says Iran deal dangerously recognizes Tehran’s right to enrich uranium, 11-24-13.