What this article outlines is, in fact, the termination clause within the Iranian nuclear deal. A full analysis shows how the language used to craft the deal gives Iran the easy out, ‘the-exit-ramp’ as soon as the sanctions are lifted.
WASHINGTON DC – Last Tuesday, a 159-page PDF of the Iran nuclear agreement dropped into my inbox. Scrolling down to page 19, I checked out Paragraph 36. I suggest you do the same.
Plenty of provisions in the Vienna agreement will get attention in the coming weeks, but Paragraph 36 may be the most important of all.
Paragraph 36 tells us when and how the agreement might end. Both friend and foe have touted this deal as “historic” and promised (or moaned) that its provisions will stay in place for the long term. But in practice, this is not a ten-year agreement or a fifteen-year agreement or an eternal agreement. Paragraph 36 tells us the truth: Any party—be it Iran or a future U.S. president—can essentially ditch the Iran nuclear deal with 35 days’ notice.
Iran might need to wait a little longer—an extra 30 working days—to check a box buried in Annex IV. But, after that, under Paragraph 36, Iran can claim that any of the P5+1 is “not meeting its commitments” under the agreement. That triggers a 35-day set of meetings. Once that clock runs, Iran can claim the issue “has not been resolved to [its] satisfaction” and that it “deems” that the issue “constitutes significant non-performance.” Iran can then “cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part.” The agreement is done.
Once Iran has received its $150 billion and locked in long-term business contracts with the West, this quick exit could be an attractive option. So, too, could Iran bolt later on, removing the restrictions that remain after years ten and fifteen, or it could bolt under some scenario hard to foresee now.
[…] For lawyers, Paragraph 36 packs other goodies. Scroll down in your PDF, and you’ll find an imaginary creature, the “Advisory Board.” The agreement provides for a non-binding, arbitration-style “Advisory Board,” a laudable idea. But how is the panel’s third member picked? The drafters don’t tell us. So the Advisory Board might never be able to convene.
That, by the way, shortens the exit period to 30 days. Read Paragraph 36 to understand why (read more)