Nuclear Weapons | Readout and Recommendations

The Iran Nuclear Agreement: Could It Inform Future Nonproliferation and Disarmament?

January 2017


The Iran nuclear agreement, formally the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), contains innovative provisions that, if adapted, could be applied in other countries to facilitate cooperation in nuclear technology and strengthen the cause of nonproliferation and disarmament.

For states seeking to reinforce or restore international confidence that they are meeting their nonproliferation obligations, enhanced commitments as featured in the JCPOA—on accountancy and safeguards, commensurability, weaponization, and procurement—could be constructive.

To encourage observance of such enhanced commitments, it will be important to clarify and highlight what practical benefits states stand to gain in return—potentially greater access to fuel services and expanded participation in technical and scientific cooperation programs.

Expanding observance of these enhanced commitments will face significant political and bureaucratic obstacles. Several agencies, institutions, and negotiation forums could serve as vehicles to advance adaptation and application of such commitments.

This brief provides key discussion points and conclusions from an expert roundtable convened in October 2016 at the Stanley Center’s 57th annual Strategy for Peace Conference.