Is a War With Iran Over Nuclear Weapons Inevitable?

The operative reality of Iran’s relations with the P5+1 nations stopped being the JCPOA a number of years ago. That’s true in two ways, the most obvious being that the deal was only ever limited to slowing a nuclear weapons breakout. It didn’t address so many other facets of interaction or Iran’s other malevolent behavior. And, nearly as obvious, because the deal was effectively canceled in mid-2018. Since then, it has simply not been that big a factor in Iran’s relations, even if the deal consumed much of the talking time of diplomats. For evidence of this, consider China’s illicit purchases of oil from Iran, providing the regime much needed cash; Russia’s cooperation with Iran in Syria; and Germany’s rejection of the ‘maximum pressure’ approach and heralding of a “fundamentally different Iran policy” than the United States.

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