Atomic Pulse

Uncertainty of Iran Deal’s Future Undermines U.S. Credibility as a Leader, Laura Holgate Argues

Ambassador Laura
, who recently joined NTI as vice president for material security
and minimization, participated in a panel discussion on the Iran Nuclear Deal
at the Arms Control
Association’s 2018 annual meeting
last week. The panel also included
Elizabeth Rosenberg, Senior Fellow and Director of the Energy, Economics and
Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, and was moderated
by Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association.

The panelists analyzed possible outcomes for the Joint Comprehensive
Plan of Action—known as the Iran Deal–with the approaching May 12 deadline for
President Trump to waive sanctions and keep the United States in compliance
with the deal. Amb. Holgate emphasized provisions
in the agreement that never sunset
, highlighting the comprehensive and
intrusive inspections and verification measures for Iran which are permanent
under the deal.

Kimball asked the panelists what they think Iran will do if
the nuclear deal fails. “Some Iranians say they’ll continue to comply. More
recently, they’ve said they’ll return quickly to their previous [nuclear
material producing] capacity,” Amb. Holgate said.

Rosenberg noted that it is unlikely that European countries can
protect Iran economically from renewed US sanctions, if the United States breaks
out of the deal.

In response to an audience member question regarding potential
lasting effects on U.S. credibility for future international agreements if we
violate the deal, Amb. Holgate concluded:

“When we have challenging conversations coming up, such as
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty negotiations] or talks between the US and
North Korea, how can people trust us? It significantly undermines our
credibility as a leader.”

Read more about this panel and other discussions
at the Arms Control Association’s annual meeting here.

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