P5+1 Negotiations with Iran - June 23 Update
June 23, 2015
By Scott Flicker, Hamilton Loeb, Charles Patrizia, Behnam Dayanim & Suhas Subramanyam
Iran’s Supreme Leader Refuses Concessions on Key Issues in Nuclear Talks
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei took an
unyielding stance hours ago on several key elements standing in the way of a final nuclear deal. In a live speech on Iranian state television, Khamenei insisted that Iran would not allow foreign inspections of military sites or any other “unconventional inspections,” citing his distrust of U.N. nuclear inspectors. He also ruled out any freeze on Iran’s sensitive nuclear work for 10-12 years and maintained that he would not support a deal unless the U.S. and U.N. immediately lifted economic sanctions after reaching a final agreement. Under
the preliminary framework struck in April, both sides had agreed that Iran’s enrichment program would be delayed by at least 10 years.
Khamenei, who has final authority on whether Iran accepts a deal, has publicly supported negotiations in the past. But his latest remarks mirror the
uncompromising stance taken by Iran’s parliament and undermine the fragile negotiations in Vienna. They also come a day after P5+1 negotiators had called a robust long term compliance system and the availability of military site inspections an
“absolute red line.”
Obama Administration Taking Heat for Talks, Deadline Extension
The Obama administration is
also facing pressure to take a hard line on key issues. United Against Nuclear Iran, an outside group led by former President George W. Bush’s U.N. ambassador Mark Wallace, will spend millions of dollars on television and newspaper advertisements to sway public opinion. Their hope is to pressure lawmakers into rejected a final deal that includes concessions to Iran on issues like inspections of military sites. Meanwhile, Senate Armed Services Chair John McCain called the Obama administration’s willingness to continue talks past June 30
“embarrassing.” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest did not dispute the likelihood of an extension but insisted that U.S. negotiators will
continue to operate under a June 30 deadline.
Report Examines Economic Impact of a Potential Deal for Iran
The Center for a New American Security released
a report concluding that it could take months, if not years, for Iran to fully reintegrate into the global economy, though it added that the country would reap some benefits as early as 2015. The report noted that the removal of bulk multilateral sanctions in 2015 would offer significant benefits, including the loosening of restrictions on the banking and oil sectors as well as access to $30-$50 billion of Iranian reserves currently held in escrow due to sanctions. However, it also noted that Western companies and institutional investors could take months, if not years to invest in Iran for fear of the P5+1 re-imposing sanctions if Iran circumvented a deal.