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USC experts: Iran nuclear deal has broad implications for international security, but more work left to do

Experts on nuclear proliferation and the Middle East weigh in on Tuesday’s historic announcement

The historic accord with Iran announced on July 14 would reportedly limit the nation’s nuclear ability in exchange for lifting international oil and financial sanctions. Two USC experts say the deal is just the beginning.


Jacques Hymans

“The Iran nuclear issue remains a marathon, not a sprint. The past two years of diplomacy have had a positive impact for international security. The interim confidence-building measures that Iran has undertaken since January 2014 place it further away from having a nuclear weapon than it was when the negotiations began. And even at that time, it was likely several years away from having a real nuclear weapon.

“The chatter about Iran being able to ‘cross the nuclear threshold’ within the time span of a few months is based on defining the ‘nuclear threshold’ as a significant quantity of fissile material, which is not at all equivalent to having actual nuclear weapons.”

JACQUES HYMANS
associate professor of international relations at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, an expert in nuclear proliferation and diplomacy


Josh Lockman

“This historic deal reached with Iran represents an important step in thwarting and curtailing its progress toward nuclear enrichment and a weaponized capability. That being said, beyond this deal, broader efforts to contain Iran’s destabilizing influence and threats to regional allies, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, must be made by the U.S. and its allies in the coming weeks and months following the initial implementation of this deal.”

JOSH LOCKMAN
lecturer on international law and U.S. foreign policy at the USC Gould School of Law, an expert on international crises in the Middle East

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