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A cautious optimism prevails among some pundits in Washington and Tehran for the resurrection of the nuclear deal reached in 2015. They are oddly optimistic despite no assurances of success as the window of opportunity to reach an agreement following Iran’s recent election appears to be closing rapidly.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, took a severe hit in 2018 when the Trump administration withdrew from the agreement. But many in Tokyo last week thought the game was really over when Ebrahim Raisi, a conservative hard-line Islamic scholar, was elected as Iran’s president.

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