Hossein Shariatmadari managing editor of Iran’s Kayhan daily, the main mouthpiece of the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, in an article about the regime’s nuclear negotiations and mainly the JCPOA frustratedly said:
“With the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal) and Europe’s failure to live up to its commitments, the JCPOA does not exist and has become a stinking corpse, and if we want to go back to it in such a situation, we won’t get anything.” (Kayhan, October 11, 2021)
At the same time, some of the regime’s media and elements try to cover up the regime’s weakness and pumping up vitality to the regime’s disappointed forces by speaking about storing low enriched uranium to the excess allowed by the JCPOA, and producing 20 percent uranium, to have a strong lever for bargaining in the negotiations.
Mohammad Esmi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Ebrahim Raisi’s government, also claimed: “We need to accelerate the advancement of nuclear energy and manifest its effects on people’s lives and show the manifestations of national authority influenced by nuclear energy.” (State TV Channel One, October 9, 2021)
These speeches are expressed while the regime’s new government is begging for the continuation of the negotiations.
“We said the other parties that our intentions were serious and that we were a man of negotiation and a man of action, and that the new Iranian government is pragmatic and from negotiations which its outcome would be a cup of coffee, our people would not benefit. If Mr. Biden is serious, release $10bn of our money.” (State-TV Channel One, October 3, 2021)
This internal crisis which is showing the regime’s poor situation is reflected very clearly by the state-run website Khabar Fori quoting a regime’s journalist:
“Since the signing of the JCPOA, several principlists have insisted that the agreement is against the interests of the Islamic Republic in every way, and in return, Rouhani’s administration executives and reformist supporters have emphasized that it serves the interests of the system in every way.
“At all, I say that the right is entire to the side of the principlists! The JCPOA is not only bad in every way, but it’s basically a hell of a poison! It is an expensive pain! Is a pure damn thing!
“So now these principlists should answer, why didn’t they rid themselves of this poison when Donald Trump signed the order to withdraw the United States from the JCPOA?
“Maybe they say that the government of Hassan Rouhani and his foreign minister did not allow, all right! But now that there is neither a sign of Rouhani’s government nor from his foreign minister, why don’t they take this agreement off their agenda once and for all explicitly?
“As bad as the JCPOA is it has only two solutions! Formally canceling it to say goodbye to negotiations and to continue the nuclear program as much as possible or to cancel it to renegotiate negotiations to reach a new agreement that is desirable in all respects.
“All right, they have full and undisputed authority.” (State-run website Khahar Fori, October 11, 2021)
Truly, what is the necessity of the Raisi government to negotiate a JCPOA that does not have any benefits and which Khamenei’s mouthpiece has said has become a stinking corpse?
The answer should be considered in the regime’s impasse on the one hand, and on the other hand, the reduction in the importance of the JCPOA compared to 2015 for the United States and other Western countries negotiating the JCPOA.
After the formation of the new U.S. administration, it was expected that the U.S. government would quickly return to the JCPOA, and even the regime’s government had a vague expectation that the U.S. government would accept the 2015 JCPOA without raising new demands, something that didn’t happen, and the new U.S. administration pursuing another JCPOA in which the regime must take from a new poison chalice in addition to nuclear weapons on its missile program and regional policy.
The impasse means that the mullahs’ rule, on the one hand, cannot completely ignore the JCPOA and declare its withdrawal from it, because it has dangerous consequences, and the prospect of the regime’s case going to the UN Security Council and subsequent heavy consequences, and on the other hand, accepting the conditions of the Western parties negotiating, especially the United States, to revive the 2015 JCPOA means withdrawing, that according to Khamenei would be tantamount to an ‘endless degradation’.