Until recently, the verification and monitoring provisions included in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) have been implemented as designed. While Iran has taken operational steps that place it outside the bounds of what is considered full implementation of the JCPOA, these changes continue to be communicated to the IAEA in advance and the Agency has been able to observe the activity. However, if the JCPOA is terminated altogether, the days of prevailing transparency, as well as cooperation and communication, may be numbered. This policy brief, co-produced by the ELN and VERTIC, outlines ten technical and political lessons relating to the sustainability of the JCPOA, currently at risk and starkly illustrated by the course of events over the past three years. In the immediate timeframe, the paper highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the JCPOA that need to be understood in order to preserve it or to respond effectively to its collapse. In the longer term, these lessons should inform the architecture of future deals with Iran.


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