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Separate the Iran Deal From Regional Security Negotiations

2 37 1
22.09.2021

Over the past year, the United States and Iran have struggled to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Despite progress made in several rounds of talks in Vienna, the two governments remain deadlocked, and there is increasing worry that time is running out.

Iran is rapidly approaching a point of no return on its nuclear program, after which the United States will not see any benefit in returning to a deal if its key provisions are no longer attainable. Iran is also coming to the conclusion that the U.S. government is stalling and is unlikely to lift economic sanctions; hence, they would see no point in persevering to restore the JCPOA.

One stumbling block is how to address Iran’s role in the region. The United States and Iran must find a way to do so without threatening progress on the already difficult nuclear talks. Insisting on discussing regional issues—such as Iran’s role in Syria and Iraq, its support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, an end to war in Yemen, and maritime security in the Persian Gulf region—as part of nuclear talks also runs the risk of dooming progress on diplomatic efforts to resolve some of those issues if nuclear talks stall.

Over the past year, the United States and Iran have struggled to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Despite progress made in several rounds of talks in Vienna, the two governments remain deadlocked, and there is increasing worry that time is running out.

Iran is rapidly approaching a point of no return on its nuclear program, after which the United States will not see any benefit in returning to a deal if its key provisions are no longer attainable. Iran is also coming to the conclusion that the U.S. government is stalling and is unlikely to lift economic sanctions; hence, they would see no point in persevering to restore the JCPOA.

One stumbling block is how to address Iran’s role in the region. The United States and Iran must find a way to do so without threatening progress on the already difficult nuclear talks. Insisting on discussing regional issues—such as Iran’s role in Syria and Iraq, its support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, an end to war in Yemen, and maritime security in the Persian Gulf region—as part of nuclear talks also runs the risk of dooming progress on diplomatic efforts to resolve some of those issues if nuclear talks stall.

Currently, disagreements on regional........

© Foreign Policy


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