The Iranian government has finally agreed to resume nuclear talks in Vienna on November 29, after months of stalling. However, as the date for the negotiations is just days after a scheduled session for the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it appears that the regime is attempting to manipulate the international community once again by dodging any repercussions for their failure to comply with the IAEA regarding their nuclear advancements.
In September, Tehran struck a deal with the IAEA chief, Rafael Grossi, on the eve of the scheduled meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors and agreed to facilitate the UN watchdog’s monitoring inside Iranian nuclear sites.
As a result of the deal, the regime managed to evade condemning action from the international community but following the IAEA meeting and the United Nations General Assembly session, IAEA inspectors were prevented by the regime from accessing monitoring equipment at their nuclear sites to perform routine maintenance checks.
On November 5, the spokesman of the regime’s Atomic Energy Organization, Behrouz Kamalvandi announced that around 25 kilograms of 60% enriched uranium had been produced, which is getting worryingly close to weapons-grade level.
In other words, Tehran succeeded through nuclear blackmail and deception to avoid being held accountable for its malign activities.
The regime first stalled nuclear talks in June when Ebrahim Raisi was selected as the regime’s new president. At the time, Raisi and his Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian maintained that they were not interested in ‘negotiating for negotiations’, however, with their actions over the past few months, it appears that they are negotiating purely to buy time so they can advance their nuclear program secretly.
Under the regime’s terms for resuming nuclear talks, it appears they have found a loophole to continue its activities with the end goal of achieving the production of a nuclear weapon.
In a virtual conference on Monday, Saeed Khatibzadeh, the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry suggested that the United States should, “show that it has the capability and will to provide guarantees that it will not abandon the deal again if the talks to revive the deal succeed.”
He also added that the U.S. should lift all sanctions placed upon the regime by the Trump administration.
It is unlikely that the European signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will give in to the demands of the regime. They have been making every effort to keep the JCPOA alive but with the regime’s lack of cooperation and blackmail attempts, most talks have been stalled.
Tehran has continued to renege on its obligations, enriched uranium beyond limits set by the JCPOA, and continued its terrorist activities through its proxy groups in the region.
The regime is determined to restore the appeasement policy that has allowed them to attain many concessions from Western powers over the years. They are desperate to buy more time to advance their nuclear program to allow them to have an upper hand in future negotiations. The mullahs are fully aware that any sign of weakness that they show when dealing with the international community could easily cause them to lose their already fragile hold on the dire situations in Iran.
It’s safe to conclude that the Iranian regime is in a deadlock. Tehran can neither accept the terms offered by western powers in exchange for sanctions relief nor continue playing for time due to the country’s current social and economic crises. Iran’s illogical actions are the characteristics of a regime drowning in crises that it has created.