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January 17, 2020

Averting a new Iranian nuclear crisis

An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria September 9, 2019.   REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger - RC13159EFD90

Summary

On January 5, 2020, Iran announced that it no longer considers itself bound by the nuclear restrictions of the JCPOA, the “nuclear deal” negotiated with the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, China, and Germany in 2015. This after President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal in May 2018 and reimposed strong sanctions on Iran. Robert Einhorn explains that Iran is unlikely to be in a hurry to expand its nuclear capacity but suggests temporary steps that the United States and other signatories to the original deal could take to freeze or even roll back the rebuilding of Iran’s nuclear program, both to avoid a new nuclear crisis and to preserve conditions that could permit the eventual negotiation of a more formal JCPOA 2.0.