Does Iran Actually Want to Rejoin the Nuclear Deal?

Deputy Director Eric Brewer and Henry Rome write about Iran's motivations regarding the Iran nuclear deal.

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By Eric Brewer and Henry Rome

The United States, Iran, and other world powers are in the midst of negotiations over reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The talks have not yet reached a resolution, illustrating the complexity of the issues involved and the interference of domestic politics, especially Iran’s recent presidential election. Yet many policymakers and observers in the West believe that, at the end of the day, Iran remains interested in securing a deal. This has led to a sense of optimism among many that, eventually, the deal will be revived.

We agree that a revival of the deal is likely this year. Yet it is important to probe this argument further and consider how it could be wrong. This is not purely an interesting thought experiment. U.S. officials have repeatedly stated that they are not sure whether Iran has decided to return to compliance with the deal. And that decision is of crucial importance for anyone concerned with nuclear nonproliferation or U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East…

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