Magazine April 6, 2020, Issue

Why Iran Won’t Make Another Nuclear Deal

The place of Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency at a meeting in the agency’s headquarters in Vienna, March 9, 2020. (Joe Klamar/AFP via Getty Images)
Its political and scientific leaders no longer wish to offer concessions

The era of arms-control diplomacy in U.S.–Iran relations has ended. The Trump administration will not be able to negotiate a new nuclear agreement with Iran. And should the Democrats reclaim the White House, they will not be able to revive the old one. None of this has much to do with the fact that Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Rather, it is the result of the ascendance of Islamist hardliners and scientists who are more interested in the bomb than in another accord with America.

Two key factors made the JCPOA possible. The

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Ray TakeyhMr. Takeyh is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of The Last Shah: America, Iran, and the Fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty.

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