At the start of A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens tells us, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” On 14 July 2015, the Iranian people no doubt felt it would soon be the best of times when they poured out of their houses to celebrate in the streets. After a decade of economic isolation, Iran had reached a nuclear agreement with the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China. Iran promised in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (or JCPOA) that it would unwind its nuclear program in return for lifting international economic sanctions and reintegrating into the global economy. 1 In short, the agreement was meant to turn isolation and economic coercion into Jean Monnet’s vision of a web of economic interdependence and shared prosperity.