U.S.-Iranian relations seem poised on a knife’s edge, primarily in the indirect negotiations in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear agreement.
Where do the talks stand? What are the prospects of an agreement, and what sticking points and pitfalls remain between the parties? If the agreement is revived, how much can be accomplished in 2022, particularly considering the rapidly expiring sunset provisions and Iran’s progress on centrifuges and other critical technology? If the agreement is restored on a compliance-for-compliance basis, is there any serious prospect of additional understandings, particularly that address non-nuclear concerns such as Iran’s missile development program and regional network of violent nonstate actors? Will U.S. regional partners in the Gulf influence the negotiations? Could progress between Washington and Tehran help to promote more robust dialogue between Iran and Gulf Arab countries, particularly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates?
To consider these and related questions, AGSIW hosted New York Times columnist and best-selling author Thomas L. Friedman, Vice President and Director of the Brookings Institution’s Foreign Policy program Suzanne Maloney, and AGSIW Board Chair and veteran diplomat Ambassador Frank G. Wisner. AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Hussein Ibish moderated the discussion.