The DEFCON Warning System™

Ongoing GeoIntel and Analysis in the theater of nuclear war.  DEFCON Level assessment issued for public notification.  Established 1984.

The United States and Iran Are Headed Toward a New Nuclear Normal

President Joe Biden was not betraying any secret when he was recently caught on a live mic observing that the effort to resuscitate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is “dead.”

Everything has changed—for the worse—since the diplomatic effort to put Iran’s nuclear program “in a box” was initialed in 2015. Tehran can now produce enough weapons-grade uranium for a bomb in less than a week.

The search is on for a new formula that will diffuse the ongoing crisis. French president Emmanuel Macron suggested in November that a “new framework“ is likely to be required.

There is good reason not to despair, or to fear an overt Iranian nuclear breakout in the wake of the JCPOA’s demise. There is indeed “a new framework” in the making.

The JCPOA was premised on the assumption that Iran would agree to a series of intrusive measures, many of them unprecedented, that would reduce Iran’s nuclear “break out” period to a year by creating real obstacles to Iran’s uranium enrichment program at a level necessary for the development of a nuclear weapon. In return the US would lift its veto on Western investment in the Iranian market.

Iran always saw this as an unequal and coercive bargain, which masked a continuing effort by Washington to undermine the Iranian revolution of 1979. Washington, for its part, proved unwilling, even in the wake of the 2015 agreement, to forego the use of ever-escalating economic sanctions at the heart of its policy of “maximum pressure” towards Tehran.

The Trump administration’s repudiation of the agreement precipitated the complete breakdown of this enterprise, which the Biden administration has failed to remedy.

But there is reason to believe that the JCPOA’s failure has created an opportunity to build a post-JCPOA understanding between Washington and Tehran that may indeed prove more lasting and effective than the moribund JCPOA in defusing Washington’s (if not Israel’s) concerns.

Read more at National Interest

Ongoing Geointel and Analysis in the theater of nuclear war.

© 2024 The DEFCON Warning System. Established 1984.

The DEFCON Warning System is a private intelligence organization which has monitored and assessed nuclear threats by national entities since 1984. It is not affiliated with any government agency and does not represent the alert status of any military branch. The public should make their own evaluations and not rely on the DEFCON Warning System for any strategic planning. At all times, citizens are urged to learn what steps to take in the event of a nuclear attack.