With Trump gone, is the Iran nuclear deal back? In 2015, the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, China, and Russia signed the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” (JCPOA) with Iran. In return for Iran significantly curtailing its nuclear programme (and allowing monitoring and verification by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency), Western powers agreed to lift economic sanctions.
However, in May 2018, the US decided to unilaterally withdraw from the Iran deal, which then-President Donald Trump bombastically labelled “the single worst deal I’ve ever seen drawn by anybody”. The Trump administration argued the deal didn’t address Iran’s ballistic missile programme, nor did it prevent Iran from providing weapons, training and money to militias and other non-state actors across the region (including in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen).
What do our readers think? We had a comment come in from Marko, who argues the EU should play a key role as a mediator between the US and Iran in order to save the deal. Is he right? What role should Europe play? And, if successful, should we consider the salvaging of the Iran nuclear deal an EU diplomatic victory?
To get a response, we put Marko’s comment to Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy at the Arms Control Association. What would she say?
For another perspective, we also put Marko’s comment to Ali Vaez, Iran Project Director at the International Crisis Group. How would he respond?
Next up, we had a comment from Παυλος, who thinks leadership on all sides was ultimately to blame for the stalling of the Iran nuclear deal. With the recent change in the US administration, however, can the deal be saved?
Finally, we had a comment come in from Ivan, who worries that Iran could have “a fully functional nuke ready to hit Madrid with a week”.
Is that a serious risk? To get an expert response, we put Ivan’s comment to Ali Vaez from Crisis Group. What would he say to Ivan?
Can the Iran nuclear deal be saved? Is the Iran nuclear deal an EU diplomatic victory? How long would it take Iran to develop and deliver a nuclear weapon? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!