Started Dec 02, 2020 03:00PM UTC   •   Closed Jun 01, 2021 03:59AM UTC

Will the United States return to compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal by December 31, 2021?

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Context. In September 2015, the United States entered into the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, a multilateral agreement involving Iran, the United States, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the European Union. The United Nations endorsed the agreement in Resolution 2231, which also provided for the "lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programme, including steps on access in areas of trade, technology, finance, and energy." In May 2018, the Trump Administration announced it would withdraw from the agreement and reimpose sanctions on Iran (see Presidential Memorandum and Executive Order 13846).

On September 13, 2020, President-Elect Biden stated that if "Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations." Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif similarly stated that the United States could rejoin the agreement "automatically and with no need to set conditions [if] the United States carries out its duties under Security Council Resolution 2231."

Doing so might prove challenging for numerous reasons, however. President Trump is reportedly "pushing a plan to slap a long string of new sanctions on Iran in the 10 weeks left until Joe Biden’s inauguration." The recent assassination of Iran's chief nuclear scientist and a possible administration change in Iran after the June election could provide additional challenges.

Data and resolution details. This question resolves affirmatively if the United States lifts or waives sanctions related to Iran's nuclear program, as required by UN Security Council Resolution 2231. An official statement by the United States that it's compliant with the sanctions requirements in Resolution 2231 will suffice. 

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