Washington DC – July 18, 2014 – Press Release – Today, world powers announced the need for an extension of negotiations with Iran as diplomats work to achieve a comprehensive deal on Iran’s nuclear program. The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation strongly supports more time for diplomacy—without interference from Congress—to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran and the potential for military engagement. Over the past several years, the U.S. has made genuine gains in its diplomatic efforts to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. Nuclear inspections have confirmed that Iran has frozen and even rolled back its nuclear activities – living up to its promises under the current deal.
“An extension of talks freezes Iran’s nuclear program in its current, more transparent state, and allows negotiators more time to come up with the best possible deal,” said Laicie Heeley, Director of Middle East and Defense Policy at the Center. “You don’t leave the game during overtime. We may not yet have this issue resolved, but negotiators are working hard to ensure that we will. And as it stands we’re far better off than we were six months ago.”
This is the time for negotiators to dig deep and come up with a deal. It is not the time for additional sanctions or demands such as those included in a letter being circulated now by Senators Menendez and Graham.
“Senators Menendez and Graham are right to demand that Iran’s nuclear program be constrained, but they should recognize that unrealistic stipulations like these could doom the talks to failure. We can achieve the deal we need without imposing such difficult conditions,” said Heeley.
“There is broad support among the American public for a negotiated agreement, and that’s what we’re working towards now,” said Executive Director Angela Canterbury. “Diplomacy takes time. The most important thing to remember is that this extension limits the possibility of an Iranian nuclear weapon or another intractable war,”said Canterbury. “We have a clear choice. Do we want inspectors on the ground, or boots on the ground?”
####The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a Washington-based non-profit think tank working to reduce the number of nuclear weapons stockpiled across the globe, increase international nonproliferation programs targeted at preventing the further proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism, redirect U.S. military spending to address 21st century security threats and halt the proliferation of biological and chemical weapons. www.armscontrolcenter.org