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The Iran Nuclear Deal Hits Yet Another Hurdle


Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

Unrest and instability in Iraq is far from over, even as the situation has calmed in the streets of the Green Zone after 30 people were killed and hundreds wounded when protesters loyal to Shi’ite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr stormed the presidential palace earlier this week. Al-Sadr later called off the protesters, but he’s not going away–nor is the inter-Shi’ite rivalry that is pitting Al-Sadr against pro-Iranian factions. The protests took place when al-Sadr said he had resigned from politics, but we shouldn’t read too much into this. He’s done this before and walked it back.

In its response to Iran on the final draft of the nuclear deal, Washington is believed to have told Tehran that sanctions-lifting could be delayed if Iran continues to link the UN investigation into prior undeclared nuclear activity to the deal. This is a key point that remains unresolved. Iran continues to demand that the IAEA close that investigation before a new nuclear deal is implemented. Iran is also demanding stronger guarantees on the lifting of sanctions before agreeing to a deal.

The Israeli could end up postponing gas extraction in the Karish gas field, which is disputed with Lebanon. While the Israeli media is citing officials as claiming that technical issues would cause a potential postponement, it is not clear whether the FPSO is having financing issues or whether this is a response to the escalating…

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