Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei and his government’s officials in the ‘young Hezbollahi government’ on the eve of the session of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in a 90th-minute decision, decided to make an opportunistic retreat.
To cover up their weakness, they inverted the nature of their retreat and called it a technical agreement to replace the memory cards of surveillance cameras.
There are a few notable issues in this retreat:
- Despite the regime’s turmoil to tie the fate of the country’s economy with the JCPOA, what has been done, is a policy led by weakness and passivism, and worthless propaganda. On this issue a state-run wrote:
- “Don’t simply walk away from the issue of yesterday’s Iran-agency deal. Among the concluding statement lines issued and between formal and dry words, an intimate and hand-tailed sentence can be extracted and put on the shelf: politics and management are the realm of reality, not the dumb and absurd slogans of tribunes.” (State-run daily Aftab-e-Yazd, September 13, 2021)
- The retreat is dealt with by misery and desperation, aimed at buying time for the continuation of secret nuclear projects, as well as to prevent the IAEA and involved countries from recounting the regime’s nuclear case at the IAEA Board of Governors and to issue a new resolution against the regime. Therefore, it is done, in fear that its nuclear case could be referred to the UN Security Council.
- “Given Iran’s initial position and its ultimate satisfaction with Grossi’s trip, it seems that Iran has retracted somewhat and has become inactive. This is because if Grossi had not come to Iran and reported negatively to the Governing Council, the situation would have been dangerous. Under those circumstances, the case would have gone to the Security Council, and before 2015, we would have gone back under Chapter VII of the Charter, and Iran would be declared an outlaw and a warmonger. Most likely Russia and China would have signed a resolution against us in those circumstances, while they had done so before.” (State-run daily Jahan-e-Sanat, September 13, 2021)
- This retreat does not mean that the ‘bomb-seeking’ regime will return to the Vienna negotiations on its own feet, according to dissidents. Because during six rounds of negotiations under Rouhani’s administration, it became clear that there would be no return to the 2015 JCPOA, and negotiations to lift some of the sanctions would result if Khamenei accepted a JCPOA plus which is its regional and missile cases.
- However, merely a field agreement with Rafael Grossi to replace the memory cards of surveillance cameras cannot stop the Governing Council’s decision and repeal the resolution against the regime. According to Sputnik Farsi, the regime has authorized agency inspectors to reuse surveillance cameras at Iran’s nuclear facilities, as well as from Grossi’s rhetoric, despite the regime’s claims, this negotiation is not just a ‘technical negotiation’.
- Director-General of the IAEA: “In less than two weeks, the agency’s general conference will be held in Vienna, and this is one of the major nuclear events in the world. I was pleased to hear that Mr. Eslami is the head of the Iranian delegation and agreed to continue our negotiations in my office in Vienna, after which I will return to Iran again for high-level talks with Iranian officials.”
- Such an agreement would only temporarily set the case back somewhat but would not resolve it. In practice, it will exacerbate the conflict between Iran and the agency and the western powers.
- If in parallel with this process, the Vienna talks do not resume and in the case of a resumption, no progress is made and no agreement is reached, there is no hope of resolving the disputes between Iran and the agency in the future, and the impasse in Vienna will necessarily exacerbate these differences.” (State-run daily Arman, September 13, 2021)
The fate of the regime’s nuclear case has reached a point whereby government newspapers have referred to it by interpretations such as the theory of a ‘double-headed saw’ or ‘strategy of moving on the edge of the abyss.’