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Senior Iranian officials dispute on how to become a nuclear power

The controversy is about how to become a nuclear power in Iran
The controversy is about how to become a nuclear power in Iran

Analysis by PMOI/MEK


Iran, August 18, 2019—The controversy about the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – JCPOA) and INSTEX has increased once again in Iranian politics. Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani’s so-called reformist faction is calling for a continuation of the talks with Europe and even negotiations with the U.S. under some conditions, while the rivaling conservative faction close to the mullahs’ Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei calls for the restoration of the regime's nuclear program.

“Considering the JCPOA and decreasing our obligation in the agreement, first of all, these days the Americans have realized once again the greatness of parts of the JCPOA which they were apparently ignorant about and didn’t pay much attention to in the past two years,” Rouhani said in a speech on August 14.

“They just realized that with the JCPOA, all of the weapons sanctions will be removed next year,” he continued.

Using the term “national interest” when describing the ruling mullahs’ best interests and security, Rouhani said, “We should never run away from engagement and negotiations… If all the conditions are appropriate, we are always looking for engaging the world and negotiating with our counterparts to achieve our goals. War, negotiations, engagement, confrontation and friendship must lead to national interests.”

Now, what Rouhani calls “national interests” and “goals” are nothing less than realizing the Iranian mullahs’ dreams of building a nuclear weapon. Since the international community is aware of Iran’s clandestine nuclear program, Rouhani prefers to play the long game and deceive rather than confront.

On the other hand, the conservative faction close to Khamenei is afraid there isn’t much time left for the Islamic Republic unless it manages to build the bomb as soon as possible, which leave them no other option but to take up the direct route of confrontation.

During the August 16 Friday prayers of Mashhad in northeast Iran, Ahmad Alamolhoda, the permanent Friday prayer imam of the holy city and a close ally of Khamenei, expressed further concerns.

“In the story of the JCPOA we’ve wasted time, sanctions have increased and problems have worsened. The issue wasn’t resolved this way and it isn’t even reasonable to be resolved this way because when an enemy has a plan to destroy and defeat us, you can’t go to him and solve the conspiracy through him,” he said.

Alamolhoda also revealed his faction’s desire to go back to the pre-JCPOA conditions and continue Iran’s nuclear program, reiterating that Tehran will decrease its obligations under the nuclear deal.

“If we continue the [nuclear] program, we’ll be making up the four years of JCPOA damages and in addition, from the international and global viewpoint. The enemy is exposed in the [coming] U.S. [presidential] elections and the ideal candidate of imperialism will be defeated in two years,” he added.

This is why U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said on August 15, “The Iranian regime has never made the vital decision of forgoing nuclear weapons.”