Iran Nuclear Agreement [September 9, 2015]   [open pdf - 846KB]

"On July 14, 2015, Iran and the six powers that have negotiated with Iran about its nuclear program since 2006 (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany--collectively known as the P5+1) finalized a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, (JCPOA) that attempts to ensure that Iran's nuclear program can be used for purely peaceful purposes, in exchange for a broad suspension of U.S. sanctions and a lifting of those sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations. The JCPOA largely reflects what was agreed in an April 2, 2015, framework for the accord, and those issues that were left open in the framework agreement were clarified and specified in the JCPOA. The agreement, if it enters into force following review by the U.S. Congress and Iran's political system, will replace a Joint Plan of Action (JPA) interim nuclear accord in operation since January 2014. The Administration and the other P5+1 governments assert that the JCPOA represents the most effective means to ensure that Iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon, and that all U.S. options to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon remain available even after the key nuclear restrictions of the JCPOA expire. The Administration further asserts that the JCPOA contains provisions for U.N. sanctions to be reimposed if Iran is found not in compliance with its requirements, although the Administration and many experts acknowledge it is difficult to predict the degree to which international governments might reimpose their sanctions in the event U.N. sanctions are reimposed. Critics of the agreement, including some U.S. allies in the Middle East, express concerns that the accord requires the United States to give up its main source of leverage on Iran, which is the extensive international sanctions regime."

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CRS Report for Congress, R43333
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