The comprehensive nuclear agreement: A historic milestone for a safer Middle East/Gulf

PRIF-press release from July 15, 2015

“This is a victory of diplomacy,” emphasize Prof. Dr. Harald Müller, executive director of the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, project leader Bernd W. Kubbig, and research associate Giorgio Franceschini. Despite the former arch-enemies, USA and Iran, not having become friends over night, they yet realized that these results were beneficial to both. What has been achieved after tough negotiations between the five nuclear powers, Germany, the European Union and Iran shows tremendous goodwill and willingness for a compromise, as it was imperative to allocate and consolidate thoroughly different elements - such as the number of centrifuges Teheran ought to reduce with the relaxation of the regulations and sanctions. The peace researchers further alluded to the fact that Washington and Moscow, despite their confrontational stances on the Ukraine crisis, had pulled in the same direction, as both have a common interest in a non-nuclear Iran.


What is crucial for the international community and especially for the states themselves is the fact that this nuclear agreement notably prolongates and complicates Iran’s chances in building a nuclear bomb while giving Teheran no grounds to even tread this path. Moreover, the peace researchers were rather surprised about the dimension of the concessions Iran had made during the last round of negotiations: “A few weeks ago, Ajatollah Khamenei, leader of the revolution, announced “red-lines” for the negotiations – almost none of them remained.”


The agreement subjects Iran to restrictions in its nuclear freedom of trade and to the strictest regime of control any state besides Iraq (due to having lost a war in 1991) had to accept. The size and the construction of its facilities and its research are about to be narrowed down, making a sudden nuclear strike impossible. In order to scrutinize and clarify previous military activities, the International Atomic Energy Agency will further receive extraordinary rights of access. By means of a majority of five votes within the newly established monitoring committee, the access to non-nuclear facilities can be demanded too, facilitating the enforcement of such inspections for the US, Great Britain, France, Germany and the EU while preventing Russia and China to protect Iran. Economic sanctions against Iran will be lifted incrementally when having fulfilled their duties and can be reinserted when violating them. Iranian imports and exports with nuclear reference have to be authorized by the monitoring committee as well. These measures are to be maintained up to 15 years. Besides, the peace researchers emphasized the role of the highly criticized common foreign and security policy of the EU, which contributed to this surprising success. The high EU-representative for foreign and security policy is about to play a central role as the chairwoman of the committee.


Contrary to previous statements made by the Israeli government, this agreement increases the Israeli security in comparison to the status quo or to the consequences of a military strike against Iran. “On the long run, this agreement can change the entire political landscape, including regions of conflict, for the better,” underline the peace researchers. “What is important now is to promote support – both, on the side of the extremely sceptical regional powers Saudi Arabia and Israel and on the side of the US congress and the military establishment in the Islamic Republic,” describe the three PRIF peace researchers the political Herculean task that has to be tackled immediately. Another decisive factor is whether the Obama administration and the Rouhani government will be able to transparently implement this agreement. The German federal government, co-financing the additional costs for more intense inspections in Iran, is playing a key role, too. Berlin could be in demand in case of a blockade within the American congress about whether to relax or lift an EU import ban on Iranian oil.


The Obama-Administration has recognized that an improved relationship with Iran should not be performed on the expenses of their most important regional allies Saudi Arabia and Israel. Hence, the US already began increasing their protector power function. Especially the Saudi Arabian royal dynasty has to learn that a modified role of Teheran will not inevitably be disadvantageous for Riad. Müller, Kubbig and Franceschini name the conditions for that: “Rouhani has to convince the revolutionary guards that a conservative foreign policy of Teheran is a central confidence-building measure, increasing and promoting Iran’s security.”

Contact person


Dr. Bernd W. Kubbig

kubbig @hsfk .de

+49 176 83454075  


Further information

Academic Peace Orchestra:


Policy Brief no. 43:
Bernd W. Kubbig and further authors aim at illustrating that a diminution of rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia will be beneficial to Teheran and its Arabian neighbors.