Moscow Talks: Joe Cirincione on Fox News - Video

A third round of nuclear talks between the Iran and the P5+1 concluded today in Moscow, with no major breakthroughs – but perhaps more importantly, no major breakdowns.


“Given the infrequency of serious, direct talks with Tehran on its disputed nuclear program, the failure to achieve a diplomatic breakthrough in Moscow this week is disappointing, but not surprising,” wrote Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, a Ploughshares Fund grantee. 

Follow-on technical discussions are scheduled for July 3 in Istanbul, and the New York Times reports that Iran and the P5 +1 are “tentatively agreeing” to another round of talks, likely in China or Kazakhstan.

Prior to the conclusion of the talks, Ploughshares Fund President Joe Cirincione told Fox News anchor Jenna Lee that the negotiating process is going to take months: “What we are looking for in Moscow is incremental steps.”

The negotiations continue to take place against a backdrop of warnings from some Israeli officials that a lack of progress could prompt it to preemptively strike suspected Iranian nuclear targets. However, a new report from the Center for New American Security underscores the high risks and costs associated with using force against Iran’s nuclear program. “A preventative strike against Iran’s nuclear program by either the United States or Israel at this time is not the best option, and rushing to war would risk making the threat worse,” declares Risk and Rivalry: Iran, Israel and the Bomb, which was co-authored by Dr. Colin Kahl, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East and a Ploughshares Fund grantee. “Force should remain an option, but military action should only be a last resort, if all nonmilitary alternatives have been exhausted and Iran has made a clear move toward weaponization.”

Fortunately, time remains to find a political solution to the nuclear impasse. Cirincione said, “Although [Iran’s] nuclear program is going forward, it is going forward very slowly. Iran is at least a year, perhaps three years, away from being able to make a nuclear device that would work.”

Cirincione concluded, “As months go on, the sanctions are only going to get worse the pressure only increases. We have to know when to use that lever to get what we really want, which is an end to Iran enriching its uranium to 20 percent.  If we can get that, that’s a real gain. We should be willing to give something for it.”


Watch the full video above.

Image credit: Tijl Vercaemer on Flickr