After the United States withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, Iranian officials boasted that the regime would be able to quickly resume and even surpass its previous achievements. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported that Shortly after, the regime clarified to the international community the point by violating the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA on a frequent basis during 2019.
Tehran is currently enriching uranium to at least 63 percent fissile purity and processing uranium metal, which serves no other function than as a main component in a nuclear weapon’s core.
The JCPOA seemed to play a direct role in granting the regime permission to resume some enrichment operations, as well as access to additional tools that could be used to advance its nuclear program more effectively.
Advocates also criticized the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency was not given unrestricted access to areas and therefore would not be free to disrupt and disclose relevant activities at undeclared sites.
The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization told a state-run news outlet in January 2019 that the core of a heavy water facility in Arak had never been taken down as mandated by the JCPOA. Instead, cement was poured into identical pipes and manipulated pictures of the core were sent to the IAEA.
In November of that year, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the AEOI, said in another state media interview that the regime had put in place “countermeasures” to avoid being “trapped” by long-term compliance with uranium enrichment limits.
Last month, the Natanz nuclear facility reportedly began enriching to 60% with no notice. The rate at which that project is advancing highlights the obvious fact that Iran entered its initial JCPOA compliance with a simple strategy for continuing to advance its nuclear program while also obtaining sanctions relief.
Policymakers must understand that a status quo includes certain deception by all means. By simply returning to the JCPOA in its current form, the signatories are implying to the Iranian regime that it will face no consequences for its previous non-compliance.
As a result, the regime will have explicit permission to resume its illicit activities, which appears to be aimed at setting the stage for nuclear conflict once the agreement expires.
“Iran also conducts industrial espionage, which is primarily targeted against Swedish hi-tech industry and Swedish products that can be used in nuclear weapons programs,” according to a 2020 report from Sweden’s Security Service.
Iran is putting a lot of money resources into this, and some of them are being used in Sweden.”
The Islamic Republic is listed 19 times in Germany’s most recent general report, referring to events that have been reported in dozens of other studies since the JCPOA went into effect.
These findings should have made it clear to the western powers that the 2015 agreement was insufficient to prevent Iran from attempting to accelerate its nuclear weapons program.