After a decade of failed nuclear negotiations between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1), they have finally fleshed out a temporary agreement that will hopefully restore trust in the peaceful character of Iran’s nuclear program among all parties. To do so, the temporary agreement must become the basis for renewed discussions on a final deal and the contours of a regional nuclear order in the Middle East. In a broader sense, the outcome of the nuclear negotiations with Iran will have a profound impact on nuclear nonproliferation, a nuclear weapons−free zone (NWFZ), and a zone free of nuclear weapons and of other weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems (WMDFZ) in the Middle East.
This article examines the consequences of the breakthrough in nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1. A negotiated settlement will be based on the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, with measures to address key demands from all parties involved. For the P5+1, this includes transparency and verification over the nature of the Iranian nuclear program, ensuring there will be no breakout. Iran’s main demand includes respecting its rights under the NPT, including enrichment and lifting sanctions, as negotiated in the November 2013 interim agreement between it and the P5+1. Furthermore, a permanent settlement on the Iranian nuclear issue will inevitably introduce modified and newly formulated measures and technical modalities at the regional level, which will enhance nonproliferation efforts. These milestones, which are described in this article, will pave the way toward strengthening the call for concerted efforts to realize a WMDFZ in the Middle East and will help preserve the global nuclear nonproliferation regime in the future.
“The Solution to the Iranian Nuclear Crisis and Its Consequences for the Middle East,” Hossein Mousavian, Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp. 529-544. Published by Global Governance, October 2014.