Written by Mohammad Javad Mousavizadeh exclusively for SouthFront
The fourth step of Iran to reduce the nuclear deal commitments can be either the death of the joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA) or turned it into an inanimate deal.
Iran had warned Europe that the country continues reducing its commitments concerning JCPOA. The country conducted the commitments reducing in three steps one by one and the fourth step has declared today.
The past steps were reactions from Iran against European countries because the country believes E3 that includes Germany, France, and the U.K were not accountable for their commitments according to the 2015 accord. The deal was signed in 2015 by the U.S, the European Union, E3, China, Russia, and Iran. After that Trump administration has withdrawn the U.S from the deal on May 8, 2018. Also, he imposed tough sanctions against Iran’s economy.
European countries always have promised to fulfill their commitments according to JCPOA, but Iran has dissatisfied concerning their function. That`s why Iran started the reactions.
In the first step, officials of Iran said on May 8, 2019, if E3 will not give a suitable response to Iran’s requests within 60 days, it would cause to increase in uranium enrichment above the 3.67 percent. In the same way, Iran has taken the second and third steps along with reducing the commitments.
“It is meaningless to continue unilateral commitments to the deal if we don’t enjoy its benefits as promised by the deal’s European parties,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart in Moscow on Sep 2, 2019.
After the third step on Oct 2, 2019, Ayatollah Khamenei the Leader of the Islamic Revolution made it clear that Iran will continue to reduce the implementation of its commitment within the nuclear deal.
“Concerning the JCPOA, we will seriously continue to reduce our commitments; the [Iranian] Atomic Energy Organization is responsible here, and should carefully and completely enact all the reduction of commitments that the Islamic Republic has declared until we reach the desired results,” he added.
In response to the above order, Spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi announced that only two other steps had remained to end the nuclear deal undertakings if the Europeans still continue insistence on not meeting Tehran’s demands.
“Only two more steps will end all of Iran’s JCPOA undertakings and will return the country to the pre-JCPOA conditions,” Kamalvandi said in an interview with the state TV.
Also, Ale Habib, Iranian Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) said that the Islamic Republic will gradually reduce its commitments to the JCPOA.
“Iran will continue to comply with that agreement, but it alone cannot, shall not and will not carry the burden of preserving it. Iran must receive the intended benefits of the Joint Plant of Action, he said, adding that the steps his country has taken to bring a balance of the agreement are minimal and reversible,” he added in an address to a plenary session of the First Committee of the UN General Assembly held in New York on Oct 18, 2019.
During the past steps, Europe and the U.S alleged their worry, they only urged from Iran to stop “worrying steps”. But the fourth step is a long step that has a different story, and it can be the end of the deal because some restrictions are under study pertaining to the monitoring of the Iranian nuclear program.
In related remarks, the spokesman for the Iranian parliament’s national security committee, Hossein Naghavi-Hosseini, said:
“In the fourth step of reducing JCPOA commitments, we will probably impose limits on inspections, which means the International Atomic Energy Agency’s surveillance will be reduced about Iran’s nuclear activities.”
Today, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said Tehran will start injecting uranium gas into centrifuges at its Fordow facility, the forth step away from its crumbling nuclear deal with world powers since the United States withdrew from the landmark accord last year.
On the other side, the E3 had warned to Iran about any commitments reducing. The E3 had said they would trigger a special dispute mechanism if there were further violations. If the dispute mechanism is triggered, the entire nuclear agreement could collapse and the UN could reinstate sanctions on Iran.
“As well as The European Union has privately had warned Iran that it will be forced to start withdrawing from the nuclear deal in November if Tehran goes ahead with its threat to take new steps away from the deal,” the Guardian reported.
In response, the foreign minister of Iran has said, ” the European countries are not in a position to can withdraw from JCPOA.”
“They have not such right legally, Iran will continue the actions according to the context of the 2015 accord, and Europe cannot withdraw from it,” he added.
At the same time, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a member of the Iranian parliament’s national security committee thinks the European countries will not withdraw from the deal.
“The European countries will do actions for preventing future steps by Iran, but the efforts will not be achieved while Europe stared at the White House.” He said then, ” E3 will not follow the trigger mechanism because the European countries have not any interest to enter a crisis condition against Iran, because that time, Europe no longer can manage and control the condition, and the most political and security damage would be for them” he added.
As well as the other MP said: “the third step of reducing the commitments in JCPOA could not change the Europe Behavior.” Kochaki Nezhad said then” in fourth step would not remain anything from JCPOA.”
In the related statements, Allahyar Malekshahi, the chief of the Judicial Committee of Iran`s parliament, said that “If the Europeans will not fulfill their commitments, the fourth step of Iran would be the end of the deal.
Due to the order of Iran’s supreme leader and no behavior-changing by E3, the fourth step has done by Iran. Now, some hypotheses would be possible. Either preservation the deal plus more E3`s Worry or using the trigger mechanism along with withdrawing of Europe from the JCPOA.
The U.S always has wanted that E3 withdraws from the deal. For instance, Vice President Mike Pence stressed “The time has come from our European partners to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and join us as we bring the economic and diplomatic pressure necessary to give the Iranian people, the region, and the world the peace, security, and freedom they deserve,” he said at the 2019 Munich security conference.
In any condition after the fourth step, the companionship between Europe and the U.S about the nuclear program of Iran will strengthen as far as the new deal suggestion would be the first plan for all sides except Iran.
So far, some European leaders have emphasized the necessity of a new deal with Iran about the missile program and Iran regional activity along with the nuclear program.
The UK prime minister told NBC television the deal that the US, the EU and five other nations — including Britain — had negotiated with Iran was flawed, in language that echoed the criticisms that US President Donald Trump has repeatedly aimed at the deal.
“If it was a bad deal — and I’m willing to accept that, it had many, many defects — then let’s do a better deal,” Johnson said.
Also, France frequently has said in the past that any new agreement must curb Iran’s ballistic-missile program, a stance Tehran has firmly rejected.
That`s why Brian H. Hook, Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State said at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Oct 16, 2019 that” When the world comes together to push back against Iran, we see change in its behavior. This administration will do its part, and we are succeeding in having others join us.
“Late last month, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom called for Iran to accept negotiations on its nuclear program, ballistic missiles, and regional activity. The E3 now agrees with us that a new deal is needed. Secretary Pompeo and I have made clear to our allies and partners that we will continue to stand with them against Iran’s violence,” he added.
But the supreme leader and other officials of the country frequently have said that the Iran missile program is not-negotiable. So, the achievement of a new deal after the fourth step would be improbable and very hard. Also, President Trump always has rejected any negotiation with Iran after lifting the sanctions while Iran seeks a negotiation when the sanction be lifted completely by the U.S.
It is worth noting that JCPOA for the government of President Hasan Rouhani almost is the only achievement in foreign policy as far as in the last presidential election, his campaign advertised on the JCPOA as a big victory. The prestige of the president has tied with 2015 accord and the end of the deal would be very irrecoverable for Rouhani. Therefore, the fourth step has taken cautiously as a short step. So it is possible, the fourth step would be similar to the third step along with a little difference.
Brief Bio: Mohammad Javad Mousavizadeh is a journalist from Iran. He is the press translator and writer for Iranians newspapers. Also, he is the director of Mashhadtribune, a local news agency in Mashhad City as the second city in Iran. As well as he writes for Eastern Herald.
MORE ON THE TOPIC: