Iran Wants US to Guarantee It Will Honor Nuclear Deal This Time

US can't promise that, officials say

Signs are that a deal to restore the JCPOA nuclear deal is getting closer, but a big potential sticking point is, as ever, the US. Since the US withdrew from the deal and ruined it in the first place, the big concern is the US pulling the same thing again after agreeing to return.

Iran wants a guarantee from the US that they will never again unilaterally withdraw from the JCPOA, with Iran’s ambassador saying such an assurance was vital to the Vienna talks.

Iran’s argument is a fair one, and more than just pointing out that the US already did it once. The concern is that other nations in the P5+1 won’t have confidence for Iranian investments, or to do business under eased sanctions, without a US guarantee of stability.

The problem is that the US says they can’t guarantee it, arguing that there is no legal mechanism whereby they could bind future presidents, or Congress, to the deal being reached. They added that making withdrawal contingent on the UN wouldn’t work, because Russia could veto it.

It’s possible there is some middle ground, where the US could guarantee not to go after European companies for doing business with Iran, though as with everything else, this doesn’t preclude a future US government taking matters off the rails and just starting a big fight to undermine the deal.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of