The Coming Iran Nuclear Talks: Openings and Obstacles

January 5, 2021

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear


Dennis Ross


Washington Institute for Near East Policy

The Middle East will not be a priority in the Biden administration’s approach to foreign policy. But the Iranian nuclear program will require a response.

With the Iranian parliament having adopted legislation mandating uranium enrichment to 20 percent and suspension of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections if sanctions are not lifted by February 2020 in response to the targeted killing of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh—and with Iran now having accumulated twelve times the low-enriched uranium permitted under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—the administration will have to deal with the Iranian challenge. To be sure, the nuclear program and its potential to make Iran a nuclear weapons state are not the only challenges the Islamic Republic poses: the regime’s ballistic missile program and destabilizing and aggressive behavior in the region threaten conflicts that can escalate both vertically and horizontally. But it is the nuclear program that is most pressing.


Read the full policy analysis at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.