Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear watchdog tasked with monitoring Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), confirmed that Iran had indeed acted on its threats to produce higher levels of enriched uranium.
Nuclear weapons capability
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) reported that confirmation came just a few days after the regime’s Minister of Intelligence warned that Iran would actively pursue nuclear weapons capability if it was “pushed” by the United States and its allies through the use of pressure.
The Iranian regime has tried to make out that its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes, but the comments by the Intelligence Minister show that this is not the case at all. Research and power generation are not what the regime is aiming for if it is willing to use nuclear extortion to get what it wants.
In an effort to persuade the international community that the nuclear program is peaceful, the Intelligence Minister said that the Supreme Leader issued a fatwa back in 2010 banning nuclear weapons because they are considered to be contrary to Islam. Many agree, however, that the fatwa is not binding and was just a measure to keep appease the West. It is not something that the regime is serious about.
2015 Iran nuclear deal
When the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was signed, the reception was mixed. Many hoped that it would be the start of more peaceful relations with Iran, while others were concerned about the fact that Iran was the only side that actually benefitted from the deal. Some actually warned that the deal would do nothing but push Iran closer to being nuclear-armed and it appears that they were right after all.
The Trump administration would not accept Iran’s belligerence and it exited the nuclear deal. The arguments for pulling out were compelling – Iran not only never complied with the terms of the nuclear deal, but its terrorist activities, warmongering in the region, meddling in the affairs of other nations, and so on, could not be ignored.
The Iranian regime is clearly frustrated
President Joe Biden expressed his desire to re-enter the JCPOA but the Iranian regime is clearly frustrated that it hasn’t happened already. Although he has said he would like the US to join the deal again, he also said that Iran must reverse the steps that had been taken in breach of the agreement.
Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe recently warned that there are no arguments to support the lifting of sanctions and that the regime’s attempts to pressure President Biden into taking action just show how desperate the regime is.
The US will no doubt be pressured by certain allies to return to the nuclear agreement but surely by now, it is clear that any concessions given to the Iranian regime will just embolden it and encourage it to continue with its belligerent activities?
The Biden administration must look at policies put in place by previous administrations and examine the consequences. This will give the administration an insight into how the regime will react to conciliation or pressure.