Date of Award

Spring 5-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


International Studies

First Advisor

Andrea Molle, Ph.D., Chair

Second Advisor

Victoria Cary, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

John Emery, Ph.D.


Since Iran's Islamic revolution in 1978, there has been a notable shift in how the country engages with the global community. This paper explores this transformation within the context of Iran's nuclear program, focusing on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed in Vienna in July 2015. Involving major world powers and Iran, the JCPOA aimed to ensure Iran's nuclear program remains peaceful by setting specific limits, removing sanctions, and establishing monitoring mechanisms. This research examines the historical context, negotiation timeline and complexities, operationalization impact, challenges during implementation, and the JCPOA's geopolitical implications. Additionally, it analyzes subsequent developments, including the US withdrawal, ensuing tensions, and diplomatic efforts to salvage the agreement. Employing qualitative research methodology, this study contributes to understanding multilateral approaches to nuclear proliferation challenges and the balance between diplomacy and geopolitical realities.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Available for download on Thursday, December 31, 2026