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Indiana University experts available to discuss Iran nuclear talks

  • June 26, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- With a self-imposed deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran approaching Tuesday, former advisers and some in Congress have raised concerns about the pending accord, at the same time when harsh words from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei seemed to pressure Iran's negotiators. Faculty members in the Indiana University School of Global and International Studies are available to offer perspectives.

Iranian leadership will attempt to shape any agreement reached on nuclear arms

“Even as Iran, the U.S. and EU work toward a final agreement, Iranian leaders are preparing their public for outcomes ranging from a completed deal to continuing negotiations to a breakdown in talks," said Jamsheed Choksy, Distinguished Professor and chair of Central Eurasian Studies in the School of Global and International Studies. “In addition, even if a deal is reached, the Iranian Majles or parliament -- like the U.S. Congress -- insists on approving, modifying or rejecting the terms.

“Many Iranian leaders and other citizens very much want a final agreement, but some anti-Western hardliners in that nation would like to scuttle any agreement,” Choksy said. “Iran's supreme leader is still hedging his position as well, unwilling to fully commit to a nuclear agreement until the final terms are known. So much remains in flux toward reaching agreement, and thereafter more tussles can be expected in its implementation. Essentially Iran will likely seek to preserve its long-term nuclear capability while making short-term concessions to ensure sanctions removal.”

Choksy is an authority on Iran and the Persian Gulf nations as well as the Indian subcontinent, Zoroastrianism and Islam. In just the past five years, he has authored more than 130 foreign policy papers and international affairs commentaries. After the parties reached a framework agreement on a nuclear deal earlier this year, he co-authored opinion columns with Carol Choksy, an adjunct lecturer of strategic intelligence at IU, for CNN and Real Clear World. He can be reached at 317-989-4178 or jchoksy@indiana.edu.

Future inspections key to agreement

“The central sticking point on the Iran deal it appears to me is the question of unfettered inspections of Iran's nuclear military installations,” said Sumit Ganguly, director of the Center on American and Global Security in the School of Global and International Studies and the Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations in the Department of Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences. “The all-powerful clergy are balking at this and so are the Revolutionary Guards.

“U.S. negotiators, on the other hand, seem adamant that access has to be granted," Ganguly said. “One possible solution might be some form of negotiated access. We are now down to the wire and, of course, those opposed to any deal with the Iranians are trotting out every red herring they can lay their hands on.”

Ganguly is an expert on international affairs and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations as well as a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He has also served as a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Ganguly specializes in the contemporary politics of South Asia as well and has authored, co-authored, edited or co-edited 20 books on the region. He can be reached at 812-855-1363 or sganguly@indiana.edu.

Hold out for the right deal

“A good deal is strongly in the interests of the United States and its allies and far preferable than the alternative. But the consequences of not getting a deal are worse for Tehran," said Lee Feinstein, founding dean of the IU School of Global and International Studies and an expert on nuclear non-proliferation and arms control who has held senior positions at the departments of state and defense.

“The United States and the other P5+1 countries are reasonably united at this time, putting Washington in a strong position to extend the negotiations if necessary, while keeping the Joint Plan of Action in place in the meantime.” 

Feinstein was U.S. ambassador to Poland from 2009 to 2012 and principal deputy director of policy planning to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. He served as national security director to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign and on President Barack Obama’s State Department Transition Team. Feinstein is a former senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He can be reached at 812-856-7900 or lafeinst@indiana.edu.

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Jamsheed Choksy

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Sumit Ganguly

Sumit Ganguly

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Lee Feinstein

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