After several days of renewed nuclear talks in Vienna, optimism remains in short supply. Iran is accelerating its nuclear advances under the new Raisi government and is, according to the U.S. government, closer to nuclear weapons capability than ever before. In Washington, the Biden administration has yet to deviate from Trump’s failed maximum pressure sanctions, even though Biden officials publicly bemoan Trump’s decision to quit the deal and recognize the disastrous outcome of Trump’s strategy. The Israeli government, for its part, continues to make threats of war, even as former Israeli officials admit that their pressure on the U.S. to abandon the 2015 agreement was a grave mistake. While both Washington and Tehran publicly express their desire to revive the JCPOA, neither side appears willing to show the necessary flexibility.
What has been achieved in Vienna this week? What are the obstacles to reviving the deal? Can it be resurrected without new mechanisms that ensure the U.S.’s commitment to the agreement beyond Biden’s presidency? Should focus shift toward a smaller interim agreement instead of the full JCPOA? Does America have a Plan B? How will failure in Vienna impact America’s broader strategy and priorities in the Middle East, including reducing its military footprint in the region?
To discuss these important questions, please join our webinar with Mahsa Rouhi, Research Fellow at the National Defense University; Eric Brewer, Senior Fellow at CSIS and former director for counterproliferation at the NSC; and Trita Parsi, Executive Vice President of the Quincy Institute. Tom O’Connor of Newsweek will moderate.