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The Iran dilemma: Interests versus ideals

Published Mon, Aug 29, 2022 · 04:17 PM

AFTER close to two years of diplomatic squabbling, there are some indications that negotiators are close to resuscitating the nuclear deal with Iran, although officials in Washington are cautioning that the talks being held in Vienna may eventually fail to conclude with an agreement.

The 2015 agreement, aka the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), placed strict restrictions on Iran’s ability to enrich fissile material to weapons-grade levels in return for sanctions relief. But the deal was scrapped by former President Donald Trump, a move that was applauded by Iran’s adversaries, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Even supporters of the agreement admit that it would have left the Islamic republic in a position to continue striving for hegemony in the Middle East by exporting its radical Shiite agenda, promoting terrorism and destabilising the entire region through the use of proxies in Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen. The Trump administration hoped that punishing economic s…

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