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Does Iran have any options on the table?

Iran regime FM Zarif speaks at Council for Foreign Relations
Iran regime FM Zarif speaks at Council for Foreign Relations

By: PMOI editorial


Iran, April 25, 2018 – As we close in on the May 12th deadline set by U.S. President Donald Trump, we are time and again witnessing brouhaha along with warnings made by Iran to the U.S. about various options.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s visit to the U.S. came with an obvious objective of convincing Washington to not axe the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). In one interview Zarif claimed Tehran has three options if Trump decides to exit the JCPOA.

  1. Iran itself can set aside the agreement, refuse to meet its terms and relaunch, or even increase the level of uranium enrichment.
  2. Iran can use existing JCPOA mechanisms permitting all parties to file a complaint in the commission to see into cases of pact violations.
  3. Iran can exit the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Tehran, however, has yet to make its decision in this regard.

Zarif went on to warn the US of “consequences” after exiting the JCPOA.

The question is does Iran truly have such options?

Iran exiting the JCPOA would be a clear violation of the agreement itself, considered a very dangerous scenario for Tehran. The regime’s own experts are emphasizing and warning of such a decision backlashing severely. Violating the JCPOA would place Tehran before the United Nations Security Council and Resolution 2231 specifically, paving the path for the return of all pre-JCPOA sanctions.

Iran actually filing a complaint under the JCPOA framework would also be very risky. The JCPOA specifically details how the plaintiff must be able to prove their claim, or else be held in violation of the agreement.

In such a hypothetical scenario, the fact that the regime’s interests would suffer tremendously depends on the P5+1. The European Troika would most likely stand with the U.S. and it is safe to say China and Russia would think twice about placing their weight behind Iran.

The third option, however, raised by Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, as a “new discovery” is literally out of the question. Iran exiting the NPT is far less an issue that exiting the JCPOA. Tehran deciding to abandon ship from the NPT will have no effect on the JCPOA or decrease this regime’s restrictions and/or limitations.

As a result, Iran claiming to enjoy a variety of options is nothing but small talk.

Iran’s so-called “options” are less imperative in comparison to Zarif’s remarks in the Council of Foreign Relations. Zarif was literally seen begging Saudi Arabia for talks, resorting to such a low to revealing how Tehran has time and again requested talks with Riyadh, only to be turned down.

Zarif, like all other senior Iranian regime officials, fully understand their regime’s meddling in the internal affairs of other countries is of grave concern and the main reason behind Tehran’s regional isolation.

The very fact that Zarif resorts to such lows and was literally on his knees before Riyadh for future talks sheds light on true status quo of Iran’s regime. Zarif’s visit follows a 10-day tour of the U.S. by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the U.S., hoping to curb the future impact this significant visit will have on Iran’s interests.

All said and done, Iran’s regime is in no position of placing conditions before the U.S. or any member of the international community. The situation on the ground proves how Iran is only saber-rattling about the existence of options on the table.


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