MEK: Iran’s Response to New Western Criticism Masks a Devious Strategy
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) reported that Iran’s Foreign Ministry was not prepared to accept European criticisms after the Iranian regime deliberately failed to follow the 2015 nuclear deal.
It has been at least 12 months since the Iranian regime announced that it would no longer be keeping to any of the restrictions it adopted under the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and since then violations have grown considerably.
Western concerns have not stopped the Iranians. In fact, the regime’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, took an aim on Twitter at traditional Western support of Iran’s regional opponents, who have used the latest Iranian provocations as a chance to draw attention to their concerns about nuclear activities.
Zarif’s comments made on Twitter targeted “E3 leaders” and French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian. The latter when speaking in media interviews on Saturday said that Iran’s decision to begin work on producing uranium metal shows how eager it is to advance its nuclear weapons capability. The E3 nations, notably France, the United Kingdom, and Germany, said that Iran has no credible civilian use for uranium metal.
Overall, the European position on the JCPOA hasn’t changed.
The EU chief of foreign policy, Joseph Borrell, said he had serious concerns, but his longstanding commitment was still current for preserving the nuclear deal in its current form. Le Drian has challenged that position and has been pushing for negotiations over Iran’s accumulation of ballistic missiles and “destabilization of its neighbors in the region.” At the moment any step in this direction is unlikely to take place.
In early December, the Iranian parliament passed a bill that ruled that inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency can be removed from the country if an internationally agreed-upon arrangement is not reestablished.
Many of the European policymakers are pushing by sending the new US administration early signals that it should re-enter the JCPOA without any changes and without holding Iran accountable for any systematic violations that have been made over the past 2 years.
Hostage-tacking and nuclear blackmail
Earlier this month, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) hijacked a South Korean tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, then kept it hostage as an apparent bargaining chip while negotiating over assets that are currently frozen in South Korean banks. Iran has also arrested a US citizen and sentenced him to 10 years in prison on an unproven charge of spying. Not so long from now, an Iranian diplomat is to be sentenced by a Belgian court for his link with the attempt to bomb an Iranian expatriate gathering near Paris in 2018.
Zarif is likely to push for a quick end to US sanctions and a return to the same terms that Iran found so easy to violate over the last 2 years. Western policymakers must be careful not to fall back on old, conciliatory habits, no matter how much Zarif plays the innocent victim.