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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry & P5+1 foreign ministers & Iranian FM Javad Zarif, center, listen as EU High Rep. Catherine Ashton speaks at UN HQ in Geneva, Switzerland, after negotiations about Iran's nuclear capabilities concluded, Nov. 24, 2013.

State Dept Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Middle East Report Online

Learning from the Past in the Iranian Nuclear Dispute

| April 16, 2014

The controversy over the Iranian nuclear program is in many ways a product of the US-Iranian conflict. The United States and Iran are in the grip of mutual negative perceptions that, in turn, have been reinforced by the escalatory dynamics of the nuclear dispute. After years of seeming diplomatic deadlock, these dynamics suddenly changed for the better in the autumn of 2013. The positive trends culminated in November, when Iran agreed with the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany, the so-called P5+1, on a confidence-building deal known as the Joint Plan of Action (JPA). Given the record of diplomatic non-achievement, the deal is a historic development.