Since the election of President Donald Trump, there has been a bear market for shares in the Iran nuclear deal. The Trump administration’s decision to launch a review of whether the lifting of sanctions is in the security interests of the United States is a reminder of the uncertainties ahead.
It is not difficult to think of ways in which the deal, which is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA, could fail and it is easy to see why. Even if those in Washington and Tehran who dislike the agreement are reluctant to be seen to collapse it, there are plenty of ways to frustrate it. For example, the US could aggressively discourage companies from doing business with Iran. Equally, Iran could test the technical limits of the agreement in ways which may pose no substantial threat to their overall compliance but which invite an over-reaction in response.