Iran Is Inching Away From the Nuclear Deal. What Happens Now?

May 8, 2019 | 22:06 GMT

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses a session of Iran's parliament in Tehran on Feb. 4, 2019.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, shown here on Feb. 4, 2019, announced on May 8 that Iran would suspend two of the commitments it made under the Iran nuclear deal. Iran's announcement was timed to the one-year anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

(ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)


  • In response to new U.S. sanctions, Iran intends to suspend two of the commitments it made under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal.
  • The United States will likely react by piling on even more sanctions in hopes of putting Iran in an untenable economic position — something increasingly likely if remaining nuclear deal members are unable to provide Iran with aid.
  • The result will be an ever more vulnerable military situation across the Middle East, where both sides are preparing in case the escalations lead to conflict.

Timed to the May 8 anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal in 2018, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that Iran would suspend two of its commitments made under the deal. First, it would no longer limit low-enriched uranium stockpiles to 300 kilograms or limit heavy water stockpiles to 130 metric tonnes. Second, Rouhani said that Iran would give the remaining parties in the JCPOA (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Russia and China) 60 days to fulfill their commitments to the oil sector and banking sector cooperation that Iran understands to be integral to the deal's implementation. If they fail, Iran will increase its nuclear program development efforts. And as the JCPOA grows weaker, the chances of a military conflict grow higher....

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