Jeffrey LewisVisualizing the Iran Deal

I’ve got a new column up at Foreign Policy on the Iran deal. Sadly, while we made this nice graphic, we couldn’t use it. So, I am sharing it with you here, dear readers.

I also think you should read Michael Krepon’s series on the deal: 1, 2.

Comments

  1. Ben D (History)

    Thank you for s very interesting and informative article..

  2. John Smith (History)

    Mark Hibbs of the Carnegie Endowment has pointed out that the JCPOA will allow Iran to implement the Additional Protocol on a voluntary basis for up to eight years before it is legally binding. I believe that would complicate verification and seriously undermine this deal. I’m curious as to what you would say to that. Thanks.

    • Jeffrey (History)

      From a verification perspective, it doesn’t matter whether the AP is being implemented voluntarily or not — just as long as it is being implemented. If Iran were to stop implementing the Additional Protocol, I would strongly recommend the US avail itself of the so-called “snapback” provision.

      It is important, however, as a long term confidence building measure that Iran ultimately ratify the Additional Protocol — and that this happen during the lifetime of the agreement. If Iran does not do this, I believe that will trigger a very serious crisis.

    • Yeah, Right (History)

      JS: “Mark Hibbs of the Carnegie Endowment has pointed out that the JCPOA will allow Iran to implement the Additional Protocol on a voluntary basis”….

      If Mark Hibbs said that then he has made an error.

      Under the JCPOA Iran commits to the Additional Protocol on a “provisional” basis, not on a “voluntary” basis.

      There is a very big difference, and it is spelled out in great detail in the Vienna Convention on the Law Of Treaties.

      Basically, the implementation of treaty commitments is identical regardless of whether that treaty commitment is “provisional” or it is “ratified”.

      The only difference is in how easy it is for the signatory to withdraw from that treaty (you can back out of a “provisional treaty” at any time).

      JS: “I believe that would complicate verification and seriously undermine this deal.”

      You are wrong.

      That a treaty commitment is “provisional” makes no difference to its implementation.

      Remember always that the P5+1 has a big stick that they can wave at Iran, which is “snap-back”.

      On its own that would allow the P5+1 to pull a fast one on Iran i.e. wait until Iran ratifies the AP (and, therefore, become perpetually bound by it), then send a vexatious complaint to the UNSC to trigger “snap-back” of sanctions.

      Doing so would hang Iran out to dry, and the Iranians are too smart not to spot that possibility.

      This “provisional” commitment to the AP prevents the P5+1 from doing that for at least the next 8 years, and so there is no doubt that this was the quid pro quo demanded by the Iranians before they would agree to “snap-back”.

    • Jeffrey (History)

      Yes, that’s an important point about provisional.

  3. Ben D (History)

    Here is Iran’s take on it…http://www.irna.ir/en/News/81683423/

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