Time is moving against the Iranian regime

In a joint statement on Wednesday, Britain, France, and Germany stated that they were "deeply concerned" about the "successive breach of Iran's nuclear obligations," emphasizing that "unacceptable" Iranian activities "would lead to the acquisition of knowledge of nuclear weapons."  "Iran must immediately halt production of metallic uranium and 60% enriched uranium," "stop escalating tensions," and "participate in negotiations without further delay," the European troika mentioned in the statement.

Seyed Jalal Sadatian, Iran's former ambassador to the United Kingdom, stated that the troika and the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia had come closer together.  He said there is a danger that the trigger mechanism (in the 2015 JCPOA) will be activated, which is dangerous for Iran.

Iran's delay in resuming talks has caused it to disappoint powerful allies, such as China and Russia.  Recent comments by several Russian officials regarding Iran's delaying tactics have been sharp and out of the ordinary.  The prolongation of the negotiation process has worked against Iran.  While Iranian leadership has repeatedly blamed the Trump administration, Iran's procrastination has caused the situation to reverse, and all eyes are on Iran now.  Could these statements turn into more severe actions against Iran soon?

In their statement, the troika called Iran's behavior provocative.  The term "provocative" is used when specific procedures or behaviors become quite serious and dangerous.  It is a childish notion that the regime believes that it can create a rift between Europe and the United States.  This strategy is a thing of the past.

The P5+1 countries feel that Iran is on the verge of new progress in its nuclear capabilities, which is considered a declaration of war.  The occasional support of Russia and China will not benefit the regime at this time.  China and Russia voted for the six resolutions passed in the U.N. Security Council against Iran.

Deadlock in the JCPOA negotiations

Perhaps the fundamental question is whether Iran will agree to halt its uranium enrichment and deliver its 5%, 20%, and 60% uranium reserves to other approved parties.  They would have to dismantle advanced centrifuges, stop the production of uranium metal, and resume the implementation of all protocols expected to be included in the new JCPOA agreement.  If so, one may ask, what does Iran want in return?

Iran's demands could be categorized as follows:

1. The complete lifting — not just the suspension — of all U.S. sanctions currently in place against Iran that require congressional approval.  It is worth noting that many of the sanctions imposed on Iran were for terrorism, and others were for human rights violations.

2. The United States should guarantee the return of money from the sale of Iran's oil to the Iranian government.

3. The United States pledges that it will not withdraw from JCPOA again.  But President Biden or any other president cannot make decisions for future presidents.  President Biden could promise not to abandon the JCPOA as long as he is the president, but what happens next depends on the policies of the next government.

Offering and suggesting these almost impossible pre-conditions indicates that the Iranian regime is not serious about resuming negotiations and is employing all these tactics to buy time to upgrade its nuclear capabilities.

The P5+1 are insisting on limits regarding Iran's regional influence, terrorism, and missile development in the new JCPOA negotiations.  However, Iran strongly opposes the idea and insists on the resumption of the 2015 JCPOA.

The JCPOA in the proper context

As stated in the first paragraph of the 2015 JCPOA, its purpose is to create peace and tranquility in the region and the world.  The regional influence of the Iranian regime and its missile program were to be discussed after signing the agreement.  The signing of the agreement did not lessen the violence and terrorist activities in the region but intensified them.  Attacks on oil tankers and explosions in Saudi Arabia oil refineries are just a few examples.

With the sanctions imposed on Iran, its nuclear program has become costly, financially and politically.  Iran is vigorously trying to stand on its feet and ignore all international calls to halt the progress of its nuclear activities.  The Iranian regime is aware that any delay will result in further setbacks, and soon it will be obliged to acquiesce to the demands of the Western countries.

The Iranian regime's existence depends entirely on its repressive machine inside the country and its terrorist activities abroad.  Losing any of the above will undoubtedly push the regime to the verge of collapse.

Considering the above, the Iranian regime's delay tactics become more understandable.  If that happens, according to Zarif, the former Iranian foreign minister, then Iran's predicament is not a win-win game.  Rather, it is all about lose-lose.

Image: Chickenonline via Pixabay, Pixabay License.

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