Negotiations between the Iranian regime and the P5+1 countries over the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), are still going on in Vienna, but they are set to continue without even the minor reassurances from the interim agreement between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
In fact, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said that the regime hasn’t decided formally about restoring the deal that provides limited data about the country’s nuclear program.
International Committee in Search of Justice (ISJ) President Alejo Vidal-Quadras wrote: “How can Western participants in those talks be expected to accept any sort of conclusion if it involves remaining uninformed about the current status of the Iranian nuclear program and simply taking the regime at its word that all their former JCPOA violations will be reversed?”
IAEA Secretary General Rafael Grossi previously said that it’s “not possible” to return to the JCPOA as is because the regime hasn’t abided by the deal and, as such, has increased its nuclear knowledge and accumulated centrifuges and other material.
He’s suggested a supplemental agreement to address Iran’s other malign behaviour, but Iran has rejected this. They believe that the other side should be making concessions, which Vidal-Quadras described as a “geopolitical tantrum” that should get nowhere with lawmakers, even with the threats that the regime has made to delete all data about its nuclear program.
Vidal-Quadras wrote: “As undesirable an outcome as the loss of data is, it pales in comparison to the potential consequences of rewarding the Iranian regime’s ongoing malign activity with sanctions relief and with the pride of knowing that it will outlast that of much stronger nations. Doing so would only embolden the regime to apply more of the same malign activities to more of the same ultimatums, in hopes of securing more of the same concessions. And in the meantime, international insight into the regime’s nuclear program will only continue to degrade.”
He advised that Western policymakers should not give in to Iran’s ultimatums because there is only so much value in this data anyway because of the amount that the mullahs have been hiding over the past 20 years.
Vidal-Quadras wrote: “Dealings with the Iranian nuclear program must be not only restored but to expand upon the access and information that was available before. If this requires letting Iran kick inspectors out of the country and bring the process back to square one, then so be it. If the only alternative is Western capitulation, it is no alternative at all.”