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The Editors

It’s Time for Plan B on Iran

Washington will need to take many of the same steps to contain the Iranian threat whether a nuclear deal can be revived or not. There’s no reason to wait. 

A problem, with or without a deal. 

A problem, with or without a deal. 

Photographer: Vahidreza Alaei/AFP/Getty Images

Tortuous on-and-off negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran have reached yet another impasse. Although the deal may not be dead just yet, the US should act as though it is.

Months-long talks appeared close to success in late August before Iran pressed for more last-minute concessions, perhaps calculating that its leverage would increase this winter as Western nations grow desperate to add more oil to global markets. According to news reports, Iran has revived its demand to close an International Atomic Energy Agency investigation into its past nuclear activities. The US has — correctly — refused to pressure the IAEA. Most observers now expect talks to languish at least until after the November midterm elections.