Deal With It

How to Turn the Framework Agreement into a Comprehensive Nuclear Deal

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a break during the Iran nuclear program talks in Lausanne, April 1, 2015. Ruben Sprich / Reuters

After the 18-month stretch of tough negotiations following the implementation of the interim agreement (or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), the nuclear negotiators are enjoying a well-deserved break from the bargaining table. On April 2, the European Union and Iran issued a brief “understanding” on a political framework for a future nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Iran. More detailed fact sheets unilaterally issued by the United States and Iran bolstered that document. The political framework is an important step toward a comprehensive agreement. For the first time, Iran has tentatively accepted substantial reductions in, and limitations on, its capacity to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons for 10–15 years, along with enhanced monitoring and inspections for up to 25 years. In return for implementing these measures, Iran will receive near-term relief from nuclear-related sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations Security Council.

The basic contours of

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