FH+H Partner Dave Jonas published an article in the most recent Hofstra Law Review titled "The Iran Nuclear Deal: The Ethics of Negotiations with a State that Routinely Violates its Legal Obligations".
Read an excerpt of the article below, or read the entire article on the Hofstra Law Review's website.
The Iran Nuclear Deal: The Ethics of Negotiations with a State that Routinely Violates its Legal Obligations
By Dave Jonas, Partner at FH+H, written for the Hofstra Law Review
Since the inception of negotiations, the Iran Deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”)) has been a contentious topic: the subject of debate over both the decisions to accept the deal and to negotiate it in the first place. Iran’s history of pushing boundaries with its nuclear program raised serious principle and pragmatic concerns about even pursuing such an agreement. To allay these concerns, the Obama Administration set forth several red lines over which it would not negotiate. The deal that resulted, however, crossed several of those red lines.
This Article argues that entering into negotiations was proper, as were the initial red lines set forth by the Obama Administration. However, the decision to accept the resulting agreement, with radical deviations from those red lines, was unjustified, setting a dangerous precedent almost guaranteed to result in further nuclear weapons proliferation. To that end, this Article discusses: (1) Iran’s obligations and its noncompliance—focusing particularly on Iran’s safeguards obligations and its duty to provide accurate information to the International Atomic Energy Agency ("IAEA"); and (2) the propriety of negotiating and accepting an agreement with a state that violates its international obligations.
II. OBLIGATIONS AND VIOLATIONS
Iran is a party to four legally binding international agreements relating to nuclear nonproliferation: The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty ("NPT"), a safeguards agreement with the IAEA, the UN Charter, and the Genocide Convention. The first two agreements relate directly to nuclear nonproliferation, while the second two agreements relate tangentially. This Part summarizes Iran's obligations and behavior under each of these agreements.