NCRI – The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Nuclear Deal with Iran, took center stage at the United Nations General Assembly last week.
The Obama administration, US allies and the international community, believed that after benefits of the Nuclear Deal were in place, a ‘different’ Iran would emerge as a responsible member of the global community, and that the Middle East would be the first region to enjoy this outcome.
However, on the sidelines of his UNGA meetings, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, “Regrettably, since the agreement was confirmed, we have seen anything but a more peaceful, stable region.”
Berlin recently made remarks that are concerning for Tehran. In a statement, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said, “The Americans are right: Iran is still not playing a constructive role in the Middle East, be it in Yemen or Lebanon.”
The geo-strategic importance of Yemen is the most likely reason why al-Qaeda sought to establish a major foothold there, and why Iran continues its support of the Houthis. Tehran is continuing to smuggle illicit weapons and technology to prolong the Houthis’ campaign, according to Vice Admiral Kevin M. Donegan, a high-ranking US Navy commander in the Middle East. The New York Times cited Donegan, when he said that the Houthis are also receiving an “increasingly potent arsenal of anti-ship and ballistic missiles, deadly sea mines and even explosive boats that have attacked allied ships in the Red Sea or Saudi territory across Yemen’s northern border.”
UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahayan said during his UN General Assembly speech, “Two years have passed since Iran’s nuclear agreement with no sign of change in its hostile behavior; it continues to develop its nuclear program and violates the letter and spirit of that agreement.”
Iran is in violation of an accord that is related to the Nuclear Deal — UN Security Council Resolution 2231 — by continuing to test launch a range of ballistic missiles. The medium-range Khorramshahr missile was successfully test launched on Saturday. According to semi-official Tasnim news agency, this new weapon has a range of 2,000 kilometers (nearly 1,250 miles) and has the capability to carry multiple warheads.
This has US President Donald Trump questioning the JCPOA altogether, and accusing Tehran of colluding with Pyongyang. France also called on the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to deliver a full report on the recent missile test.
Last May, after his election to a second term, Iranian President Rouhani said, “We are proud of our armed forces, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the Basij and the security forces.” The IRGC is at the head of Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile program, and is in charge of quelling all forms of domestic dissent and exporting the regime’s “Islamic Revolution” abroad.
The JCPOA’s lifting of sanctions created windfall of money to the Iranian regime, but instead of alleviating Iran economic crisis, it was used to fuel terrorism across the region, and marshal soldiers from Afghanistan and Pakistan to fight in Syria to assist Syrian dictator, Bashar Assad.
The JCPOA did not address Iran’s nuclear/ballistic missile drive, support for terrorism or human rights violations at home. This must be addressed now.
For nearly four decades Tehran has utilized the engagement approach by the West that was meant to encourage change in Iran. This has resulted in a Middle East engulfed in war. A solution was recently posited by Walid Phares, former Trump foreign policy advisor, which is for Washington to use the Arab coalition and Iranian Opposition against Tehran.