The US, Europe and the Iran nuclear deal: is there a sweet spot?

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Series Details 09.03.18
Publication Date 09/03/2018
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On the 8 May 2018 US President Donald Trump announced that he would cease to support the nuclear agreement with Iran signed by China, the European Union, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom as well as the United States.

European Leadership Network
The European Leadership Network (ELN) works to advance the idea of a cooperative and cohesive Europe and to develop collaborative European capacity to address the pressing foreign, defence and security policy challenges of our time.

It does this through its active network of former and emerging European political, military, and diplomatic leaders, through its high-quality research, publications and events, and through its institutional partnerships across Europe, North America, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region.

The ELN conceives of Europe in its widest sense, to include not only the EU but Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and the rest of our diverse continent. It is unique in its high-level political reach and in its ability to effectively network the political, diplomatic and security elites of all countries across this region and parts of Central Asia.

It focuses on arms control and political/military issues, including both conventional and nuclear disarmament challenges inside Europe, and has a particular interest in policy challenges arising in both the eastern and southern peripheries of the continent.

The ELN also works to advance economic, political, energy, people to people and sub-regional cooperation within Greater Europe and to build cooperative European solutions to today’s global challenges, be they related to Russia-West relations, nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, or the challenge and opportunity of the rising powers.

It is a non-partisan, non-profit organisation based in London and registered in the United Kingdom.In his statement on 12 January 2018, US President Trump made clear that he would not renew sanctions waivers on Iran unless what he saw as key flaws in the 2015 nuclear deal were fixed. The US Administration was trying to persuade other parties to the agreement to help address US concerns.

Yet the Europeans strongly supported the agreement. And Iran was complying with the agreement in every material respect. Can this impasse be resolved?

Sir Simon Gass, former UK Ambassador to Iran and the senior official who led the British team at the E3+3/Iran nuclear negotiations, set out a possible diplomatic sweet spot for the current US-Europe negotiations that might meet US concerns, yet keep Iran and the other parties to the deal on board.

The ELN has published a number of further analyses of this issue in the spring of 2018:

+ Macron and Merkel Must Flex Muscles to Save Iran Nuclear Deal, by Axel Hellman
+ Saving the JCPOA: the EU has to work with Russia and China, by Andrey Baklitskiy and Adlan Margoev
+ 500 French, British and German MPs write to their US counterparts to support the JCPOA
+ Safeguarding the Iran Nuclear Deal: A Blueprint for Europe, by Axel Hellman

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Related Link(s)
UK: Parliament: House of Commons: Library: Briefing Paper (01.02.18): Iran update 2018
ELN: Policy Brief, April 2018: Safeguarding the Iran Nuclear Deal: A Blueprint for Europe
ELN, April 2018: 500 French, British and German MPs write to their US counterparts to support the JCPOA
ELN: Commentary, 23.04.18: Saving the JCPOA: the EU has to work with Russia and China
ELN: Commentary, 24.04.18: Macron and Merkel Must Flex Muscles to Save Iran Nuclear Deal
ELN: Group Statement, 08.05.18: ELN Group Statement: Stay united with European capitals on the Iran nuclear deal
Centre for European Reform: Policy Brief, May 2018: Has the last trump sounded for the transatlantic partnership? (et al)
ECFR: Commentary, 22.03.18: Europe should strike a tough pose with Trump on the Iran nuclear deal
UK: Parliament: House of Commons: Library: Briefing Paper, No.8311 (15.05.18): Can Europe save the Iran nuclear deal?
Chatham House, 2017: The Iran Nuclear Deal: Reflections on the First Two Years (et al)
Centre for European Reform: Insight, December 2017: Trump and the Iran deal: not yet the nuclear option?
ECFR: Commentary, 09.05.18: After Trump’s Iran decision: Time for Europe to step up
Carnegie Europe: Strategic Europe, 24.05.18: The Transatlantic Fallout Over Iran
Egmont Institute: Commentaries, 09.05.18: Will Trump’s decision on Iran end Europe’s servility?
German Institute for International and Security Affairs: SWP Comments, No.9, February 2018: Saving Transatlantic Cooperation and the Iran Nuclear Deal: A View from Europe and the United States
International Crisis Group: Middle East Report, No.185 02.05.18: How Europe Can Save the Iran Nuclear Deal
Istituto Affari Internazionali: IAI Papers No.7, April 2018: All Is Not Quiet on the Western Front. Trump's Iran Policy and Europe's Choice on the Nuclear Deal
ESO: French President's state visit to the United States, 22-25 April 2018
ECFR: Commentary, 02.05.18: Europe’s balancing act on the nuclear deal: wooing Trump without losing Iran
Chatham House: Expert Comment, 18.05.18: Europe Should Defend the Iran Deal Without Burning Bridges to the US

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