Iran’s experience with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the formal name of the 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers, has been bitter. At its heart, the bargain entailed trust in the United States to keep its word in exchange for Iran giving up a number of the rights and privileges it enjoyed and instead accepting unique limitations on its nuclear program, unjustifiably so to many Iranians.
Unfortunately, Iran later found out that a US president could—and did—withdraw from the deal, spending the next two years on violating the rights of the international community. The magnitude of former president Donald Trump’s unilateral US exit from the JCPOA in 2018 and subsequent efforts to force other deal signatories to follow suit should not be underestimated. Conservative estimates put the damage to Iran’s economy at 240B USD.
Iran’s experience has manifested itself in an insistence on “inherent guarantees” since talks to revive the JCPOA began with the Joe Biden administration last year. These guarantees are both within and go beyond the deal...
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