Will a Likely Future JCPOA be already worthless Because of Iran’s Nuclear Stockpiles?

By: LTC Arjen Wassink, NLD Army, CSAG CCJ5
29 Nov 2021


The common perception of Iran’s threat is through its regional deployment and use of proxies, its tactical ballistic missiles, and the progressive enrichment of uranium to build a nuclear weapon. While it is possible that the US will return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the Iranians will call for new discussions in the near future, this discussion reviews Iran’s uranium enrichment program and its possible consequences on the revival of JCPOA.

Key Points:

  • Attacking Iran’s nuclear infrastructure will not remove Iran’s scientific knowledge of the process to build a nuclear bomb.
  • Sabotage, direct strikes, or assassinations will only strengthen Iran’s perseverance to further progress towards manufacturing a bomb, especially with a new hardline government.
  • Targeting Iran’s nuclear program will only lead to higher tensions and greater future risks. The US should prevent any such international action.
  • As survival is preeminent for the clergy regime, and using a nuclear weapon would likely prove selfdestructive, the regime would rather avoid such a scenario and, therefore, likely concludes having a nuclear bomb is not at all to Iran’s advantage.
  • Reviving the JCPOA does not necessarily have to be held back by Iran’s current nuclear material stocks – Russia would likely take possession of those materials.
  • The US should revive the JCPOA for it provides the best outcome for Middle East nuclear security and the most desired effects for the US position in Great Power Competition (GPC).


Read the complete paper here.


The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those of a number of international officers within the Combined Strategic Analysis Group (CSAG) and do not necessarily reflect the views of United States Central Command, not of the nations represented within the CSAG or any other governmental agency.