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Analysis

BICOM Strategic Assessment: Iran one year on

One year since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was signed between Iran and the P5+1 (the UK, US, France, Russia, China and Germany), has the deal achieved its stated aims? The BICOM research team has produced a Strategic Assessment marking one year since the deal was signed, which assesses how the deal is being implemented, its impact on Iran’s foreign and domestic policy, and the consequences for Israel.

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Key points

  • While the deal is largely being implemented – temporarily pushing Iran back from the nuclear threshold – loopholes, monitoring gaps, and missile testing validate concerns that Iran retains the ambition to pursue nuclear weapons capability when restrictions expire in 10-15 years.
  • Iran appears emboldened by the deal in promoting its sectarian regional agenda, fuelling conflict in various theatres.
  • The last year leaves doubts about the Western commitment to confront Iran and endanger the deal.
  • The deal has reinforced concerns of Sunni Arab states, contributing to heightened tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, and increased Saudi arms spending.
  • Despite popular support in Iran for pragmatic- conservatives represented by President Rouhani, hardliners continue to dominate the system.
  • Iran has received an economic boost from the lifting of sanctions, but is frustrated by the continuing reluctance of foreign firms to do business with it.
  • Israel is using the hiatus in Iranian nuclear development to prepare militarily and diplomatically for a future with Iran on the nuclear threshold, including warmer relations with Sunni Arab states.

Download the full Strategic Assessment below.

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