Iran and the US appear unlikely to reach a new nuclear deal – leaving everyone more unsafe

Iran’s standoff with the United States over its potential nuclear weapons program is unlikely to ease anytime soon.

The U.S. and Iran launched talks in 2021 to renew a now-defunct political deal that would curb Iran’s nuclear program.

But the window for Iran and the U.S. to rejoin and return to compliance of the lapsed 2015 nuclear deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is quickly closing. China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the U.S. all agreed to the plan with Iran in 2015. The U.S. pulled out of the deal in 2018, effectively derailing it.

But U.S. officials told Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Sept. 7, 2022, that despite ongoing talks in Vienna, it was unlikely the group of countries would sign a deal anytime soon.

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell previously emphasized on Sept. 5, 2022, that efforts to reach a new agreement are “in danger” due to recent divergences between the U.S. and Iranian positions.

I have worked and researched nuclear nonproliferation and U.S. national security for two decades. When diplomacy fails to prevent nuclear proliferation, particularly by a state like Iran that engages in malicious acts throughout the region, everyone in the world is less safe.