With the incoming Biden administration looking to restart talks with Iran, Gary Samore assesses the chances of reaching a deal.
In May 2018, the Trump administration pulled out of what was considered one of President Obama’s signature foreign policy achievements—a nuclear deal with Iran.
Now the incoming Biden administration wants to rejoin the 5-year-old agreement, which is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and committed Tehran to strict limits on its nuclear weapons program.
But on November 27, Iran’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated. According to the New York Times and other media reports, it was likely carried out by Israel, which has opposed the JCPOA and may be looking to enrage Iran’s government to the point that it will refuse to return to the bargaining table. The country is also reeling from crippling economic sanctions that Trump imposed when he backed out of the agreement.
Can the 5-year-old JCPOA be salvaged?
Samore, the director of the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University, is one of the country’s leading experts on nuclear proliferation and arms negotiations. He served as Obama’s “WMD czar” between 2009 and 2013.
Here, he explains what both sides have to gain from negotiating a deal:
Source: Brandeis University