This chapter outlines the main questions the book seeks to address and the explanatory framework adopted. The key questions it sets out to answer are: What was Iran's nuclear ambition? Why did the USA for so long fail to deal effectively with that ambition? And how was a negotiated solution to the conflict over Iran's nuclear programme eventually reached? The chapter goes on to outline the fundamental dilemma posed by the nature of nuclear energy and summarizes the attempt to resolve it through the nuclear non-proliferation regime. Finally, the chapter summarizes the explanatory framework employed by the book, which emphasizes the impact of domestic political considerations on the diplomacy of both sides and the obstacle this created to effective resolution of the conflict over Iran's nuclear programme
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