While the Iranian people’s hatred of the Iran-China deal is continuing, the regime’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted: “At virtual JCPOA JC meeting, Iran & EU/E3+2 agreed to resume in-person talks in Vienna next Tues. Aim: Rapidly finalize sanction-lifting & nuclear measures for choreographed removal of all sanctions, followed by Iran ceasing remedial measures. No Iran-US meeting. Unnecessary.” (@JZarif)
“Rapidly finalize sanction-lifting” is a deceptive phrase to cover up the mullahs’ retreat from their previous positions about their nuclear activities.
Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei had said in 2020 about the JCPOA (2015 Iran nuclear deal), “We do not insist on this at all, and we are in no rush for the US to return to it. Our issue is not at all if the US will return to that agreement or not. Our reasonable, logical demand is the lifting of sanctions. Sanctions should be lifted. This is a right that has been seized from the Iranian nation.” (Khamenei.ir, February 28, 2021)
Therefore, the regime lacks ‘authority’ according to its own words, while being influenced by the other side, until it has acquired this authority, is a loser in any supposed negotiation. Khamenei admitted to this a year before the November 2019 protests. We are now in 2021. A year in which the regime signed a 25-year contract with China, effectively selling off the country to prevent its downfall.
As usual there are contradictions in the comments of the regime’s officials. Zarif is hasty that the US returns to the JCPOA as soon as possible and Khamenei said he is not in a hurry. The truth is that the regime is hasty and what Khamenei is telling is just a deceive and is trying not to lose its authority over its forces.
What happened to the issue of non-negotiation and the red line that Khamenei had marked? Was it not suggested by Khamenei that only if all the sanctions would be removed and the regime fact-checks the international community’s compliance, then maybe or maybe not Khamenei would allow a return to the JCPOA? What caused him to step back from his previous policy?
“The side which has the right to set conditions for the continuation of the JCPOA is Iran. The reason is that from the beginning, Iran honored all its commitments. The Islamic Republic honored all its JCPOA commitments, but they violated theirs. Therefore, we have the right to set terms for the continuation of the JCPOA.
“Recently, we set a condition, and no one will go back on it: the condition is that if they want Iran to return to its JCPOA commitments – some of which have been canceled – the US has to lift all sanctions. And not just in words and on paper, rather they have to lift them in practice. After that, we will verify and see if they have really been lifted. Then, we will return to our JCPOA commitments. This is the definite policy of the Islamic Republic and it has been approved by all the officials of the country. Therefore, we will not retreat from this policy.” (Khamenei.ir, February 7, 2021)
What happened to the phrase by Khamenei of ‘no rush’?
Reza Nasiri, an international lawyer affiliated to the regime decrypted this ‘rush’ and said:
“Biden faces significant political obstacles in the United States. As time passes and the return of the parties to the JCPOA is delayed, these obstacles will become stronger and more entrenched.” (Entekhab, April 3, 2021)
This expert explains this obstacle as follows:
“One consequence of Biden’s excessive delay is the possibility that Congress – in collaboration with a number of hardline Democrats – will make the content of some of Trump’s sanctions decrees ‘lawful’ and – with conditions unrealistic for Iran. It would effectively deprive Biden of the power to lift sanctions.”
This could overshadow the whole issue of lifting sanctions or limit negotiations with the regime to congressional law.
The most important obstacle is the end of the regime’s three-month agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency on the Additional Protocol. This is the most important thing for this regime.
“If the agreement expires – with no prospect of opening up – the likelihood of a broad consensus against Iran and a key mechanism for resuming sanctions on Iran in the Security Council increases.”
What is called an opportunity and victory, and the foreign minister of the regime is trying to pretend as a way out of the impasse and moving of the JCPOA train, is a new and humiliating retreat. The Etemad daily, on April 3, 2021, quoted the Japanese Kyodo news agency as saying:
“Iran proposes new constructive ideas at Frankfurt summit in hopes of immediate rescue of nuclear deal before the small window of opportunity closes.”
The ‘small window of opportunity’ refers to the same ‘rush’ that Khamenei said he did not have, but it turns out that even minutes and hours are decisive for him in terms of lifting sanctions and the deadlock.