U.S.-Iran Relations

March 4, 2016 • Volume 26, Issue 10
Will the nuclear deal ease tensions?
By Chuck McCutcheon


Good working relations between Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (AFP/Getty Images/Kevin Lamarque)
Good working relations between Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif helped bring about the Iranian nuclear deal and the quick release of 10 U.S. sailors held by Iran when their patrol boats entered Iranian waters. (AFP/Getty Images/Kevin Lamarque)

Under an agreement last July with the United States and five other world powers, Iran promised to dismantle its military nuclear facilities and refrain from building a nuclear weapon for at least a decade. In exchange, the United States and other countries lifted stiff economic sanctions placed on Iran because of its nuclear activities. The agreement has raised speculation that Iran might someday join China, Vietnam and Cuba — non-democracies and former U.S. enemies — in cooperating on trade and diplomacy. Indeed, some believe the deal not only could spur trade between the United States and Iran but also unite them in efforts to stabilize the Middle East. Others say, however, that improvement in U.S.-Iranian relations is far from certain. Iran continues to antagonize the United States in national security-related incidents. As a result, the United States has imposed new sanctions on Iran unrelated to its nuclear activity. Moreover, pro-engagement leaders in both countries face internal resistance against forming a closer relationship.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Mar. 31, 2023  Iran Today
Nov. 15, 2019  U.S.-Iran Relations Updated
Mar. 04, 2016  U.S.-Iran Relations
Feb. 07, 2012  Rising Tension Over Iran
Nov. 16, 2007  U.S. Policy on Iran
Dec. 18, 1998  Reform in Iran
Aug. 29, 1986  Iran's Revolt Within
Jan. 26, 1979  Iran Between East and West
Apr. 26, 1974  Resurgent Iran
Apr. 04, 1962  Iran: Reform or Revolt
Arms Control and Disarmament
Diplomacy and Diplomats
Export Sanctions and Restrictions
Global Issues
International Law and Agreements
Middle East Conflicts
Regional Political Affairs: Middle East and South Asia
Terrorism and Counterterrorism