Will the assassination of Qassem Soleimani threaten the Iran nuclear deal?

3 January 2020, 15:34

Will the assassination of Qassem Soleimani threaten the Iran nuclear deal? Conflict expert Dr Lydia Wilson explains how likely this is.

The Iran nuclear deal was an agreement which offered billions of dollars in sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for their agreement to soften their nuclear programme and make it "exclusively peaceful".

One significant feature of the deal was that Iran had to give up 97% of its enriched uranium, a chemical which can be used for nuclear fuel.

Tom asked conflict expert Dr Lydia Wilson whether this deal may now be affected following Qassem Soleimani's death.

"Everything's up for grabs at the moment," she said, "it's going to be very very interesting to see how Iran chooses to respond to this. There's many options available to them as I said, they're not looking for full-scale confrontation with America. It's absolutely not something they could win.

President Donald Trump holding a memorandum on Iran nuclear deal in 2018
President Donald Trump holding a memorandum on Iran nuclear deal in 2018. Picture: PA

"But they need to save face somehow. So they're going to do something whether it's against US military, diplomatic or commercial interests in Iraq, or in the region against allies. They'll be some retaliation, I'm sure."

She said that a lot of Iranians "see the right to nuclear power as a very sacred value" and many Iranian polls have found people questioning why the rest of the world should have access to it and they can't.

"It's a matter now of national pride," Dr Wilson said.

Tom posited that Iran may try to find leverage with China and Russia "who are presumably going to come down on the side of the Iranians.

"Suleimani himself of course was exceptionally close to Russia," she said, "So I'm sure we'll see more movement in that direction, absolutely."

More Tom Swarbrick

See more More Tom Swarbrick

Raab: Party can't act on Islamophobia claim 'in absence of formal complaint'

Raab: Party can't act on Islamophobia claim 'in absence of formal complaint'

Exclusive
Former Brexit Minister David Davis told LBC the Tories are "paralysed" as long as Johnson remains in power.

'Kindest thing' for Boris Johnson’s legacy would be for him to go, David Davis tells LBC

Swarbrick on Sunday | Watch live from 10am

Swarbrick on Sunday 23/01 | Watch again

Labour Party is 'full of people that don't like this country', claims Tory MP

Labour Party is 'full of people that don't like this country', claims Tory MP

Caller says he knows Boris Johnson is a 'liar' and will support him 'no matter what'

Caller says he knows Boris Johnson is a 'liar' and will support him 'no matter what'

Tom Swarbrick grills Tory MP on 'technicality' allowing No.10's garden party

Tom Swarbrick grills Tory MP on 'technicality' allowing No.10 party

Streeting: 'No comparison' between No.10 partygate and Starmer beer photo

Streeting: 'No comparison' between No.10 partygate and Starmer beer photo

MPs Chris Bryant and Peter Bone had very different perceptions of the PM.

'He's making fools of every single Tory who comes on to defend him': MPs clash over PM

Swarbrick on Sunday | Watch live from 10am

Swarbrick on Sunday 16/01 | Watch again

Winston Churchill's grandson shares fury at Colston Four verdict

'They're on the wrong side of the law!' Churchill's grandson rages at Colston Four verdict

'Has Molly-Mae taken over the Conservative party, Mr Zahawi?'

'Has Molly-Mae taken over the Conservative party, Mr Zahawi?'

The Shadow Chancellor told LBC: "Broken promises won't pay people's bills"

'A catastrophe': Shadow Chancellor hits out at govt over spiralling energy costs

Nadhim Zahawi said he "didn't recognise" the report that free lateral flow tests will be scrapped in the coming weeks.

Lateral flow tests will remain free for now, minister insists

Swarbrick on Sunday | Watch live from 10am

Swarbrick On Sunday 09/01 | Watch in Full

Best of 2021: Tom Swarbrick hears from desperate publican

Best of 2021: Tom Swarbrick hears from desperate publican

Professor Alastair Grant believes the government didn't introduce new measures because cases appear to have 'plateaued'

Covid cases 'appear to have flattened', virus modeller tells LBC