First, P5+1 must be determined to enforce the deal and set clear mechanisms to answer to any Iranian violations. It is easy to say today, but running away from the agreement in the future will be politically costly: Absent a blatant violation such as the discovery of further covert activities or facilities, the comprehensive agreement may over time become “too big to fail.” Short of obvious violations, P5+1 will also need to ensure that Iran refrains from testing the boundaries and ambiguities of the deal—something that Tehran may realistically try to do based on past records. The threat of sanctions snap-back could help to deter Iran, but the political will to expose all violations and/or “excursions” will also be critical to protect the integrity of the deal overtime. Individuals and entities that may conduct activities going against the objectives and provisions of the agreement could and should be sanctioned by the U.S. and the European Union.
Second, P5+1 will need to retain over the years ahead the relevant expertise and intelligence to be in a position to complement the verification mechanisms that the comprehensive agreement will put in place. Those tools should enable the IAEA to have all access that it will deem necessary. But Iran’s nuclear program shall remain a priority for all national agencies dealing with non-proliferation. Sufficient funding should be provided to them to do that. It will seem obvious in a year from now, but less so overtime while everyone’s focus will shift to tomorrow’s crisis.
Third, some countries in the Middle East will ask for reassurance following a comprehensive agreement with Iran.