The Iran Nuclear Deal at Six: Now or Never


17-1-2022 -What’s new? The U.S. and Iran have engaged in months of indirect negotiations aimed at restoring the 2015 nuclear deal. These talks have failed to deliver a framework for mutual compliance. Iran’s nuclear program continues to expand in size and sophistication while Trump-era U.S. sanctions remain substantially in place.

Why does it matter? Unless negotiations make substantive progress or Iran’s nuclear progress slows down, the existing deal’s point of no return may arrive soon. Deadlock in coming weeks may prompt a shift toward coercive diplomacy or even military action by the U.S. and its allies, and nuclear and regional escalation by Iran.

What should be done? The U.S. and Iran should seize a possibly last opportunity to salvage the deal. Differences on reversing Iran’s nuclear advances and U.S. sanctions relief need not be unsurmountable if Washington can ensure certain economic dividends for Tehran, and Tehran takes necessary steps to verifiably roll back its nuclear program.

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