The European signatories of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal recently gave Iran a “roadmap” of the sanctions that the US will lift if the Iranian regime complies with the agreements they made under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
But why? Former vice-president of the European Parliament Alejo Vidal-Quadras noted in an op-ed on the subject that Iran’s recent decision to increase uranium enrichment to 60%, shortly after an explosion at the Natanz facility, indicates that Iran is committed to obtaining nuclear weapons because there is “no [other] practical reason for Iran to expend the money and effort”.
He wrote: “Unfortunately, many of the Western participants in those negotiations were all too willing to accept the Iranian regime’s narrative that its nuclear activities were exclusively peaceful, being limited to power generation and scientific or medical research. As a result, negotiators contented themselves with an agreement that more serious critics of the Iranian regime recognized as inadequate and ultimately dangerous.”
Indeed, the National Council of Resistance of Iran has issued numerous statements calling on the international community to look at the deal again because the regime would exploit concessions, which is why they argued a firmer response was needed. Even the Iranian people have called for sanctions while criticising the regime’s nuclear program, but they have been ignored.
Vidal-Quadras wrote: “The Iranian people’s activism should stand side-by-side with the Iranian regime’s ongoing behaviour as factors in a revision of European policy. The very recent adoption of 60 per cent enrichment is not the only example of the regime tacitly admitting that nuclear weapons capability is its true goal. It made the same admission earlier with the announcement that it would be producing uranium metal, a substance that has virtually no purpose other than as a key component in the core of a nuclear warhead.”
In fact, some Iranian officials have even bragged publicly about the tricks they pulled to get the deal while refusing to alter its pursuit of a nuclear weapon. This includes Atomic Energy Organization of Iran head Ali Akbar Salehi, who said in 2019 that they used decoy tubes and altered photos to convince the International Atomic Energy Agency that they’d deactivated the Arak heavy water facility
Vidal-Quadras wrote: “The regime’s partial reversal of its latest measures cannot diminish the fact Tehran has effectively admitted it aspires to nuclear weapons capability. Western policies must meet that threat head-on.”