EXPLAINER: Can world powers curb Iran in new nuclear talks?

FILE - Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi addresses the parliament during a vote of confidence session for the education minister, in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. Iran and world powers resume talks in Vienna this week of Nov. 28, aimed at restoring the nuclear deal that crumbled after the U.S. pulled out three years ago. There are major doubts over whether the deal can be reinstated after years of mounting distrust.(AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
1 / 6Iran NuclearFILE – Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi addresses the parliament during a vote of confidence session for the education minister, in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. Iran and world powers resume talks in Vienna this week of Nov. 28, aimed at restoring the nuclear deal that crumbled after the U.S. pulled out three years ago. There are major doubts over whether the deal can be reinstated after years of mounting distrust.(AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Can the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers be restored? As Iran and six global powers gather in Vienna Monday to discuss the tattered treaty, the answer appears to be no.

Since then-President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018, Iran has raced forward with its nuclear program, making it all but impossible to simply turn back the clock. The election of a hard-line leader in Iran, coupled with a U.S. administration seen as weak in the region, have further dampened prospects for a breakthrough.

The outlook appears so grim that prominent voices in Israel, which pushed Trump to withdraw from the deal, are now saying the move was a huge mistake.

Former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, who fiercely opposed the original deal, was one of the rare Israeli voices to argue against withdrawal at the time. He now says the U.S. pullout has turned out to be the “main mistake” in the region of the past decade.

A flawed deal, he told a security conference last week, “probably was better than not having the agreement and to allow the Iranians to use the withdrawal as an excuse to go ahead with the project.”

“Now they are in the closest stage they have been ever to become a (nuclear) threshold state,” he said.

Here’s a closer look at the deal and what to expect this week:


The 2015 agreement between Iran and world powers — spearheaded by President Barack Obama — aimed to prevent Iran from being able to build a nuclear bomb. It offered Iran relief from crippling economic sanctions in exchange for curbs of 10 to 15 years on its nuclear activities. Iran says its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes.

Critics, led by then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, assailed the deal because the restrictions on Iran were temporary. They also complained it did not address Iran’s non-nuclear military activity — such as its support for hostile militant groups and development of long-range missiles.

When Trump withdrew, with strong urging from Netanyahu, he promised a campaign of “maximum pressure” on Iran. However, the approach appears to have backfired. Despite increased U.S. sanctions, Iran’s government remains firmly in power, and the country has raced forward with nuclear research banned by the original deal.


Iran began exceeding the limits of the agreement after the U.S. withdrawal, and now enriches small amounts of uranium up to 60% purity — a short step from weapons-grade levels of 90%. Iran also spins advanced centrifuges once barred by the accord and its uranium stockpile now far exceeds the accord’s limits.

Experts say that even if Iran were forced to give up its uranium stockpile or halt its research, the expertise it has gained cannot be taken away.


In the short term, it does not look encouraging. Heading into the talks, Iran’s hard-line president, Ebrahim Raisi, has made maximalist demands, including calls for the U.S. to unfreeze $10 billion in assets as an initial goodwill gesture.

The tough line might be an opening gambit. European negotiators remain confident a deal will be reached in the short to medium term.

But U.S. officials do not appear optimistic. President Joe Biden and his top advisers have held a series of meetings in recent weeks with key allies and negotiating partners to prepare for the possible failure of talks.

Because of Trump's withdrawal, the Americans won't even be in the negotiating room. Instead, they will be nearby and work through mediators.

In an interview broadcast Friday, chief U.S. negotiator Rob Malley said signs from Iran “are not particularly encouraging.”

Speaking to NPR, he said the U.S. prefers a diplomatic solution. But if that is impossible, he said the U.S. will respond accordingly. “The options that are at America’s disposal are, you know, they’re familiar to all,” he said.

Given the tepid U.S. response to alleged Iranian military activity in the region, including attacks on civilian shipping in the Persian Gulf and a strike on a U.S. base in Syria, U.S. military action does not seem to be a serious threat. The United States’ bungled pullout from Afghanistan has further eroded American credibility in the region.

“I’m very pessimistic,” said Yoel Guzansky, a former official in the Israeli prime minister’s office who is now a senior fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. “Iran shows patience, resilience, determination. I’m sorry to say the Americans don’t show that, and we don’t have a lot of time.”


Israel is not a party to the talks, but it has a huge stake in the outcome.

It considers Iran to be its No. 1 enemy and views a nuclear-armed Iran as an existential threat. Israel is believed to be the only nuclear-armed state in the region, though it does not publicly acknowledge its own arsenal.

Netanyahu's successor, Naftali Bennett, has been careful not to clash with Biden in public. But his positions are similar to Netanyahu’s. He has expressed hope an improved deal would emerge from the talks but reiterated Israel’s longstanding threat to take unilateral action if necessary.

“We will maintain our freedom to act,” he said last week. On Sunday, he said Israel is “very disturbed” by what he sees as a willingness by the global powers to lift sanctions and reinstate “insufficient restrictions in the nuclear sphere.” He said Israel has been passing this message to all concerned parties.

Despite such threats, Israel might hesitate. Iran has spent the past decade scattering its nuclear sites and hiding them deep underground. Plus, Israel might be reluctant to sabotage a global diplomatic effort.


China and Russia, two important Iranian outlets for trade and parties to the deal, could grow impatient with Tehran, especially if a now-shaky system of international nuclear inspections falls apart. Economic pressure continues to squeeze Iranians, who have seen their savings evaporate with the free-fall of the country’s currency.

If talks drag on, the U.S. might turn to new sanctions or even military action. There’s also the risk of a military intervention by Israel.

“We’ll see in the coming days what exactly” Iran's approach will be, State Department spokesman Ned Price said last week. “But we’ve also been very clear that this is not a process that can go on indefinitely.”


Associated Press writers Ellen Knickmeyer in Washington, Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Ilan Ben Zion in Jerusalem and Lorne Cook in Brussels contributed reporting.

News Related


Winterwatch viewers are all saying the same thing after presenter mispronounces Irish towns

WINTERWATCH'S Megan McCubbin felt the wrath of Irish viewers tonight after mispronouncing a series of locations. The zoologist was discussing tagged red kites and looking at how one bird in ... Read more »

Who have we become, with tip lines for school mask scofflaws and abortion bounty hunters?

On the day after the 2016 presidential election, a steady stream of students lined up outside my campus office to talk about the future of our profession. These were journalism ... Read more »

Beim Stromversorgungsgesetz droht ein Scherbenhaufen

Rund ums Thema Strom herrscht ein Kampf um Aufmerksamkeit und politische Deutungshoheit. Das könnte die Versorgungssicherheit gefährden. © Foto: PD/David Birri Soll für den Ausbau der erneuerbaren Energien der Schutz ... Read more »

9000-facher Bschiss in St. Gallen: Zertifikats-Betrüger liessen sich über Temporärbüro einschleusen

Bei den zehn verhafteten Personen rund um den St. Galler Zertifikats-Betrug handelt es sich mehrheitlich um temporäre Mitarbeiter, die sich über einen Vermittler einschleusen liessen. © Bereitgestellt von Blick Zertifikats-Betrüger ... Read more »

Dancing on Ice Bez to become a whip-wielding Indiana Jones in 'epic' performance

Happy Mondays star Bez is to star as Indiana Jones on this weekend’s Dancing on Ice – and will, even wield the famous archaeologists’s famous WHIP. The star is to ... Read more »

Court ruling gives Biden chance for reset on climate policy

© Provided by Associated Press President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media as he arrives at Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin, Penn., Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. (AP ... Read more »

'Stealth' variant is not as 'scary' as some believe, expert says

The Omicron BA.2 lineage, or the ‘stealth’ variant as it has been dubbed, has captured headlines in recent days and is feared to be the next major threat of the ... Read more »

Sweden plans to reduce sentences for 'key witnesses' to tackle organised crime

Sweden has unveiled plans to combat gang violence by reducing sentences for those who cooperate with the police. The proposal focuses on suspects and “key witnesses” who might work with ... Read more »

Jim Justice hoists dog's derrière in cheeky response to critics

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice had some back talk for his state’s critics when he hoisted the posterior of his bulldog, Babydog, during his State of the State address and ... Read more »

Best of Cars from Songs: Window Shop with Car and Driver

This week’s Window Shop, the game show where winning is everything, required a detour to the airwaves before taking our car shopping online. The task: Choose a car mentioned in ... Read more »

Novak Djokovic celebrated in Montenegro as doubts emerge over positive COVID test

BUDVA, Montenegro – Tennis star Novak Djokovic received honors at a small Adriatic Sea resort in Montenegro on Friday even as doubts re-emerged about the positive COVID-19 test he used ... Read more »

Cadre-wise data must for SC & ST promotion quotas, says Supreme Court

© Provided by The Times of India NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday held that it is mandatory to collect cadre-wise quantifiable data on inadequacy of representation for Scheduled ... Read more »

Can't extern individual on mere suspicion, says Supreme Court

© Provided by The Times of India NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday said that police and competent authorities cannot on suspicion or mechanically order externment of a person ... Read more »

FanDuel Promo Code: Have your first bet risk-free up to $1,000

Will you be betting Joe Burrow’s underdog Cincinnti Bengals against the Kansas City Chiefs? Getty Images New customers that sign up at FanDuel Sportsbook can claim a risk-free bet of ... Read more »

My sick baby has been given hope by £1.8million drug – he's now playing with his toys

A BABY with a life-threatening genetic disorder has new hope after being given a £1.8million dose of the world’s most expensive drug. Harry Hughes is now playing with his toys ... Read more »

Why Brad Pitt and George Clooney Accepted a Lower Salary for Upcoming Movie

© Getty An upcoming film starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt triggered an intense bidding war that was ultimately won out by Apple Studios. But before the Ocean’s Eleven stars agreed to sign on, ... Read more »

Young humpback whale freed from mooring line, buoy off Maui

The Associated PressIn this photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, officials remove mooring line and a buoy from a young humpback whale off Ukumehame, Maui, Wednesday, Jan. ... Read more »

Ukraine conflict is ‘not inevitable', Pentagon chief says

© Provided by Al Jazeera Amid the continuing crisis over Ukraine, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told reporters, ‘There’s no reason that this situation has to devolve into conflict’ ... Read more »

Ahead of Budget 2022, 5 things to watch out for in Economic Survey

© Provided by Zee Business Ahead of tabling of the union budget every year Ministry of Finance tables the flagship document called Economic Survey for the people of the country. ... Read more »

Shehnaaz Gill sparkles in a stunning pink saree; Says ‘Making a wish come true'

© Provided by Pinkvilla Shehnaaz Gill is definitely a name synonym to Bigg Boss and all the credits go to the funny and cute antics, she did in the Salman ... Read more »

All iPhone users can shut down spammers with this robocall blocking trick

IF you're sick of getting automated scam calls to your iPhone there's an easy way for you to avoid them. Apple added the ability for third-party apps to warn you ... Read more »

I'm a nurse and there are three easy things to do to guarantee an orgasm

SEX is a healthy component of life. It can lower blood pressure, strengthen your immune system, and increase self-esteem. This nurse has gained popularity on TikTok thanks to her sex ... Read more »

GST Evasion: Officers bust nexus of 93 fake firms passing on Rs 491-cr ITC fraudulently

© Provided by Zee Business GST officers have arrested one person on charges of running multiple fake firms and having passed on fraudulently ITC worth Rs 491 crore, the finance ... Read more »

How customer experience has changed for Air India flyers after Tata takeover

Air India embarked on a new voyage Friday after the Tata Group took over the airline from the Government of India. I took a 9pm flight from Mumbai to find ... Read more »

Budget 2022: No halwa ceremony this time - Know what all changed for this Union Budget 2022-23

© Provided by Zee Business Budget 2022: The government is going to present the Union Budget for the financial year 2022-23 on February 1, 2022. The preparations for the same ... Read more »

After Jio deal, Google to invest $1 billion in Airtel now

© Provided by The Times of India NEW DELHI: Sunil Mittal’s Airtel secured a $1 billion ‘strategic funding’ from Google as the American tech giant widened its investment spread in ... Read more »

Lizzo shares video of her mum's reaction to new song

© Provided by Cover Media Lizzo Lizzo has shared a sweet video of her and her mother listening to her new track Special. The 33-year-old singer posted a video of ... Read more »

Dancing On Ice's Ria Hebden says next routine will see partner's 'man bits' in danger

Dancing on Ice star Ria Hebdon has revealed this week’s skate has an extra element of danger to it. The TV presenter told Lorraine Kelly how Sunday’s show may end ... Read more »

Biden visits site of Pittsburgh bridge collapse and promises action with infrastructure law – live

LIVE – Updated at 20:58 ‘Across the country there are 45,000 bridges in poor condition,’ US president says. ‘That is simply just unacceptable’.   20:58 Joe Biden made a little ... Read more »

Dusan Vlahovic: Juventus release lengthy statement after landing Arsenal target in £63m deal

© Getty Images DusanVlahovic2801A Juventus have completed the signing of Dusan Vlahovic from Serie A rivals Fiorentina. In one of the biggest January deals of all time, the Serbian has ... Read more »

Hollyoaks addresses Mandy's absence in exit story after Sarah Jayne Dunn sacking

© Provided by Metro Sarah has officially made her final appearance in the show as Mandy (Picture: Lime Pictures) Hollyoaks has officially written Sarah Jayne Dunn out of the show, ... Read more »

Bacuna starts: The predicted Birmingham City XI to face Derby on Sunday

Lee Bowyer’s side 18th in the Championship heading into this weekend’s clash with Derby County. Birmingham City drew against Peterborough United last time out, with a late quickfire double from ... Read more »

Presidents' Day 2022 sales are officially here—here's everything you need to know

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Presidents’ Day 2022 sales are finally here with massive markdowns on ... Read more »

Gov tells Bette Midler to kiss dog's heinie, shows

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice holds up his dog Babydog’s rear end as a message to people who’ve doubted the state as he comes to the end of his State ... Read more »

Vanderbilt coach Lea promotes Lynch to offensive coordinator

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt coach Clark Lea has promoted Joey Lynch to offensive coordinator and hired Alex Bailey as wide receivers coach. Lea announced the changes Friday. Lynch spent ... Read more »

Priest forced me to have exorcism because of my ‘demonic' tattoos

DeeDee says a priest performed an exorcism on her because of her tattoos. mediadrumimages.com/@thedeedeevi A woman has claimed a priest once performed an exorcism on her because of her “demonic” ... Read more »

Instagram, TikTok pull ad linking ADHD with obesity

Cerebral, the San Francisco-based startup which offers mental health services online, posted a controversial ad linking obesity with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Facebook Instagram and TikTok removed an ad from a ... Read more »

Biden to target banks and imports, not oil and gas, for potential Russia sanctions: report

The White House is planning to hit Russian banks, government-owned companies and the country’s import sector with sanctions if Moscow decides to invade Ukraine, according to a new report published ... Read more »

Ukraine crisis: Putin says NATO ignored Russia's main concerns

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the United States and NATO had not addressed Moscow’s main security demands in their standoff over Ukraine but that it was ready to keep ... Read more »

I bagged £155 worth of goodies from The Works including board games and Christmas goodies & it only cost me £3.50

THE WORKS are known in the UK for their great prices on a variety of children's toys, books, and art and craft supplies. But they've taken it a step further ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic