Colin Kahl, Brent Scowcroft, Andrew Parasiliti, Seyed Mousavian on how to close a deal with Iran


Al Monitor‘s front page today is teeming with several high-powered original pieces and interviews with policymakers on Iran, Syria, and Egypt:

To close the deal and advance the negotiations, the P5+1 could recognize Iran’s right to enrichment in the context of Iran being a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and freeze all pending sanctions on Iran. Additionally, the P5+1 might request a good-faith strategic pause in enrichment while Iran resolves outstanding questions about its nuclear program, which would lead to the removal of those related UN sanctions. …  Third, the P5+1 could offer a roadmap for lifting US and EU sanctions in return for Iranian cooperation on its nuclear program. …

Kahl: It would be helpful to give Iran a better sense of what they would need to do to get a delay of oil sanctions. And what’s the road map for eventual resolution of the nuclear issue. It is appropriate to focus on interim steps to build confidence and make important progress on issues like 20 percent enrichment, but it would also be good to make sure these steps are nested within a broader, more explicit framework that outlines the ultimate path ahead for an agreement that addresses remaining international concerns …

We have probably reached a point where we should put more of our cards on the table, both through ongoing P5+1 talks and through a bilateral U.S.-Iran conversation. The problem is, thus far, the Iranians have not been willing to meet with the US bilaterally.


Scowcroft: I think there is some potential in the talks. The deal I would like to see… is to make moves which would not single out Iran… What I would like to see the US do is to internationalize the fuel cycle so non-weapons states don’t enrich uranium… I would even go so far as to say, okay, you want to be one of the states that provide it? Okay, then, your plant belongs to, and is supervised by, the IAEA [the International Atomic Energy Agency].

Al-Monitor: What about postponing some of these sanctions?

Scowcroft: The danger is we’ve postponed them before and Iran doesn’t do anything. This is a case of fine judgment. If some relaxation of the sanctions for a time — if we think there’s a realistic chance that you go a step farther—I would do it… I wouldn’t draw rigid rules. What we should be trying to do is to move this process along and do it in a way which achieves our objectives, which may require that Iran doesn’t feel humiliated. It’s easy to say. It’s very hard to do.

  • Former Iran nuclear negotiator Seyed Hossein Mousavian offers his proscription for a deal in Moscow.
  • And on a slightly lighter note, Al Monitor‘s Roja Heydarpour reports on “The Iran job,” a new documentary on an American basketball player in Iran.

(Photo: Chinese President Hu Jintao (centre, L) attends a meeting with Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (centre, R) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing June 8, 2012.REUTERS/Mark Ralston/Pool.)