Negotiators from Iran and the P5+1 have been mum about ongoing talks, but today’s report, written by analysts with intimate knowledge of the negotiations, could give hints.
There has been no shortage of reports on the Iranian nuclear standoff. But among the most useful and timely is a report today by the International Crisis Group (ICG) that provides a blueprint for how a final nuclear deal can be reached. It comes only days before Iran and six world powers meet for a fourth time, with the July 20 deadline to conclude a deal looming.
Like negotiators, the Brussels-based ICG’s report is playing the long game. Its timeline stretches out for as much as 19 years, acknowledging that for a deal to stick, the parties will have to overcome decades of mistrust with years of demonstrated goodwill – or at least joint adherence to a deal.
The report includes a detailed technical discussion of how to ensure that Iran will never be able to produce a nuclear weapon. But what sets it apart is that it takes into account the political hurdles, which have proven to be the most difficult issue to resolve, as well as the view from Iran.
Most previous proposals have been “American-centric,” and too focused on individual elements of a deal, says Ali Vaez, the senior Iran analyst for ICG, who has close contacts with both US and Iranian officials. But this report is “based on feedback from both parties to help the negotiators, beholden as they are to their respective national narrative and political constraints,” Mr. Vaez says.
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It presents middle-ground solutions to the thorniest issues, like limiting Iran’s uranium enrichment capacity and how the P5+1 group (the US, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany) should rollback sanctions.
“These proposals have not been developed to fully satisfy one party, but rather pave the ground for a win-win solution,” Vaez says.
Carefully choreographed to ensure reciprocal and mutually reassuring steps, the ICG roadmap includes the following provisions:
- Measurement of Iran’s enrichment capacity not in the number of centrifuges but by their overall output, allowing Iran to choose its own configurations as long as they remain within agreed parameters.