Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Door left open for Iran nuclear diplomacy

For nearly two years the United States has tried and failed to negotiate a revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal yet Washington and its European allies refuse to close the door to diplomacy. Their reasons reflect the danger of alternative approaches, the unpredictable consequences of a military strike on Iran, and the belief that there is still time to alter Tehran’s course: even if it is inching toward making fissile material it is not there yet, nor has it mastered the technology to build a bomb, according to officials. “I think that we do not have a better option than the JCPOA to ensure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons,” Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said last week in Brussels after a meeting of EU officials. Under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action under which Tehran reined in its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions. “We have to continue engaging as much as possible in trying to revive this deal.” (https://neuters.de/world/us-leaves-door-open-iran-nuclear-diplomacy-2022-12-19/) The uphill climb to revive the pact has grown steeper this year. Iran has brutally cracked down on popular protests, Iranian drones have allegedly made their way to aid Russia’s war in Ukraine and Tehran has accelerated its nuclear program, all of which raise the political price to giving Iran sanctions relief.

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