Seven bits of background on the Iran nuclear issue:
- On understanding “breakout”: Greg Thielmann (PDF) for Arms Control Association, Scott Kemp with some excellent visual tools for Arms Control Wonk, and Ariane Tabatabai in the National Interest on the tussle over centrifuge numbers.
- On the importance of sneak-out over break-out: James Acton and Paul Pillar for the National Interest, Jeffrey Lewis in Foreign Policy and Greg Thielmann/Robert Wright for Slate.
- On understanding the web of sanctions: Ali Vaez for the ICG, Cornelius Adebahr (PDF) and Kenneth Katzman (PDF) on unwinding European and US sanctions respectively, and Kaveh Waddell in the Atlantic.
- On the Possible Military Dimensions (PMDs) to Iran’s programme: Jeffrey Lewis in Foreign Policy and again in ACW on interpreting the 2007 NIE and the “halt”, former inspector Robert Kelley with his “no slam dunk” piece of 2012 in Bloomberg, and Nima Geramni for WINEP on some background.
- On how to deal with PMDs as part of a deal: Mark Hibbs for ACW in 2012 (and post-JPOA, two more good pieces), Hugh Chalmers for RUSI this week, Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on recent comments by the IAEA chief on this subject, and Jon Wolfsthal advocating a modest approach in the National Interest.
- On the domestic politics of a deal: NYT on all-round obstacles, FT on Iranian hardliners’ quiescence, Hooman Majd in the Guardian, Arash Karami in Al-Monitor on the IRGC chief’s intervention on the issue. And, on the US side, NYT On Obama circumventing Congress, and CNN, LA Times and The Hill on Congress.
- Finally, on the talks: Julian Borger’s Monday scene-setter and his Wednesday column on “too big to fail”, Reza Marashi for IranWire on the gaps, Ellie Geranmayeh for ECFR, WSJ on Kerry’s efforts to get a united US-European front, and my own brief thoughts for RUSI.