“The underlying demand that Iran dismantle all its ‘illicit nuclear infrastructure’ is simply not a feasible negotiations outcome. So, if the signatories really mean what that phrase says, then they do not want these negotiations to succeed,” says Levine, who spent more than 14 years as a senior professional staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and over 20 years with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Additionally, Levine points out that, “The idea of demanding independent P5+1 monitoring seems rather risky. If we demanded and got such a role for ourselves, then Russia, China and Germany would surely do the same. That could easily lead to a situation in which the coalition members put out differing inspection results, busting the coalition – and the prospect of renewed international sanctions – apart.”
Members of the P5+1 (the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France, and Germany) are meeting with Iran now in advance of a July 20 deadline for an extension of negotiations or a final deal.
“To release a letter with such unworkable stipulations at this time sends a clear message that Senators Menendez and Graham are not interested in obtaining a realistic deal,” adds Center Director of Middle East and Defense Policy Laicie Heeley, “It is important that we secure an agreement that prevents a nuclear-armed Iran. To do so, negotiators must not be boxed in at this late stage by unreasonable political jockeying by some members of Congress.”
####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