Washington Perspectives

P5+1 Negotiations with Iran - June 19 Update

June 19, 2015

Scott Flicker, Hamilton Loeb, Charles Patrizia, Behnam Dayanim & Suhas Subramanyam

Diplomats familiar with negotiations in Vienna remain optimistic about a final deal being reached because of political pressure on both sides to complete an agreement.  Speaking to Reuters on conditions of anonymity, the senior diplomats and former negotiators with knowledge of talks believe it’s 60-70% likely that both sides will strike a final deal on or shortly after the June 30 deadline.  They indicated that Iranian negotiators have agreed to grant U.N. inspectors access to military sites and nuclear scientists as part of verification regime, while the U.S. has softened its stance on requiring evidence of Iran’s past weaponization.  The diplomats also noted that the P5+1 has worked out a coordinated plan to immediately snapback sanctions if Iran fails to meet nuclear benchmarks, a major sticking point earlier this week.

National Security Advisor Susan Rice also put the chances of reaching a deal at 60%, though she insisted that no deal would be better than a bad deal for the U.S.  Russian President Vladimir Putin remains optimistic as well and told reports after a meeting with the IAEA Director General that it would take six months to fully implement a final deal.

But obstacles still remain, and a U.S. State Department report on global terrorism released today labeled Iran as a remaining nuclear proliferation concern and a state sponsor of terrorism, noting its support for Hezbollah and other Middle East militia groups classified as terrorist groups.

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