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Iran After the Deal

What to Do When the JCPOA Expires

Activist Robin Doyno holds a sign during a rally supporting the current Iran Nuclear Agreement in Los Angeles, California August 26, 2015. Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Any evaluation of the Iranian nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA, must consider three different time periods, each of which is roughly a generation.

First, of course, is the initial 10–15 year period of the agreement itself, in which extraordinary restrictions will be placed on all of Iran’s nuclear activities: from uranium mines to centrifuge production plants; from the configuration of its nuclear reactors to the operation of its enrichment facilities; and from the size of its uranium stockpile to the level of enrichment—all of this and more will be under the constant supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It is correct to label these restrictions extraordinary. No other nation in the 47-year history of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has ever voluntarily agreed to such intrusions into its nuclear activities.

Protester Kayla Marks of Hollywood, Florida holds a sign before U.S. Vice President Joe Biden met with Jewish community leaders at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center in Davie, Florida, September 3, 2015.
Protester Kayla Marks of Hollywood, Florida holds a sign before U.S. Vice President Joe Biden met with Jewish community leaders at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center in Davie, Florida, September 3, 2015. Joe Skipper / Reuters
It is also correct to praise the complex and

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