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Five years ago this month in Vienna, the E3/EU+3 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, along with the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) and Iran agreed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). To mark the fifth anniversary of that occasion, we should acknowledge a simple reality: Without this deal, Iran could have developed nuclear weapons by now, adding yet another source of instability to a volatile region.

Today, the JCPOA is under great pressure on multiple fronts. I am convinced that action to preserve it is not just necessary but urgent, for at least two reasons. First, it took more than 12 years for the international community and Iran to bridge their differences and conclude a deal. If the JCPOA is lost, no other comprehensive or effective alternative will be waiting around the corner.

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