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Melding U.S. Non-Proliferation Strategy with Middle East De-Escalation Dynamics

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Published by the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

The United States and Iran appear to be circling in on an informal, unwritten understanding to prevent the simmering nuclear crisis from boiling over. Avoiding a nuclear crisis in the Middle East is in the United States’ interest, particularly as Washington remains preoccupied with other parts of the world.

The Biden administration wants to keep global attention on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and negotiating an iron-clad verification and monitoring agreement with Iran is not immediately feasible due to Iran’s recent crackdown on protesters and drone sales to Russia. However, region-led efforts to de-escalate tensions across the Middle East are complicating U.S. efforts to strengthen deterrence against Iran should the nuclear crisis reach criticality.

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