Reaching a deal on Iran’s nuclear program is a matter of political will, and the “security of the world is at stake,” the European Union’s top diplomat said Sunday. European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini made the comments in Vienna, Austria, ahead of a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China – known collectively as the P5+1 – are pegging for a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran by June 30th.
Ultimately, the negotiations are aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program and keeping it from building a nuclear bomb, though Iran insists that its nuclear program is peaceful. The negotiations will be difficult for both parties and senior U.S. officials have disclosed the deadline may be pushed back, if necessary. One of the most sensitive issues needing to be addressed is ensuring access for International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to Iranian nuclear sites, including military ones. A second outstanding issue is related to sanctions against Iran being lifted or suspended.
This may sound pessimistic, but I have serious doubts about Iran’s willingness to cooperate in this matter. I also have the same doubts about other countries’ willingness to combat the issue, specifically Russia and China, due to their close economic ties with Iran. Furthermore, is this even an issue? Will a nuclear Iran be a true threat to the United States? I do not have the answers to these questions, but I think we should all be thinking about this in the coming days as these negotiations ramp up.