After thirteen years of turbulent negotiations, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and Iran reached an agreement to resolve the crisis over the nuclear program in Iran. The agreement lifted some of the economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for limitations on uranium enrichment centrifuges and a rigid inspection regime. In May 2018, US President Trump withdrew from the Iran-Nuclear Deal, reinstated sanctions against Iran and entities that traded with it, and announced the new US policy of “maximum pressure,” aiming for a regime change in Iran. In May 2019, Iran announced that it would gradually reduce its commitments to the deal every 60 days until it receives the full rights to the economic benefits as promised by the EU. The ensuing tensions between the two countries have escalated to a dangerous new phase, with a potential of a wide-spread military conflict in the Middle East. Moreover, a desire of many countries in the Middle East to gain nuclear capability, and the competition to sell nuclear technology to them, has a potential to start a nuclear program race that may not be controllable once started, putting an end to the goal of a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East. 

 

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