Despite Tehran’s claims of having secured a new round of negotiations with P4+1 in Brussels, the European and U.S. officials denied the existence of any talks besides the current talks in Vienna to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The regime’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, and his administration had stressed that they would not “negotiate for negotiations.” Due to the weak approach of western officials regarding Tehran’s provocative nuclear activities and breaching the JCPOA, the regime had also hoped to receive concessions from the West while restoring the nuclear deal with the features of its initial 2015 implementation. The recent demands of starting a new series of negotiations in Brussels before the Vienna talks, again show the regime is trying to kill time as it continues its nuclear activities.
“The European Union on Monday played down the prospect of serious talks on Iran’s nuclear program outside the framework of negotiations between world powers and Iran in Vienna,” Reuters reported. Reuters also unlined that even Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief known for his weak stance toward Tehran’s nuclear provocations, said on Monday that “time was not on Iran’s side.”
The U.S. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said on Monday that his government “does not think talks in Brussels are necessary before the resumption of indirect negotiations with Iran on a return to the 2015 nuclear deal in Vienna.”
Tehran drags its feet with negotiations to continue its nuclear program and obtain a nuclear weapon as its only option to hold the grip on power as calls for regime change in Iran continue to grow. The Iranian regime also needs leverage to pressure Western powers into giving concessions and acquiring sanctions relief.
The regime used the same method to force the world powers to give it concessions during the JCPOA talks in 2015. Tehran’s current top negotiator confirmed this fact in 2019.
“During those years, a good portion of time, we wanted to disrupt our adversaries’ assessment. To make this happen, we needed more time. We had to show our capabilities in practice so they could see them. The 20% enrichment couldn’t be done overnight. It required some work. Fordow and Arak [nuclear sites] needed some work. So, this required some time to achieve. Therefore, we bought some time. But when they were ready to negotiate a deal, the negotiation process expedited,” said Ali Bagheri Kani in an interview with the State TV in 2019.
But does the regime’s contradictory remarks about the JCPOA come from a point of strength? In September 2021, it was highly possible that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of governors adopt a firm policy toward the regime for the consecutive breaching of its commitments under the terms of the JCPOA.
Tehran immediately invited Rafel Grossi, the IAEA’s chief, and on September 12, they struck a deal allowing the IAEA inspectors to replace monitoring equipment. Thus, the regime dodged possible repercussions for its provocative actions by deceiving the international community but it certainly didn’t have the spine to stand tall against an IAEA board resolution.
On September 26, the IAEA reported that the regime did not allow the “agency access to the TESA Karaj centrifuge component manufacturing workshop,” in contrast to the agreed terms of the joint statement issued on September 12.”
Western powers should note that Tehran’s nuclear extortion campaign is not a sign of strength. Iran’s economic crises have been accelerating due to the regime’s corruption and misusing natural resources for funding terrorism. Sanctions have crippled the regime’s terrorist apparatus.
On the other hand, the regime faces a restive society. “We should find a way to control the flood of [anger] which could ruin [the entire system]. Never has the situation been so dangerous like now. We are in difficult economic circumstances. If this situation couples with people’s demands and real economic factors, we would be down on a dangerous path,” wrote the state-run Hamdeli daily on Monday.
When the JCPOA was signed, the Iranian opposition leader, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, reiterated that “circumventing the six UN Security Council resolutions and an unsigned agreement, which lacks the requirements of an official international treaty, would neither block the mullahs’ pathways to deception nor their access to a nuclear bomb.” Mrs. Rajavi underlined that Tehran “capitulated to this agreement out of concern over Iranian society’s explosive state,” and “the debilitating impact of the sanctions.” Thus, the western powers could have pressured the regime to stop its terrorism and human rights abuses and halt its nuclear program permanently.
As Iran’s state media have warned, another uprising is on the horizon. The Western powers should not succumb to the regime’s nuclear extortion. They should increase sanctions and adopt a firm policy toward the regime. This is the only way to prevent mullahs from obtaining a nuclear weapon.