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Iran-US nuclear deal miscalculation risks are rising

Friday, September 17, 2021

Significance

They are key signatories of the 2015 multilateral Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which Tehran has progressively breached following the US withdrawal. Although new President Ibrahim Raisi says Iran will return to the stalled talks aimed at restoring the deal, he is in no hurry and shows no inclination to compromise.

Impacts

  • Reports that Iranian security guards physically harassed female IAEA inspectors may harden Western attitudes.
  • Failing a deal, the Biden administration could again tighten sanctions, for instance on Chinese oil purchases from Iran.
  • Military action by Israel -- tacitly approved or openly backed by Washington -- becomes more likely as Tehran amasses weapons material.
  • Neither sanctions nor military action are likely to coerce Iran effectively.
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