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Iran Matters

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Iran Matters,” https://www.belfercenter.org/publication/iran-matters.

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iran negotiating team

US Department of State

iran negotiating team

US Department of State

In all the fierce arguments over the pros and cons of the recent nuclear deal with Iran, a key element has mostly gotten lost: what does it actually say?  Here’s a quick summary of what each side gets out of the deal.  (You can find the official White House summary here, though Iran has asserted that certain parts of it are inaccurate – as discussed further below.)  In essence, this deal was never designed to do more than (a) stop each side from getting much worse off while negotiation of a broader deal continued, and (b) send a signal that meaningful agreements are possible, despite the enormous mistrust and hostility on both sides.  It does both of those things pretty well – but it leaves a lot of heavy lifting for the future.  The deal should be understood in combination with the similarly partial agreement Iran reached with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) earlier in November.