According to recent comments by Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, the Iranian regime is ready for all eventualities in case of any US violation of the nuclear deal. “The supervisory committee on the nuclear deal held a meeting and discussed this matter at length, and studied Iran’s position in case of whether the ban is expanded or approved,” said Salehi, adding that Iran’s negotiating team has taken this point into consideration during negotiations on the nuclear deal due to the members’ lack of confidence in the Western nations, but were unable to publicly reveal the details.
Salehi continued, saying, “The Iranian leadership raised this issue several times, and fortunately, actions have been taken to enable us to access a good level of uranium enrichment capacity within 18 months.” The senior regime official further voiced hope of he expressed his hope, “continuing the nuclear deal”, saying, that any failure to move forward with the deal as per the existing agreement would “compel Iran to respond”, and warning that “in the case of the nuclear deal [being violated], the losing party will be the West.”
Salehi’s comment make it clear that Tehran is using the nuclear deal as a tool to put pressure on the US government, with the Obama administration fighting to safeguard the deal which Obama saw as a “milestone” achievement before he leaves the White House.
There is no doubt that the Iranian regime was desperate to reach this deal due to the widely known economic difficulties and political isolation, which it faced over the past two decades due to economic sanctions. Following the election of Donald Trump, however, the Iranian regime has begun to feel that things in the United States are no longer going its way, with the hopes that it had harboured due to the Obama administration’s policies rapidly evaporating, especially given Trump’s and his appointees’ previous stringent criticism of the regime and its regional activities. The new administration has made its dissatisfaction with Obama’s policies on and dealings with Iran throughout his term in office extremely clear.
Moreover, Tehran has repeatedly rejected Washington’s criticisms of the IRGC’s continued and ongoing ballistic missile tests which Washington asserts are in clear violation of the terms of the nuclear deal. The Iranian regime maintains that the tests are not in breach of the deal, stating that Western nations should not risk cancelation of the deal by confusing separate issues. Tehran has further threatened to resume and accelerate its nuclear activity if Western powers violate the nuclear deal, especially if new sanctions are imposed.
The wholly predictable deceitful strategies employed by the Iranian regime, which is well known for its political gamesmanship and use of various devious tactics, should come as no surprise; the regime clearly has no intention of meeting its commitments under the terms of the deal, and is always searching for a way to resume its habitual behavior.
On this basis, any nation, government or organization which expects that it will somehow succeed in taming the “Jurist Leadership” regime through strengthening the so-called “moderates” at the expense of “fundamentalists,” is labor under massive delusions and making a terrible mistake. The painful reality which Western powers must wake up to regarding Iran is that the regime is deceiving the international community with different masks, while its real face is one and the same; that of absolute theocratic leadership under the Mullas. In truth, there is no difference between Ahmadinejad and Rouhani, or between Qassem Suleimani and Mehdi Karroubi or other regime officials. All the regime officials are dedicated to and believe passionately in the “Jurist Leadership” regime as an article of faith, and all are subject to the Supreme Leader’s orders; there is no other more moderate option, more especially regarding the regime’s foreign policy and its absolute control of Iran’s national security.
Rather than making the regime more moderate, the West’s kid-glove handling and exaggerated courtesy towards the regime have increased its avarice and its boldness. More importantly, Ali Akbar Salehi’s recent comments confirm that Iran remains determined to acquire or manufacture nuclear weapons rather than to implement a peaceful nuclear program as it claimed.
Based on this knowledge, the Middle East, and the world are waiting for the incoming US administration to be far tougher towards Iran, and to be a great deal more scrupulous and vigilant over observing Iran’s adherence to the terms of the nuclear deal. This vigilance is even more essential in light of the regime’s repeated violations to date, whether by increasing the quantities of uranium in its possession over the allowed limit, increasing its stockpile of heavy water, or dismantling centrifuges.
Opinions in this article reflect the writer’s point of view, not necessarily the view of The Arabain GCIS