Six months ago this week, the P5+1 and Iran agreed on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The headlines and intense public debates have subsided but disagreements about the wisdom of the agreement remain. As Iran completes implementation of the initial key steps it committed to in the JCPOA, and the P5+1 prepares for major sanctions relief, now is a good time to take stock—though with the important caveat that the true impact of the agreement must be measured over years, not months.
An evaluation of the agreement must begin with how it is being implemented. On this front, the JCPOA has exceeded expectations, as the Iranians have moved more quickly than experts expected to dismantle the nuclear program. Still, the United States will have to continue to hold Iran accountable and watch for efforts by the Iranians to extract concessions and benefits that go far beyond the scope of the agreement.
Read the full op-ed in the National Interest.