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What Is the Status of the Iran Nuclear Agreement

The Iran nuclear agreement, which was signed in 2015, has been a highly contentious topic ever since. The agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

However, in May 2018, the United States withdrew from the JCPOA, citing concerns over Iran’s compliance with the agreement and its support for terrorism. This move was widely criticized by other signatories to the deal, including the European Union, Russia, and China.

In response to the US withdrawal, Iran announced in May 2019 that it would begin to withdraw from the JCPOA as well and increase its uranium enrichment. This was seen as a violation of the agreement, which limits Iran’s uranium enrichment to certain levels.

Since then, tensions between Iran and the US have risen, with both sides engaging in aggressive rhetoric and actions. In January 2020, the US assassinated Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, which led to retaliation by Iran in the form of missile strikes on US military bases in Iraq.

Despite these tensions, some efforts have been made to salvage the JCPOA. In 2019, France proposed the creation of a $15 billion credit line to support Iranian exports in exchange for Iran’s compliance with the agreement. However, this proposal has not yet been implemented.

In recent months, there have been some promising signs that the JCPOA may be revived. In April 2021, talks began in Vienna between Iran and the remaining signatories to the deal (China, Russia, France, Germany, and the UK) to try to bring both sides back into compliance with the agreement.

These talks have been described as “constructive,” with Iran’s chief negotiator, Abbas Araghchi, saying that there had been “significant progress.” However, there are still significant obstacles to overcome, including the issue of US sanctions on Iran.

The Biden administration has expressed a willingness to rejoin the JCPOA if Iran fulfills its obligations under the agreement. However, there has been pressure from some quarters to include other issues, such as Iran’s support for militias in the Middle East, in any new agreement.

Overall, the status of the Iran nuclear agreement remains uncertain. While there are some positive signs that the agreement may be revived, there are still significant obstacles to overcome and no guarantee of success.