The pact, which is set to expire next week, regulates the amount of strategic nuclear weapons that Kremlin and Washington can deploy. Once signed by President Vladimir Putin, the deal will be extended for five years.
Many feel much better than they have felt in the last four years under the Trump administration, setting a mood which could count as a serious influence on the upcoming elections in Iran.
Iran’s state TV showed paratroopers landing behind mock enemy lines on the Gulf of Oman and preparing attacks with missile launchers.
Iranian parliament passed a law in November that obliges the government to halt inspections of its nuclear sites by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Recent statements from within Iran point towards a showdown with the US, but one that hopes to sway domestic politics too.
Iran earlier breached the 2015 nuclear pact’s limit on the purity to which it can enrich uranium to go up to 4.5 percent but enrichment at 20 percent at its Fordow facility is just one technical jump away from weapons-grade levels of 90 percent.
Iran can capitalise on Soleimani's legacy in the short-term, but the Islamic republic has no replacement on the horizon.
As President-elect Joe Biden readies to take office next month, European powers are hopeful the US will return to the pact but Iran has already abandoned limits placed on its nuclear activity laid down in the initial deal.
The new law gives 2015 pact’s European signatories two months to reduce sanctions on Iran’s oil and finance sectors, in the absence of which the government will halt UN inspections of its nuclear sites and step up uranium enrichment.
United Nations atomic watchdog says Tehran feeds advanced underground centrifuges with uranium gas, breaching 2015 nuclear deal.
The President-elect is expected to refocus US policy in the region on multilateralism and normative values, but it could increasingly become tied to domestic concerns.
After the fallout of nearly every major nuclear agreement, New START is the last accord keeping the world from slipping back into a Cold War.
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