The American Iranian Council welcomes the momentous breakthrough on the nuclear issue that took place in the early morning of Sunday, November 2013 in Geneva. The Council congratulates the negotiating parties for producing an agreement, particularly Presidents Obama and Rouhani as well as Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Zarif. After ten years of intermittent negotiations, the P5+1 and Iran have finally agreed to the first step in a phased resolution to the Iranian nuclear file. This first step will last for six months during which the parties will implement the specific commitments that they have made.
The peoples of Iran, the United States, as well as the region and beyond will be looking forward to a comprehensive and mutually‑beneficial deal and expect the parties to deliver. The Iranian American community, as a bridge in US-Iran relations, is particularly hopeful that this development will lead to a serious breakthrough in the relationship. A majority of them have always supported AIC's position advocating diplomacy while rejecting war and sanctions.
The AIC is particularly pleased and humbled with the prospect that the nuclear dispute will be resolved based on its vision and broader plan for US-Iran conflict as detailed in its 2008 AIC Whitepaper. The plan proposed a resolution that called for Iran’s right to a peaceful nuclear program on the basis of its obligations to the International Atomic Energy Agency. It even envisioned a six‑month confidence‑building period as well as exchange of letters between the heads of states, which have actually occurred.
The news of the breakthrough is a welcome development for at least three reasons:
- Nuclear Resolution: There is now a plan to resolve the Iranian nuclear dispute peacefully. We only hope that the plan will be implemented in an environment of mutual trust and that the parties deliver own their commitments.
- Communication: A major problem in US-Iran relations has been a lack of meaningful communications among the two governments. We are pleased that the problem with communication is now a past issue as the two sides are communicating constantly and at higher level.
- Rapprochement: A resolution of the nuclear dispute and the opening of communication lines between the two governments will in time contribute to a constructive engagement regarding other standing issues between Iran and the US, hopefully leading to normalization of relations.
Professor Hooshang Amirahmadi, AIC President and a 25‑year veteran and pioneer of US‑Iran engagement, expressed his “heartfelt support for the nuclear breakthrough, the unraveling of the communication taboo, and the opening for a broader reconciliation between the United States and Iran." He also noted that "these achievements are the realization of the Council’s vision for normalization of US-Iran relations, which it has uniquely championed for over 25 years. Indeed, the AIC is the only organization involved in US-Iran relations that has consistently and loudly pushed for diplomacy while rejecting war and sanctions of any kind.”
The deal signed in Geneva is a first step toward, hopefully, a comprehensive deal that will be signed at the end of the 6-moth confidence-building period. We hope and urge that the parties act in good faith during the implementation process and deliver on their commitments as agreed. Proper execution will involve preserving Iran’s right to a peaceful nuclear program, while ensuring that it will never divert toward weaponization. In return, the P5+1 countries should begin to equitably roll back unilateral and multilateral sanctions. For this deal to ultimately succeed, countries in the region, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, should support this peaceful effort.
The United States and Iran have many issues in which they share a common interest, such as the futures of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, the free flow of oil, and fighting regional drug trafficking. At the same time, there are issues that have divided them, the nuclear file being the most prominent in recent years. Unfortunately, the dividing issues have been a major obstacle, frequently preventing the US and Iran from negotiating and cooperating on issues of mutual interest. This broader rapprochement must take place if the nuclear deal is to be properly implemented.
-The AIC Team