Originally published in The New York Times
Originally published in World Politics Review
Originally published in Arms Control Association
Five interactive slides show just how far the U.S. campaign to pressure Iran into expanding the 2015 nuclear deal has escalated risks in the Middle East, underlining the need for both sides to urgently resume compliance with their obligations under the accord.
The 2015 Iran nuclear accord is at grave risk of collapse. Despite the new U.S. administration’s pledge to rejoin it, Trump-era sanctions remain in place as Washington and Tehran go around in circles as to who should move first. The EU should break the deadlock.
Iranian and U.S. leaders face domestic pressure to further harden their positions in negotiations to revive the faltering 2015 nuclear accord. Both parties should start a three-phase synchronised process to bring them back into compliance with their nuclear deal obligations before Iran’s June presidential elections.
Will the U.S. offer to roll back Trump-era sanctions in exchange for Iran complying with the JCPOA’s nuclear restrictions, and use the existing agreement as a foundation for follow-up negotiations?
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Naz Modirzadeh and Richard Atwood discuss the “maximum pressure” sanctions that the U.S. has imposed upon Iran and Venezuela. Their guests are Crisis Group’s experts on these two countries, Ali Vaez and Phil Gunson.
The 2015 nuclear deal enters 2021 clinging to life, having survived the Trump administration’s withdrawal and Iran’s breaches of its commitments. When the Biden administration takes office, Washington and Tehran should move quickly and in parallel to revive the agreement on its original terms.
President-elect Joe Biden says the U.S. will rejoin the Iran nuclear deal if Tehran resumes full compliance. Iran says it will do so if Washington relaxes sanctions. Each side should use the framework that already exists rather than try to squeeze the other for concessions.