Deal or No Deal?

Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service Enrique Mora and Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani wait for the start of a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission in Vienna, Austria, November 29, 2021. (EU Delegation in Vienna/Handout via Reuters)
Washington’s Iran conundrum

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE B eware of happy talk from, or about, Iran.

All of the parties present seem eager to put a positive spin on the discussions in Vienna regarding the Iranian nuclear program and efforts to revive or replace the defunct Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 nuclear-capability deal negotiated by the Obama administration and scrapped by Donald Trump. Iran’s Financial Tribune calls the talks “successful,” the Russians are sounding optimistic (for Russians, at least), and Enrique Mora, the European Union envoy acting as coordinator, characterizes the proceedings positively. So, the talks are going well.

For whom?

The Chinese, the French, the Germans, and

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