The US is negotiating a shorter, weaker Iran Deal - analysis


Staff member
The US is negotiating a shorter, weaker Iran Deal - analysis
The American rhetoric surrounding the Iran Deal has gotten progressively less assertive since talks resumed in Vienna.
Published: FEBRUARY 3, 2022

When the incipient Biden administration originally spoke about negotiating with Iran, the key words were “longer and stronger,” implying that Secretary of State Antony Blinken sought a tougher Iran deal that would last past the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’s 2030 expiration date. The goal was then quietly downgraded to putting Iran “back in the box,” meaning a return to compliance with the JCPOA. That agreement kept Iran a year from nuclear breakout by limiting Iran’s uranium enrichment to 3.67% purity and almost eliminating its stockpile of the fuel for a nuclear weapon, while gradually lifting sanctions on the regime.

Now, the US is aiming even lower than that. Iran is currently enriching uranium to 60%, with some experts saying they are weeks away from weapons-grade 90%-enriched uranium. Weaponization – meaning, turning the fuel into a nuclear bomb – would take more time. But the JCPOA is focused on uranium, and any deal would, in theory, extend the time it takes Iran to reach 90% enrichment.