Iran’s Record of Violations in 2016, After JCPOA

He calls out Tehran, saying that they have not become moderate nor rational with the advent of the JCPOA Nuclear Deal.  Instead, they have become more entitled and emboldened to pursue anti-American and anti-Semitism.   Further, Iran never signed the JCPOA nuclear deal, and Iranian leaders violated the deal three times in the past year. 

In Resolution 2231, the UN Security Council made it clear that it “calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.” According to Tasnim News Agency, as recently as December 28 the Iranian Air Defense held an operational test of ‘Sayyad-3’ missiles paired with ‘Talash’ homegrown missile system, in southern parts of the country. 

Additionally, Iran has increased strategic and tactical cooperation with Russia to undermine US interests, strengthening the Russia-China-Iran axis. 

More shockingly, Iran continues to rank at the top of the list for executions per capita. Iran has now become the world’s leading executioner of juveniles. 

When it comes to breaking international laws, in 2016 Iran reached new levels. The billions of dollars it received as part of the Nuclear Deal didn’t encourage Tehran to become a rational and moderate state. Iran instead it used the money to pursue the ideals of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). 

Now listed as the top state sponsor of terrorism, Iran is accused of “providing a range of support, including financial, training, and equipment, to groups around the world.” 

The first violation of the JCPOA nuclear deal was reported in July 2016, by Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The agency stated that the Iranian government “was pursuing a clandestine path to obtain illicit nuclear technology and equipment from German companies, at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level.” 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized Iran, but no action was taken. 

Although Iran should request permission from a UN Security Council panel for “purchases of nuclear direct-use goods”, according to the nuclear deal, they did not. A report by the Institute for Science and International Security drew attention to Iran’s violation as well.  “The Institute for Science and International Security has learned that Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) recently made an attempt to purchase tons of controlled carbon fiber from a country. This attempt occurred after Implementation Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The attempt to acquire carbon fiber was denied by the supplier and its government. Nonetheless, the AEOI had enough carbon fiber to replace existing advanced centrifuge rotors and had no need for additional quantities over the next several years, let alone for tons of carbon fiber. This attempt thus raises concerns over whether Iran intends to abide by its JCPOA commitments. In particular, Iran may seek to stockpile the carbon fiber so as to be able to build advanced centrifuge rotors far beyond its current needs under the JCPOA, providing an advantage that would allow it to quickly build an advanced centrifuge enrichment plant if it chose to leave or disregard the JCPOA during the next few years. The carbon fiber procurement attempt is also another example of efforts by the P5+1 to keep secret problematic Iranian actions.” 

In February 2016 as Iran exceeded its threshold for heavy water, used to produce nuclear weapons. In November 2016, according to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran once again violated the deal by holding more heavy water than permitted. 

Iran was faced no consequences for either violation. 

In 2016, Iran significantly ratcheted up its production of ballistic missiles, it test-fired at least eight ballistic missiles, each capable of carrying multiple nuclear heads. This is a blatant violation of the nuclear deal, as well as United Nations resolutions 1929 and 2231. The JCPOA states that Iran mustn’t undertake any ballistic missile activity “until the date eight years after the JCPOA Adoption Day or until the date on which the IAEA submits a report confirming the Broader Conclusion, whichever is earlier.” 

The UN Security Council resolution (Paragraph 3 of Annex B of resolution 2231 of 2015) is clear. The resolution “calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.” 

Another UN Security Council resolution, 1929, also states, “Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology, and that States shall take all necessary measures to prevent the transfer of technology or technical assistance to Iran related to such activities.” 

It is accurate to argue that the Obama Administration’s appeasement policies towards Iran, gave Tehran tremendous financial relief. Meanwhile, Iran’s Supreme leader Khamenei instigated more anti-American sentiments and continued lashing out at the “Great Satan“. Iran publicly harassed the US Navy, detained US sailors, and imprisoned several American citizens. Khamenei has also threatened Israel repeatedly and made remarks about wiping Israel from the face of earth in less than 8 minutes. In December 2016, Khamenei stated that Israel would not exist in 25 years. He even published a book laying out a plan on how to destroy Israel. 

As Tehran became more heavily armed, it increased its interventions in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and intensified its assistance to its Shiite proxies and Bashar al Assad, bolstering the “Shia axis”. Iran also increased strategic and tactical cooperation with Russia to undermine US interests, strengthening the Russia-China-Iran axis. 

Finally, when it comes to human rights, Iran set some of the worst records since this regime’s establishment in 1979. Human Rights Watch say that in 2016 Iran escalated the mass executions of minorities, as well as the imprisonment of human rights and political activists. Iran ranks top in the world for executions per capita, and according to Amnesty International, Iran is the world’s leading executioner of juveniles.  

There is correlation between Iran gaining more money and breaching international laws.  The appeasements of this past year, and the violation gone unpunished allows Iran to continue committing human rights violations, spreading its revolutionary values of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism, destabilizing the region, intensifying regional conflicts and humanitarian tragedies, and pursing its regional ambitions.