May 10, 2019

There Is Still Time for Diplomacy With Iran

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced this week that Iran would stop complying with certain elements of the 2015 nuclear agreement. The announcement, a year after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the multiparty pact, was not a surprise. And it did not cause an immediate crisis, but rather set off a slow-motion march that could eventually end in war. There is no question that the situation just got much more dangerous—but there is still time and opportunity for diplomacy.

For the past year, the Iranian strategy had been to stay in the nuclear deal, try to isolate the United States politically, avoid a military confrontation, and try to win economic benefits from China, Europe, and Russia. The European parties to the deal have explicitly tried to deliver economic benefits to Iran. Their companies will not deliver on that commitment, however, because it would mean violating U.S. sanctions and risking loss of access to the U.S. banking system.

Read the full article in Foreign Policy.

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