January 09, 2015

Time clock for deal with Iran

By Ellie Maruyama

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, the P5+1, and Iran are in overtime negotiations to reach a nuclear agreement, after failing to craft one in the first year of talks. The hardest stage of negotiations between these powers is occurring now, ahead of the March 1 deadline for a framework deal. Iran and the West need to work harder than ever to reach a resolution. However, perpetual extension of negotiations is not politically or economically feasible. A confluence of factors—insufficient economic relief, hardliners in the U.S. Congress and Iran, and ambitions of certain P5+1 members—makes the window of opportunity to conclude a deal very brief. 

Under the current interim deal, economic relief is insufficient to satisfy Iran in the long-term. In conjunction with low oil prices, President Hassan Rouhani’s promise to improve Iran’s economy would be compromised by a long-term continuation of the interim agreement. Oil prices have slid dramatically since June highs of $115 a barrel to around $50 today. The drop in oil price has reduced Iran’s revenue, which relies 50 percent on the oil sector. Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Iran’s oil minister, stated recently that after sanctions are lifted, Iran would raise production from 2.7 million b/d to a goal of four million b/d. Iran’s oil production ambitions fall outside the bounds prescribed by the sanctions currently in place. If the untenable combination of lack of economic relief and falling oil prices causes a crisis in Iran’s leadership, progress in nuclear negotiations could be undone. Nuclear diplomacy could fail entirely if a new president emerges who is not interested in making a deal. 

Read the full article at The Hill.

  • Reports
    • November 21, 2019
    In Dire Straits?

    In a joint report from CNAS and Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA, Ilan Goldenberg, Jessica Schwed, and Kaleigh Thomas assess what would happen to the...

    By Ilan Goldenberg, Kaleigh Thomas & Jessica Schwed

  • Commentary
    • The National Interest
    • November 7, 2019
    Trump Needs to Reestablish Deterrence with Iran

    The attack attributed to Iran on Saudi Aramco oil facilities is the latest in a series of Iranian escalations—the May 14 and June 13 tanker attacks, the June 20 downing of a U...

    By Kaleigh Thomas & Elisa Catalano Ewers

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Policy
    • September 25, 2019
    Trump’s Iran Policy Is a Failure

    This month’s attack on two Saudi Aramco oil facilities marked a stunning escalation of tensions in the Middle East. The scale, sophistication, and accuracy of the strikes all ...

    By Ilan Goldenberg & Kaleigh Thomas

  • Commentary
    • The Atlantic
    • September 23, 2019
    The Most Dangerous Moment of the Trump Presidency

    For all of the uncertainty of the Trump administration’s nearly three years in power, genuine international crises have been rare. That’s changing right now. The attack a week...

    By Richard Fontaine

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia