MEK Iran: Policy of Nuclear Extortion Comes From a Position of Weakness
It may be hard for outsiders to work out what on earth is happening in Iran with regard to nuclear developments. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), from all accounts, the regime in Tehran is as confused as everyone else.
The factional divisions within the regime
On the one hand, it seems that they are trying their hardest to convince the new administration in the U.S. to relax sanctions. On the other hand, the regime also appears to be threatening to go ahead with enriching uranium to 20%, a move that can only have any significance if the regime is intending to develop nuclear weapons. The factional divisions within the regime are partly to explain the confusion.
The German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Heiko Maas, has rather futilely urged the Iranian government to stick to the terms of the 201 JCPOA nuclear agreement, but Tehran has already shown that it does what it wants then lies about what it has or hasn’t done.
The Iranian regime campaign of extortion
The Iranian regime has been pursuing a campaign of extortion since 2018 after the Trump administration pulled the U.S. out of the agreement. Despite the fact that the regime has beached the JCPOA agreement terms, it seems that E.U. leaders have been reticent about taking firm action against the regime.
The reality on the ground is that because of factional infighting, the regime in Iran is not acting from a position of strength, but a position of chaos.
The IAEA chief, Rafael Grossi, has just completed a trip to Iran and in his time in the country announced a bilateral agreement with the regime. Grossi was reported saying that “the IAEA will continue its verification activities for up to three months. This temporary agreement will lead to a place where the political negotiations can take place,”
the confusion in the regime and infighting
The agreement with Grossi has added to the confusion in the regime and infighting there, too. The Additional Protocol already passed in the Majlis, which was supposed to allow further development of nuclear capability.
Now it appears that the Additional Protocol will be suspended. “We agreed that in view of the law, and in particular the provision that establishes limitations, we had reached a temporary bilateral technical understanding whereby the agency is going to continue its necessary verification and monitoring activities for a period of up to three months,” said Grossi after talks with the regime.
Iranian regime position of weakness
It was Ali Khamanei’s faction that was behind the Additional Protocol, but the fact that the new law is to be suspended just shows how precarious the situation is within the ruling regime.
They may bluster, lie and procrastinate but basically, the Iranian regime is making decisions from a position of weakness, not strength. It would be good if E.U. leaders recognize the balance of power for what it is and act firmly with Iran rather than press ahead with a policy of appeasement.
One way to start is to reimpose restrictions issued by the United Nations Security Council restricting Iran’s nuclear development.