This roughly 100-page agreement, meticulously crafted by the tireless and sagacious diplomats of Iran and the P5+1, represents a milestone achievement in the cause of non-proliferation. This deal ensures a fully transparent Iranian nuclear program in a verifiable way, adopts new sets of measures guaranteeing there can be no diversion towards weaponization in Iran, acknowledges Iran’s right to enrich uranium on its soil for peaceful purposes, and secures the removal of the draconian sanctions regime imposed on Iran.
Furthermore, this deal serves as a model for how to address future proliferation challenges throughout the world. A template has been created for how countries can develop nuclear energy programs without eliciting concern that they may develop nuclear weapons. Several principles can be enshrined into international non-proliferation law based on this agreement, including ceasing the production of plutonium and the separation of plutonium, halting the production of highly enriched uranium, and prohibiting the stockpiling beyond peaceful domestic needs of nuclear fuel.
Broader steps that can also be taken after the implementation of this agreement include establishing a nuclear-weapons-free zone (NWFZ) in the Middle East, a longtime goal of Iran. The Middle East is already in an incredibly volatile state, and the possession of nuclear weapons by any power only serves to exacerbate instability and tension throughout the region. There is a clearly an urgent need for the establishment of a NWFZ in the Middle East, and this nuclear agreement sets a positive precedent in this regard.
This diplomatic agreement also marks a major step towards decreasing tensions and hostility between Iran and the United States. It can be used as a starting point to address other areas of conflict between the two nations, specifically on issues related to regional rivalries and security-related issues such as terrorism. Iran and the United States both stand to benefit immensely from increased cooperation with one another. By compromising on the nuclear issue, the door is opened.
“The experts assess the Iran agreement of 2015,” Hossein Mousavian, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July 14, 2015.