This thesis analyses the influence of track II diplomacy on the development of the bilateral nuclear relationship between the United States and Iran that resulted in the nuclear deal in 2015. Primary sources primarily from the American government on foreign relations and nuclear diplomacy have been used to analyse official American nuclear policy towards Iran. Also, an interview with former Canadian diplomat and track II participant and scholar Peter Jones has been conducted to gain further insight in the inner workings of track II diplomacy. Secondary literature on nuclear diplomacy, track II diplomacy and US-Iranian nuclear relations has been extensively studied. My analysis shows that track II diplomacy influenced the nuclear deal, although this cannot be proven empirically. The research has found that multiple participants in track II initiatives either formerly occupied high-level government positions or moved to these positions later in the Obama administration and became part of the groups who officially negotiated the nuclear deal. By analysing the measurements of track II success: the establishment of relationships based on trust, respect and mutual understanding, the quality of the participants attending the various initiatives, to what extent both sides perceive occurring change and the transmission of knowledge to the leaders of government on all sides as a result of the initiatives, in combination with the experiences and outcomes of track II participants and initiatives, it can be concluded that track II diplomacy did influence the outcome of the nuclear deal between the United States and Iran. Both Iranian and American participants of track II initiatives became acquainted with each other’s standpoints and this facilitated track I diplomatic efforts. Subsequent research is needed to further analyse all the various track II diplomatic actors. Furthermore, analysing the role of track II diplomacy might prove useful when researching other major geopolitical events, as it portrays unofficial aspect of diplomacy.

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Fazzi, d.
Global History and International Relations
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Jansen, Wouter. (2020, August 25). Achieving A Nuclear Deal: A Track II Diplomacy Analysis of the US-Iran Nuclear Relations. Global History and International Relations. Retrieved from