The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) report that all signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal (excluding the United States) are expected to meet with representatives of the Iranian Regime. The meeting in Viena is considered an ‘indirect’ locale for negotiations between the United States and Iran, facilitating discussion about both nation’s return to complying with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
It cannot yet be ascertained whether the discussion at this meeting with providing tangible progress and the U.S. State Department has a low expectation about the possibility of a breakthrough.
Similarly, the Iran officials demonstrated no change in position. A preliminary virtual meeting was held on Friday for the Iranian nuclear negotiator and former Foreign Minister spokesperson, Abbas Araqchi. Araqchi minimized the importance of the upcoming negotiations, relaying them as determining which course of action each side should take.
“The U.S. can return to the deal and stop breaching the law in the same way it withdrew from the deal and imposed illegal sanctions on Iran.”
The U.S. presented an opposing position: it may be willing to suspend sanctions, but only after Iran resumes compliance with the deal previously outlining the groundwork for sanctions relief.
The behavior of the regime can be scrutinized in such times of international tension, revealing the need for U.S. officials to continue to demand Iran’s full and verifiable compliance with the JCPOA as a precondition for any relief from economic sanctions.
The European Union, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom should be applying diplomatic pressure on the Iranian regime to desist its nuclear blackmail. The immoveable approach by the regime has been continued throughout this process, and if taken seriously, will lead to Tehran being rewarded for what be deduced to be nuclear blackmail. The European signatories to the JCPOA must contend with what the diplomatic crisis has revealed regarding deficiencies in the original agreement.
JCPOA’s ardent defenders were even surprised by the haste, caliber, and types of nuclear activity, Tehran had already achieved, comparable to that put in place before negotiations began. With little to no advanced warning to international inspectors, the nuclear facilities seemed to arise immediately as though someone flipped a switch. There was no gradual incline of plans.
If the appropriate inspectors had been paying enough attention, the actions and statements from Tehran to leading officials would not come as a shock. Now they work to promote a strong image to threaten western adversaries into providing new concessions and reversing economic sanctions imposed by the U.S.
No later than November 2019, Ali Akbar Salehi, the executive director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, was boasting to state media about the ways in which Tehran had deceived the international community over matters relating to uranium enrichment.
“They thought that they won the negotiation,” he said, “…but we had a countermeasure, and while we proceeded with the case, they didn’t achieve what they planned for, and we did not become trapped in the enrichment deadlock.”
The EU has consistently ignored the regime’s antagonistic moves, especially regime terrorism in Europe, to focus on the JCPOA. The conviction of a regime diplomat, Asadollah Assadi, in a Belgian court on charges of terrorism in Paris, is the last example.
In finalizing their strategy for the upcoming negotiations, the JCPOA’s European signatories must focus on holding the regime accountable for its horrific actions.