Recommendations for Resolving the Nuclear Standoff with Iran


Sanctions and nuclear policy expert David Cortright.

On Tuesday, Oct. 15, a promising new round of negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program begins in Geneva. The players include a U.S. delegation led by Sec. of State John Kerry; delegations from China, Russia, France, Germany and the U.K. (the P5+1); and an Iranian delegation headed by Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif.

David Cortright, nuclear policy and sanctions expert at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute, recommends this strategy:

“If Iranian officials offer concessions on their nuclear program, the United States and its European partners should be prepared to provide immediate sanctions relief.

A partial suspension of non-military financial sanctions could help lock-in initial Iranian concessions and provide an inducement for additional agreements to achieve more permanent limits on Iran’s nuclear program and guarantee its peaceful nature.”

A Policy Paper (download pdf below) by David Cortright and George A. Lopez provides more recommendations for resolving the nuclear standoff with Iran. The memo also gives examples of previous cases (Libya, Liberia, Burma/Myanmar) where offers of sanctions suspension have been effective in gaining agreement with states seeking to escape sanctions pressure.