In recent years, the United States and European powers have held several rounds of talks with Iran’s regime on its nuclear program. The talks have been aimed at ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and not aimed at developing nuclear weapons.
But so far, efforts to contain Tehran’s nuclear ambitions have remained fruitless. The West’s exasperation with Iran’s regime was once again displayed in a recent statement by European Union representatives, in which they expressed concern over 83% enriched uranium found in Iran’s nuclear facilities:
“It is extremely concerning that the Agency still cannot confirm the correctness and completeness of Iran’s declarations under its NPT Safeguards Agreement. The Agency is therefore not in a position to provide assurance that Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful.
“Our concern is further exacerbated by the presence of HEU particles containing up to 83.7%, which is gravely inconsistent with the level of enrichment declared by Iran at 60% at this facility with such advanced centrifuges. The EU’s concerns are exacerbated by the fact that Iran has modified the configuration of the centrifuges able to quickly produce high enriched materials at levels considerably over 60%, without any credible civilian justification. This further undermines Iran’s argument that its nuclear pogramme is for peaceful purposes only.”
Despite enormous diplomatic efforts, Iran’s nuclear issue remains unresolved. The latest round of negotiations began in April 2021. The talks were held in a closed-door format, with little information being released to the public.
In September 2022, negotiations between the United States, Iran, and other world powers on the nuclear deal failed because Tehran demanded the IAEA probe’s closure. Relations between Iran’s regime and the West further worsened over Iran’s repressive response to nationwide protests of 2022 and deepening military cooperation with Russia. The combination of these events led to successive waves of sanctions from the US, UK, and Europe, while non-productive talks entered a winter doze.
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi’s latest visit to Tehran aimed to create a roadmap for solving two key issues related to Iran’s nuclear program: a long-standing IAEA investigation into past activities at three undeclared sites and concerns over Iran’s activities at its Fordow facility, where it may be enriching uranium to weapons-grade purity.
Iran regime’s demands are unreasonable: the lifting of all US sanctions, including those imposed by the Trump administration, and a guarantee that the United States will not withdraw from the nuclear deal again in the future.
Western powers, on the other hand, are seeking to ensure that Iran complies with its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal. They also want Iran to agree to more stringent inspections and monitoring of its nuclear facilities.
While negotiations are ongoing, the West has been accused of adopting an appeasement policy towards Iran. This policy is seen as a way of placating Iran by making concessions in the hopes that it will lead to a more peaceful relationship.
This policy has been criticized by many experts who argue that it is dangerous for global and regional peace. They argue that the West should take a more confrontational stance towards Iran and hold it accountable for its destabilizing actions.
They argue that it has emboldened Iran to continue pursuing its nuclear program and aggressive behavior in the region. They point to Iran’s continued support for terrorist groups, its involvement in conflicts in Syria and Yemen, and its ballistic missile program as evidence that the policy has failed.
And more important, this policy has encouraged the regime to inflate its human rights violations and the repression of Iran’s people.
The policy of appeasement is based on the idea that concessions should be made to a hostile state in order to prevent further conflict. In the case of Iran, Western powers have been accused of making too many concessions to the regime in hopes of preventing it from pursuing its nuclear ambitions and expanding its influence in the region.
One of the key concessions made by the West was the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was signed between Iran and the US, the UK, Russia, China, France, and Germany. The agreement lifted many of the economic sanctions that had been placed on Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program.
Critics of the JCPOA argued that the deal did not go far enough in preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and did not address Iran’s other destabilizing activities, such as its support for terrorist groups in the region and its ballistic missile program.
But this is not the only concession that the West has given to the regime to get its agreement with their demands.
Jalal Khoshchehreh, a regime expert in nuclear negotiations, in an interview with the state-run daily Shargh, did not reject secret negotiations between the two parties and added:
“In the current sensitive situation, where the depth, breadth, and variety of security disputes between the two sides are very large and almost unprecedented, both Iran and the IAEA, with the support of the 4+1 and the United States, have put the lights out in the negotiations and agreements to prevent media controversy and sensitizing by some actors who criticize this type of interaction with Iran.”
The outcome of the current negotiations is uncertain, but it is clear that the issue of Iran’s nuclear program remains a key concern for the international community. Whether the West will continue with its appeasement policy or take a more confrontational stance remains to be seen.