Heinz-Peter Bader / REUTERS

How Iran Will Determine the Nuclear Deal's Fate

The Decision-Making Process Is No Simple Top-Down Exercise

When U.S. President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that he was pulling the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, many observers promptly turned their attention to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to ascertain the future of the agreement. Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, conventional wisdom has held that decision-making power ultimately rests with the supreme leader. Hence, with every major event in Iranian public life and foreign affairs, commentators take to the pages of newspapers and magazines to predict Khamenei’s reaction, ponder the significance of his statements, …

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