Nation, World + Society

Give Iran nuclear deal a chance, experts say

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Moderator and panelists on "Understanding the Iran Nuclear Deal"
Peggy McInerny

Participants from UCLA and the RAND Corporation in a discussion on the Iran nuclear agreement included moderator Steven Spiegel (from the left) and panelists Albert Carnesale, Dalia Dassa Kaye and Asli Bâli.

The much-debated nuclear agreement that was hammered out by Iran, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — the United States, China, France, Russia and United Kingdom — plus Germany and the European Union is now a fact and should be given a chance to work, said a panel of experts at UCLA Wednesday. Despite its flaws, the agreement was worth pursuing, they said; the alternative would have been no agreement at all.

Panelists in the packed lecture hall in Bunche Hall included Aslı Bâli, professor of international law at UCLA School of Law and incoming director of the Center for Near Eastern Studies; Albert Carnesale, UCLA chancellor emeritus, former SALT I negotiator, professor emeritus of public policy and of mechanical and aerospace engineering; and Dalia Dassa Kaye, director of the Center for Middle East Public Policy at the RAND Corporation. Steven Spiegel, UCLA professor of political science and director of the Center for Middle East Development, moderated the talk, cosponsored by UCLA’s Burkle Center for International RelationsCenter for Near Eastern Studies, Younes and Soraya Center for Israel Studies and Center for Middle East Development.

Some audience members who opposed the agreement and thought it weakened U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East questioned the panelists about the repercussions of signing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal title of the agreement.

Because it is an executive agreement, not a treaty, it did not require ratification by the U.S. Senate. According to a law specific to the agreement, it was subject to a two-month review period by Congress. During that period, which expired last Thursday, Congress had the right to express its approval or disapproval of the agreement. Although vigorously challenged by Republican lawmakers, the Obama administration put together a veto-proof majority of supporters in the Senate that blocked “disapproval resolutions” three times in that chamber. The U.S. House of Representatives chose instead to vote on a resolution to approve the agreement, which failed to garner a majority of votes.

The UCLA International Institute has provided extensive coverage of the panel discussion. Read the complete story here.

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