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Iran: Why Is Zarif Asking to Activate Nuclear Dispute Resolution Mechanism

Javad Zarif shakes hands with Josep Borrell.

At first glance, this request sees a little confusing and strange but digging into the reasons for this request, we can find out the reality about it which is hidden behind the curtains.

The JCPOA (The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) was signed by the 5 + 1 counties (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States plus Germany) and Iran on 14 July 2015 in Vienna.

Before this, the Iranian regime tried to take a step and reach its nuclear ambitions and the dream of nuclear status to secure the existence of its regime. But the revelations by the Iranian opposition (NCRI and the MEK) blew up all of its dreams.

Under the JCPOA, Iran’s regime agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98%, and reduce by about two-thirds the number of its gas centrifuges for 13 years.

For the next 15 years, Iran will only enrich uranium up to 3.67%. Iran also agreed not to build any new heavy-water facilities for the same period of time.

Uranium-enrichment activities will be limited to a single facility using first-generation centrifuges for 10 years. Other facilities will be converted to avoid proliferation risks.

To monitor and verify Iran’s compliance with the agreement, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will have regular access to all Iranian nuclear facilities.

The agreement provides that in return for verifiably abiding by its commitments, Iran will receive relief from U.S., European Union, and United Nations Security Council nuclear-related sanctions.

Before the approval of the JCPOA, during the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the UN Security Council issued six successive resolutions against the Iranian regime and placed Iran under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. With the signing of the JCPOA, the UN Security Council canceled all the six previous resolutions through the resolution 2231.

After the regime accepted the JCPOA, instead of losing the possibility to become a nuclear power, it moved faster with the expansion of its ballistic missile program. This triggered a global concern, but because of the dominant appeasement policy, the regime was able to continue this program and contaminate the Middle East with its missiles and drones and become a threat to other countries by its ballistic missiles.

On 8 May 2018, President Trump announced the United States’ withdrawal from the JCPOA. Following the US’s withdrawal, the EU enacted an updated blocking statute on 7 August 2018 to nullify US sanctions on countries trading with Iran. In November 2018 US sanctions came back into effect intended to force Iran to dramatically alter its policies, including its support for militant groups in the region and its development of ballistic missiles.

The US government announced that the US will return to the JCPOA if Iran accepts its 12-point conditions.

On 1 July 2019, Iran announced that it had breached the limit set on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, which the IAEA confirmed. In five steps, the Iranian regime canceled all its nuclear obligations, from the enrichment capacity and the percentage of enrichment to the number of enriched materials, and research and development.

The regime’s economy stagnated because of the secondary sanctions of the US, and the Europeans efforts to help the regime out of this situation with levers like the INSTEX did not help. While the regime reduced its JCPOA obligations, its terror activities forced the EU to change its position and become closer to the US.

In March 2020, the IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi called on Iran on Monday to cooperate immediately and fully with the IAEA and provide prompt access to locations which it has refused to let Agency inspectors visit.

“The Agency has identified a number of questions related to possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities at three locations that have not been declared by Iran,” Mr. Grossi said in his first address to the Agency’s Board of Governors as Director-General.

On 16 June, the US secretary Mike Pompeo in a tweet said: “The @IAEAorg has confirmed Iran is denying access to two of its past nuclear sites. This unprecedented obstruction is deeply concerning and unacceptable. The international community must demand that Iran cooperate immediately and fully with the IAEA.”

As the last hope for Iran’s regime was the abolition of its arms embargo, which will be lifted on 18 October 2020, five years after the JCPOA adoption day. Iran, in the hope to buy the votes of its two allies Russia and China, is signing arm contracts with them. But the US decided not to allow that this happens.  António Guterres reported that the source of the missiles which hit the Saudi Arabian’s ARAMCO oil facilities was Iran. Which put the two parties involved with this conflict into unchartered territory.

While the US special Representative for Iran Brian Hook visited met the Austrian Foreign Minister and the IAEA’s Director General Rafael Grossi to discuss the expiration of the UN arms embargo and the IAEA’s verification work in Iran and express full support for the Agency’s professionalism and objectivity, this has sent the regime’s nuclear case into a more complicated stage.

Hook said, “The Iranian regime must comply with its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, and Additional Protocol by providing the IAEA with the information and access required under its agreements.” Now the regime is on the corner and if they refuse, what is at stake is the implementation of the trigger mechanism and the regime’s referral to the Security Council.

In the new coordinates, the regime has no more than two options: “Going to the surrender table with bloody knees or more defiance and going under Section 7 of the UN Charter.”

On this subject, the state-run Vatan Emrooz daily on 4 July 2020 wrote: “In such a situation, Iran can show two different behaviors. The first is to be in the same puzzle that the Americans designed and start the negotiation phase with the United States. Accepting the 12 conditions that Pompeo announced in the first days of his tenure will be the main focus of a possible agreement between Iran and the United States in the future. The main clauses of the possible agreement, as stated in Pompeo’s 12-point statement, which were later pointed out by US officials, relate to serious restrictions on the missile program, regional policies, and the dismantling of Iran’s nuclear program.”

Then this daily suggested: “Eliminating the JCPOA’s restrictions and returning to its pre-JCPOA capabilities is an important and effective step that will discourage the other side from pursuing more countermeasures and even reduce some of these pressures. Iran should put appropriate action on the agenda at this time, and now the appropriate action is to launch a new generation of centrifuges and maximize the enrichment capacity along with increasing uranium enrichment from 5.3 to 20 percent.

“The issue of oversight and inspections must also be seriously reconsidered. Suspension of the NPT, the suspension of oversights more than the of the NPT adopted by Iran as a result of the JCPOA, and the restriction of controls to safeguards controls (the NPT-based Agency’s oversight system) are another appropriate measure against US misconduct.”

But the regime’s real situation is showing something else. It is Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in a letter to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell asked him for the triggering of the dispute-resolution mechanism built into the JCPOA. This was tried for the first time by the E3 but it failed.

This request can be also a replacement for the regime’s warning to leave the NPT. But announcing this is just to make the atmosphere foggy. And will solve nothing because the only loser is the regime itself.


Read More:

Why Iran’s Regime Fears the IAEA Board of Governors’ Resolution?

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