What Happened: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced Sept. 4 that Iran would remove limits on its nuclear research and development, AFP reported. Earlier in the day, Rouhani said that Iran would likely proceed with incrementally abandoning its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal on Sept. 6.
Why It Matters: Iran is gradually accelerating its nuclear program to gain leverage against the United States and the European Union and to extract financial relief as it is facing escalating U.S. sanctions. Tehran has been signaling that it intends to refrain from future nuclear activities if it receives financial aid from other signatories of the JCPOA to shield its economy from U.S. sanctions.
Background: Iran set a two-month deadline for European countries to fulfill their commitments under the JCPOA in July and France has already offered a $15 billion credit line to Iran, although the plan would require U.S. approval.
- Iran Goes All in for a Game of Nuclear Chicken (July 11, 2019)
- Tehran Journeys Down a Provocative Nuclear Path (July 8, 2019)
- Where Does Iran Fit in a World Defined by Great Power Competition? (May 20, 2019)