AIC Board Member Sir Richard Dalton on The Iran Nuclear Negotiations

AIC Board Member, Sir Richard Dalton, delivered the Lord Denman Memorial Lecture to the Royal Society for Asian Affairs on June 15 2016.

The introduction of this text is included below.  Please find the full text of his speech in Asian Affairs Journal.


It is an honour to be asked to deliver the fourth Charles Denman memorial lecture to the Royal Society for Asian Affairs. You have chosen a lecturer who knows a little about West Asia, but nothing about East Asia. Though I can claim a great grandfather who was a Governor of Hong Kong.

It’s 29 September 2016: the Islamic Republic of Iran News Agency reports that President Rouhani has returned from New York where he addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations and met numerous Heads of State and Government. Unfortunately, he has had to tell the Iranian people that the US and its partners have not done, and will not do, enough to enable Iran’s reintegration into the world economy. They are in breach of their obligations. Despite some limited progress, foreign businesses are still unable to secure finance for trade and investment owing to the boycott of Iran by major banks. This is contrary to the commitment of the Five plus One to facilitate financial cooperation with Iran. Accordingly Iran is giving notice to the international community and to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that it is obliged to postpone the next routine inspection visits by the IAEA and that should the situation have not improved by the end of 2016, it will consider suspending other aspects of its hitherto exemplary cooperation with the IAEA.

It’s 29 September 2016. Reuters reports that, on his return, Rouhani was able to tell his people that he was assured in New York that an itemized set of measures will be adopted by the governments of the US, Britain, France and Germany that should ensure that Iranian businesses are able to pay suppliers through major Western banks including through Iranian banks in London, that finance will be made available for big deals with Iran such as sales of aircraft and that Western banks will consider supporting investment under the new Iranian Petroleum Contract in the Iranian Oil Industry.

One of these may turn out to be true – both are possible. I shall assess the future of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was agreed on 14 July 2015. It will endure. To start with I shall take you on a quick tour of 15 years of nuclear diplomacy, and its promising aftermath.

The full text of this speech can be found in Asian Affairs Journal