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Iran's strategy to keep the nuclear deal: fear

Macron meets with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani (R) in New York on September 18, 2017, as world leaders gathered in the United States for the UN General Assembly.
French President Macron with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images

Since the U.S.' exit from the Iran nuclear deal, Iran has doubled down on its diplomatic strategy to pressure Europe into offsetting the effect of American sanctions, which are slated to return by November. But Iran also appears to be hedging its bets, claiming to remain committed to the limited restrictions on its nuclear program while professing interest in boosting its enrichment capabilities and centrifuge manufacturing.

The big picture: Iran — along with the EU, China and Russia — wants to keep the accord to remove the stigma surrounding its nuclear program and put the Islamic Republic on a path toward reintegration into the global economy. But large businesses, including energy, shipping and manufacturing firms, are already winding down operations in the country and will have to terminate their investments absent a waiver.