Hibbs on Iran and US Nuclear PolicyPosted: December 17, 2013
Mark Hibbs has written an excellent new piece, published over at The Hill, in which he ties together two recent developments in US nuclear policy – the Joint Action Plan agreement with Iran, and the decision to maintain a flexible approach to 123 agreements – and makes some prescriptions for US policy on that basis going forward. Here are the opening paragraphs:
When Secretary of State John Kerry this fall stepped up negotiations on the first stage of what might become a comprehensive deal to end the Iran nuclear crisis, he cribbed the playbook of administration officials who were fine-tuning the United States’ approach to negotiating bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements with its foreign partners.
In both cases, the administration grasped that an important U.S. policy objective—preventing the spread of nuclear weapons—could not be met by squeezing foreign governments to agree to terms they could and would refuse. In adjusting, the administration walked back commonly held assumptions about how much leverage Washington has to force countries to give up nuclear activities which are permitted under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
My reaction to this piece is only to say Amen. I think Mark hits the nail on the head with his analysis, and I highly recommend it to readers.