French Ambassador: Risk of Nuclear Arms Race Will Remain After Iran DealPosted: May 26, 2015
Gerard Araud, the French ambassador the United States, says an emerging nuclear deal with Iran will impose tough restrictions on the Islamic Republic and improve regional security across the Middle East. But on Tuesday, Arnaud acknowledged that it could also pose a potential risk: spurring an array Arab countries to develop their own civilian nuclear programs.
“For me, that’s one of the major weak points of the agreement we are negotiating because let’s be frank: the agreement is not perfect,” Araud said at an Atlantic Council event in Washington. “It’s a compromise. Any agreement is a compromise.”
Araud, joined by his British and German counterparts, insisted that Western negotiators in Switzerland wrested the maximum amount of concessions from Iran as possible. Their joint appearance was the latest indication that a final nuclear deal with Tehran is likely to happen this summer, though perhaps not by the June 30 deadline.
“It’s very likely that we won’t have an agreement before the end of June or even (right) after,” Arnaud said, citing the difficulties of fleshing out technical details and possible delaying tactics by the Iranians. “We could have a sort of fuzzy end to the negotiation,” he said.
In their remarks, the diplomats said the benefits of such an accord far outweigh the risks. But as the June 30 deadline looms for world powers to make an agreement, Araud differed with his fellow European ambassadors about the unintended consequences a final deal might produce.
Namely, Araud said that allowing Iran to maintain enough enrichment capacity for a one-year breakout time could cause Arab adversaries such as Saudi Arabia to seek a similar capability, resulting in more countries becoming nuclear threshold states.
“That’s one of the concerns that we have to address after the agreement,” he said. “‘Iran got it… so why not us?’”
Iran and six world powers, known as the P5+1, struck a framework agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program on April 2, but a number of issues are unresolved, such as….(read more)
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