JCPOA: One Year Later

It has been a year since Iran, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the European Union signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It’s time to take stock of how well the JCPOA has been meeting expectations in key countries and key sectors.

Since July 2015, the parties to the agreement have met tight deadlines and strict counting rules, but there has been as much criticism as praise in the agreement’s implementation. For Iran, anticipated windfalls have not materialized and the promise of economic recovery has been slow to materialize. For the United States and its allies, Tehran’s destabilizing actions like missile tests, not covered by this agreement, continue to present a challenge. And the increasing instability and insecurity in the Middle East pushes the two adversaries together while pulling them apart at the same time.

The essays assembled here by U.S. and foreign experts cover the agreement one year later from all the main angles, from assessing how well sanctions provisions have worked to Tehran’s ability to reintegrate into the world economy to International Atomic Energy Agency monitoring to views from specific countries involved directly or indirectly in the process.

  • Dr. Avner Cohen (@avnercohen123), professor, author of several books on Israel’s nuclear weapons program, and senior fellow at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, walks us through the Israeli perceptions of the deal;
  • Simond de Galbert (@simonddegalbert), visiting fellow in the Europe, Eurasia and the Arctic program at CSIS and former diplomat in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, provides his analysis of sanctions from the European Union’s perspective;
  • Dina Esfandiary (@DEsfandiary), MacArthur fellow in the Department of War Studies, Kings College London and former researcher in the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), writes with co-author Ariane Tabatabai on the regional repercussions of the JCPOA;
  • Amir Handjani (@ahandjani), a board member of the Atlantic Council and fellow with the Truman National Security Project, gives us a perspective from the Iranian business community;
  • Anton Khlopkov, director of the Center for Energy and Security Studies (CENESS) in Moscow and member of Advisory Board of the Russian Security Council, provides a Russian view;
  • Dr. Edward Levine, former professional staff on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with a focus on arms control and nonproliferation, gives an insider’s take on the views from Congress;
  • Richard Nephew (@RNephewCGRP), senior research scholar at Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy and former Iran director at the National Security Council and deputy coordinator for sanctions policy at the U.S. State Department, writes on the impact of sanctions so far;
  • Laura Rockwood (@laura_rockwood), director of the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation and a longtime legal expert at the International Atomic Energy Agency as section head for Non-Proliferation and Policy Making in the Office of Legal Affairs, provides an analysis of issues related to IAEA monitoring of the agreement;
  • Sharon Squassoni, senior fellow and director of the Proliferation Prevention Program at CSIS and formerly at the Nonproliferation Bureau and the Political-Military Bureau at the Department of State and in the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, writes on the view from the United States; and
  • Dr. Ariane M. Tabatabai (@ArianeTabatabai), senior associate in the Proliferation Prevention Program at CSIS and visiting assistant professor of security studies at Georgetown University, offers a view from Iran.

We hope this 360-degree review from well-known experts helps clarify some of the issues at stake moving forward. Follow us on Twitter ( @CSIS_PPP) and Facebook (Proliferation Prevention Program at CSIS) for news and analysis on the JCPOA implementation process moving ahead.

View all JCPOA essays here.

International Security Program