On the occasion of the release of the Geneva Paper entitled “Distrust and Verify: An Analytical Appraisal of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action”, the GCSP hosted a public discussion on the topic “After the Iran Nuclear Deal, What Next?” on 28 April 2016.
GCSP - Maison de la paix (7th Floor)
The chair, Mr Marc Finaud, introduced the topic by recalling the genesis of the negotiation on the Iranian nuclear programme. He highlighted the three key factors that facilitated the conclusion of the agreement in July of 2015: the change of U.S. administration in 2008, the shift in the P5+1 policy from insistence on cessation of uranium enrichment by Iran to containment of Tehran’s programme, and the election of president Rouhani on a platform of sanctions relief. Moreover, the negotiation succeeded because the solution found to the Iran nuclear programme was a win-win one, based on reciprocal obligations and an unprecedented verification regime.
The panelist, Ms Dina Esfiandary, from King’s College London, analysing the regional consequences of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), emphasized that most Arab regional states are less worried by Iran’s nuclear programme than Iran’s expansionist policies and support to Shiite proxies. One of the results of the JCPOA is that it became easier to talk with the current Iranian government; however its assistance to the Syrian regime complicates the situation there.
The other panellist, Dr Jubin M. Goodarzi, from Webster University Geneva, explained that the implementation of the JCPOA, seen as a success of the Rouhani team, may be endangered by the conservatives that will point to the untrustworthiness of the U.S.
The panellists took part in an engaging debate by interacting with the audience who expressed and shared their concerns regarding the situation in the Middle East. One of the topics discussed was the impact of the lifting of sanctions on Iran’s behaviour as well as on Western companies that may be discouraged to renew business with Iran by the uncertainty and the complexity of the U.S. sanctions system.