By Peter Jenkins (source: LobeLog)
These understandings are a credit to all who were involved in their negotiation. They are practical, far-sighted, and fair - although personally I believe greater sanctions relief would have been justified by the temporary derogations to the Nuclear-Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) rights that Iran has volunteered.
Agreement - cartoon by Alireza Pakdel, Etemaad daily
The quality of this Joint Plan of Action is particularly apparent in the enhanced monitoring provisions which Iran has offered.
Iran has agreed to:
A very interesting innovation in the Plan of Action is the agreement to establish a Joint Iran/E3+3 Commission to address plan implementation issues and to work with the IAEA to facilitate resolution of past and present issues of concern. Iran has long argued that some of the demands for cooperation made of it by the IAEA Director General and his subordinates fall outside the IAEA's legal authority and are unreasonable. This new Commission will provide Iran with a forum in which it can set out such cases, confident that at least two other members of the Commission, Russia and China, will be ready to give impartial consideration to its arguments.
This Commission is also likely to facilitate resolution of questions relating to possible research by Iran into the technology of nuclear devices. Such research is believed to have taken place during the years when Saddam Hussein either ran a nuclear weapons program or was suspected of wanting to resurrect that program after its dismantlement by the UN and IAEA.
Together these provisions in the action plan amount to a very promising package. They make possible state-of-the-art verification of the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program. Such high-quality verification was never available in the only state that has developed nuclear weapons while adhering to the NPT, North Korea - nor in Iraq prior to 1991 and between 1998 and 2003.
About the Author: Peter Jenkins was a British career diplomat for 33 years, following studies at the Universities of Cambridge and Harvard. He served in Vienna (twice), Washington, Paris, Brasilia and Geneva. He specialized in global economic and security issues. His last assignment (2001-06) was that of UK Ambassador to the IAEA and UN (Vienna). Since 2006 he has represented the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership, advised the Director of IIASA and set up a partnership, ADRgAmbassadors, with former diplomatic colleagues, to offer the corporate sector dispute resolution and solutions to cross-border problems. He was an associate fellow of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy from 2010 to 2012. He writes and speaks on nuclear and trade policy issues.
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