As the incoming U.S. Biden Administration seems likely to relax the previous administration’s ‘maximum pressure’ policy on Iran over Iran’s nuclear development.
Maximum Pressure or Minimum
According to reports tallied by Iran’s main opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), it is worth considering whether the maximum pressure policy or the minimum pressure policy of the European powers is most likely to have an effect on the Iranian regime.
Perhaps more than any other European policymaker, the French Foreign Minister, Jean Yves Le Drian, seems to be prepared to speak up about Iran’s horrifying human rights abuses and link this to changes needed in the nuclear agreement with Iran.
In an interview with the French newspaper, Journal du Dimanche, Le Drian said that there should be changes because Tehran seemed to be in the process of acquiring nuclear weapons credibility.
Mullahs regime direct contravention of the (JCPOA)
However, Le Drian’s comments seem to be as far as European leaders wish to go in confronting Iran. Even when there is clear evidence that enrichment of Uranium beyond what might be necessary for peaceful purposes, in direct contravention of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Europeans seem to be either paralyzed or unwilling to hold the regime in Tehran accountable.
— Tony Duheaume (@TonyDuheaume) October 29, 2016
European negotiators seem to think that they can resolve differences between them and Ian through normal negotiation as if the whole relationship was like a trade deal. Even Le Drian has been vocally critical of the Trump Administration’s ‘maximum pressure’ policy.
As Le Drian has said himself: “the Trump administration chose what it called the maximum pressure campaign on Iran. The result was that this strategy only increased the risk and the threat.” With this statement, Le Drian is suggesting that Tehran has been escalating its response because of maximum pressure and not because they think they can get away with it.
— Ali Noorani (@ali_noorani_teh) April 9, 2018
Some facts must now be established about the different strategies towards Iran:
- The JCPOA in itself has been a failure if its intention was to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
- Iran has resumed its Uranium enrichment program with impunity.
- The regime’s actions mean that it cannot be trusted whatever it says officially.
- Iran is actually engaged in a form of blackmail.
- Without sticking to a maximum pressure approach, Iran’s bluff will not be called.
Giving in to Iranian blackmail could be a disaster.
Giving in to Iranian blackmail by either Europe or the U.S. could be a disaster. Le Drian and the other Europeans should stop feeling sorry for Iran and making up for what they think was a vindictive policy by the Trump Administration in the U.S. Maximum pressure could have yielded results if it had been consistent.
“Tough discussions will be needed over ballistic proliferation and Iran’s destabilization of its neighbors in the region,” said Le Drian, but it seems that he, like his counterparts in the E.U., are wary of following through with what is needed to convince Iran to back down.
Until there is a consistent approach to confronting Ian and holding its leadership to account, the mullahs will continue breaking the rules. This arrogant behavior will continue until the regime is thrown out by its own people and a more democratic alternative put in its place.
The abridged version of an article written by Mahmoud Hakamian for the NCRI.