The Heat: Iran nuclear deal and U.S. sanctions

The Heat

The United States seeks to re-impose sanctions on Iran.

It was back in 2015 when Iran agreed to a long-term deal on its nuclear program with a group of world powers known as the P5+1 — the U.S., UK, France, China, Russia and Germany. The concern was that Tehran was developing nuclear weapons. The deal called for Iran to limit its nuclear activities and permit international inspections — in return for lifting crippling economic sanctions.

During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign candidate Donald Trump denounced it as the “worst deal ever”. Two years later, President Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement and imposed unilateral sanctions.

Fast forward to August 14th when the UN Security Council rejected a U.S. proposal to indefinitely extend an arms embargo on Iran set to expire next month. The decision prompted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to inform the Council of the U.S. intention to invoke the “snapback” provision in the nuclear deal – allowing for the restoration of all UN sanctions on Iran.   

To discuss:

  • Hassan Ahmadian is a professor of Middle East and North Africa Studies at the Univ. of Tehran
  • Ian Black is a visiting Senior Fellow, Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
  • Thomas Countryman is a former Acting U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security

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