Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Fans in Tehran celebrate after the match Wales v Iran - Tehran, Iran - November 25, 2022 Iran fans celebrate in a street in Tehran after the match Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.What lies ahead for Iran and its overseas activities will have significant consequences not only for millions of Iranians but also for Ukraine, Russia, much of the Middle East, and the foreign policy of Western governments.Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi greets Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 19, 2022. Putin likely wanted to show that Moscow is still important in the Middle East by visiting Iran, said John Drennan of the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Ali Vaez, Iran project director at non-profit Crisis Group, told CNBC that 2023 will be a crucial year for Iran. The economy is in worse shape than ever, the society is more disgruntled, and the country is more isolated than ever.

The Soviet Union was in the early 1980s in the Islamic Republic. The regime is broken and politically paralyzed.

He said that it had a will to fight.

The chief of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog said that only countries making bombs are enriching at Iran's level of 60%, which is just one technical step away from weapons grade.

In exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear program, the U.S. and other powers lifted economic sanctions on Iran in 2015.

A picture taken on November 10, 2019, shows an Iranian flag in Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant, during an official ceremony to kick-start works on a second reactor at the facility.

Henry Rome, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said that the prospects for the revival of the JCPOA are dim in the years to come.

Rome said that an "extend and pretend" attitude towards the nuclear deal will probably continue for some time. Negotiations have been going on for a long time.

The Trump administration reimposed sanctions on Iran after pulling the U.S. out of the deal, which hurt the country's economy and spurred it to develop nuclear weapons. The Biden administration is not expected to revive the accord soon.

Time is running out for anything to be salvaged, as key nuclear restrictions in the deal will end in late 2023.

Revival of Iran nuclear deal will not be a 'silver bullet,' says senior fellow says

The JCPOA will become obsolete in 2023 according to a senior Middle East and North Africa analyst. Europe and the United States don't want to offer sanctions relief to a regime cracking down on protesters.

Western signatories to the deal will probably want to see a resolution to the protest movement first, analysts say.

The West is announcing new sanctions while Iran continues to push ahead with its nuclear program, creating a larger and larger chasm between the two sides.

The death of a Kurdish Iranian woman who died in police custody after being arrested for violating Iran's strict headscarf rules sparked nationwide protests. The movement demanding the removal of Iran's hardlineocratic government grew out of the unrest.

The question remains, how long will the protests last?

A protester holds a portrait of Mahsa Amini during a demonstration in support of Amini, a young Iranian woman who died after being arrested in Tehran by the Islamic Republic’s morality police, on Istiklal avenue in Istanbul on Sept. 20, 2022.

According to the senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, there are four forces to keep an eye on in 2023. The government has an advantage when it comes to the use of force, but he thinks there will be protests against the Islamic Republic.

He said that the regime retains all the tools of oppression and will use them more in the future.

CNBC interviews most Iran analysts who expect the demonstrations to continue in some form.

While the protests may still take unexpected turns, the demonstrators have not yet gained the support of key economic sectors or the support of the security services.

Iran protests are a 'turning point' but unlikely to escalate into a civil war, says analyst

The most probable outcome is that the protests are suppressed and dissipated. He said that the second outcome is that the movement becomes institutionalized, becomes a viable opposition movement and is able to get concessions from the regime.

The third outcome is that the protest movement escalates to include other sections of Iranian society and causes splits within the regime that might threaten its survival.

During the Russia-Ukraine war, Iranian drones were used by Russian forces to attack Ukraine.

More U.S. and EU sanctions on Iran won't stop the growing collaboration between the two countries.

According to Vaez, Iran can't afford to be friendly with Russia. He said that the West would have to be creative in finding a way to slow and limit the kinds of weapons it could transfer to Russia.

Ukraine has blamed Iran for providing Russia with drones, which have been used to attack Kyiv.

More drones and missiles and technical cooperation on military matters seem likely, as well as deeper trade links to create asanctions proof trade network.

Tehran is willing to weather the diplomatic costs, though it is not clear what it will get in return.

Ben Taleblu said that Iran is likely to continue playing hardball in the future.

He said that an increasingly risk tolerant political elite might feel unstoppable abroad. It would be more proof of this perception if Iran gave missiles to Russia and not just drones.