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Sep 12, 2022
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The “nuclear deal” with Iran is again on the verge of failure, but Russia is somewhat beneficial

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Photo: rgc official website/Keystone press agency/Global Look Press

Germany, France and the UK criticized Iran’s position on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program. The Eurotroika believes that Tehran “continues to build up its nuclear program beyond any plausible civilian justification.”

“While we were approaching an agreement, Iran again raised certain issues regarding its legally binding international obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and its NPT Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This last requirement raises serious doubts about Iran’s intentions and commitment to the successful completion of the JCPOA,” the three countries said in a joint statement published on the website of the German Foreign Ministry.

As emphasized in the document, Iran’s position is contrary to its legally binding obligations and jeopardizes the prospects for the restoration of the JCPOA. Berlin, Paris and London noted that after a year and a half of negotiations, the JCPOA coordinator has presented a final set of texts “that would allow Iran to return to compliance with its obligations under the JCPOA” and the United States to return to the deal. The three capitals believe that the additional changes made by the coordinator have brought them “to the limit of flexibility” and regret that “Iran chose not to take advantage of this decisive diplomatic opportunity.”

The Eurotroika called on Tehran to cooperate in good faith with the IAEA and demanded that it “provide technically reliable answers to the IAEA’s questions about the location of all nuclear materials on its territory.” The European parties to the deal intend to consult with their international partners on how to resolve “the problem of Iran’s ongoing nuclear escalation and lack of cooperation with the IAEA regarding the NPT safeguards agreement.”

Former US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that in recent weeks, the negotiators were able to eliminate “some gaps” in the positions of the parties, but Tehran’s latest response set the dialogue back.

“We do not intend to agree to a deal that does not meet our basic requirements or involves ongoing attempts by Iran to put forward extraneous demands that are not related to the JCPOA,” he said.

The head of American diplomacy stressed that Washington will make a deal only if it contributes to US national security. In Tehran, the statement of the “Euro-troika” was called ill-conceived and pushing the negotiations to failure.

“It is sad that three European countries, with this ill-conceived statement, took a step towards the Israeli policy, which aims at the failure of negotiations. If this approach continues, then they will be responsible for the consequences,” the press service of the country’s foreign ministry quoted an official representative of the Iranian Foreign Ministry as saying. Nasser Kanani Chafi.

At the same time, the diplomat noted that Tehran is ready to conclude an agreement if there is the necessary will for this and the parties’ refusal from foreign pressure.

Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov considers the statement of Germany, France and Great Britain criticizing Tehran’s position on the JCPOA “untimely”.

“Right at an important moment in the Vienna talks and on the eve of the meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors,” he wrote on one of the social networks.

The IAEA Board of Governors is scheduled to meet on Monday, September 12, three months after the adoption of a resolution calling on Iran to provide “credible” answers on its nuclear program.

Leading Researcher of the Center for Security Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Konstantin Blokhin believes that it is too early to bury the “nuclear deal”.

– An approach Biden to the Iranian nuclear program differs from the approach Trump. The nuclear deal was originally signed Obamawhere Biden was vice president and, of course, he wants to solve this problem only through diplomatic means. In part, when he went to the Middle East, he failed precisely because Saudi Arabia and Israel were urging Biden to force containment of Iran rather than a negotiation process. Biden’s position, I think, is fundamental.

I would not say that the Americans want to sabotage the “deal”, to bury it. Still, there is interest.

Political scientist, expert of the international discussion club “Valdai” Farhad Ibragimov believes that if the Americans and Europeans continue to put pressure on Iran, then the “nuclear deal” can be put an end to.

– The West does not show the proper desire to return to the JCPOA and improve relations with Tehran. All that he is doing now is blackmailing the Iranian side, does not take into account the interests of Iran and takes into account the opinion of Israel, which of course is unacceptable for the Iranian side. Initially, there were hopes that the Americans and Europeans would behave more consistently and more prudently, realizing that the JCPOA issue needed to be resolved, and that it could not hang in the air for so long. However, later the Americans delayed the bargaining, which, of course, had a negative effect on the negotiation process.

“SP”: – Why did the Europeans, who so advocated for its conclusion, suddenly go on actually provocative statements at one of the most crucial moments?

– The Europeans are now acting in the wake of the Americans, in addition to this, Israeli pressure has joined, which Tel Aviv does not even hide. Initially, Tehran was supported in Brussels, they considered it right on this issue – as long as the Trump administration was in the White House. As soon as it was replaced by the current administration led by Biden, the rhetoric of the Europeans changed dramatically. This is due not only to the open sympathies of the EU and London towards the US Democratic Party, but also an attempt to get a “tidbit” of the pie from the “nuclear deal” and force Tehran to sign the agreement not on the terms of a mutually beneficial compromise, but on its own – believing that Tehran simply has nowhere to go and will be ready to do anything for the sake of momentary benefits and the penetration of European companies into Iranian markets.

“SP”: – Are compromises still possible or have the parties exhausted them?

– I think that compromises are no longer possible, at least from the Iranian side. Tehran made the most of all the concessions that it imagined possible. For example, he refused to insist that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) be removed from the list of US terrorist organizations, and although the Iranian side now claims that they did not initially raise this issue, authoritative sources close to the president chairman say the opposite. Iran actually demands what was spelled out in the JCPOA agreement back in the summer of 2015. This is the lifting of sanctions on Iran, the process should take place in parallel with the return of the Americans to the “nuclear deal”.

Tehran insists that the United States give written guarantees that the story of May 2018, when the Trump administration categorically withdrew from the deal, thereby grossly violating the agreement, will not be repeated. In addition, the Iranian side insists on the termination of the investigation by the IAEA inspectors at nuclear facilities in the period from 2018 to 2022, which is also quite logical, since during all this time the United States was absent from the treaty, which means that Iran had the right to also violate those or other terms of the deal. Biden agreed in August to give guarantees and even write a clause according to which the United States would be required to pay a fine if Washington again violates the terms of the deal. But the Americans, under pressure from Israel, are demanding a full examination of all Iranian facilities, to which Iran categorically disagrees for reasons of its own security.

“SP”: – If the deal is not concluded, what could it lead to in the near future?

– If the deal is not concluded, then it will simply fall apart or be shelved. There will be no point in a “nuclear deal” as the US elite is already declaring that the treaty is not viable. So, for example, speaking to the Iranian opposition in the United States, the former presidential adviser on national security John Bolton said America would pull out of the deal as soon as there was a change of administration in the White House. The rhetoric regarding the JCPOA and Iran remains the same – it is not in the interests of the United States, and the regime in the Islamic Republic is a security threat in the region.

It must be said that in Iran itself, over the past few months, there have been no particular illusions about an agreement with the West. They wanted to restore the JCPOA and its actions, at least for a while, in order to improve the economic situation in the country, however, as we see, the United States is not able to negotiate.

In the event of the collapse of the “nuclear deal”, Iran will turn irrevocably to the East and postpone contacts with the West for a very long time. And most importantly, it will continue to work on the development of its nuclear program, especially, as the Iranian vice president said Eslamithe country has every opportunity for this.

“SP”: – How will this situation affect Russia?

– As a matter of fact, this situation will not affect Russia in any way as on the side of the negotiation process. We must pay tribute to our diplomats, who for eight years have made tremendous efforts to ensure that the issue of the Iranian nuclear program was safely resolved. Moscow counted on the prudence of its Western colleagues, believing that they were interested in building a security architecture in the Middle East region.

I would also like to note that Russia also opposes the appearance of nuclear weapons in Iran, and China has the same position, but both Moscow and Beijing believe that the interests of the Islamic Republic must be taken into account for a number of objective reasons. Everyone is well aware that the presence of nuclear weapons in Tehran will instantly militarize the entire region, and taking into account what the Middle East is, the consequences can be the most irreversible.

Iran will continue to further strengthen its contacts with Russia, they are striving to increase our trade turnover, develop trade and economic cooperation and bring political relations to a new level, in particular, along the military-defense line. Therefore, Russia, in principle, will not lose anything, on the contrary, it will even gain.

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