The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported that the lawmakers in the United States have called on their administration to take Iran back to the negotiating table with regards to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal as it is known. They say that the nuclear agreement is weak and there are major issues that were entirely omitted from the deal. They point to Iran’s non-compliance and say that it is essential for a stronger and more comprehensive agreement to be drawn up.
Iran, however, is very keen to ensure that this does not happen. Of course, it does not want to have tougher restrictions and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that the country adheres to “everything” it signs.
He said that Iran does not have any malign intentions when it comes to its nuclear program and that although it did enrich uranium to levels of 20 percent during the nineties, this was simply for peaceful purposes.
The Iranian Foreign Minister also said that Iran has “no unusual demands” and that the International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed the country’s commitment to the nuclear agreement.
Some of the claims made by Javad Zarif are quite simply astonishing. The Iranian regime recently warned the international community, including the United States, that all sanctions must be lifted if they wanted new negotiations.
The regime has been engaging in nuclear intimidation and bullying, yet it expects the international community to turn a blind eye to its nuclear threats. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei even said that negotiating with the United States is “forbidden”.
The Foreign Minister hinted at the time as an important issue, calling on the United States to act quickly. He said that the Trump administration put pressure on Iran and that the Biden administration is following suit, hinting that there needs to be no major change in policy.
However, when he said that Iran has “no unusual demands”, what about the words of the Supreme Leader who said at the beginning of the year that “damages (…) will be pursued in the next steps”? Khamenei also said that if sanctions are not lifted and the United States re-joins the nuclear deal, it is detrimental to the regime’s interests.
The Iranian regime is at a dead end. It is relying on the lifting of sanctions but it is becoming clearer and clearer that this is unlikely to happen. There were great hopes that when President Joe Biden took office that he would reverse the policies pursued by former President Donald Trump. However, this is not the case and the regime is disappointed because it seemed like a major lifeline – one that the regime really relies upon in order to survive.
The state-run Kayhan publication wrote a few days ago that President Biden’s statement about national security issues indicates that US policy is going to remain as it is with regards to Iran. It said that this statement was a blow to the regime that was hoping for “a change in American attitudes”.