Iran almost free of nuclear commitments under JCPOA

Commentary Materials 12 November 2019 14:34 (UTC +04:00)

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Nov. 12

By Azer Ahmadbayli – Trend:

Iran is once again beginning to attract attention of the world politics, starting the next stage in reducing its commitments under the 2015 nuclear accord.

Last week Iran has re-launched centrifuges for uranium enrichment at its Fordow plant.

Every time Iran warns the European parties to the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) that it is going to take the next step in reducing commitments to the deal, it knows almost for sure that the other side won’t fulfill theirs. It has been repeatedly stated by Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei that Iran should give up all hope regarding the Europeans.

Therefore, Tehran has no choice but to continue raising the stakes.

A month ago, Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEI), told Mehr news agency that there are only two steps left for Iran to return to the pre-JCPOA status.

“Once the Fordo nuclear plant is operational for uranium enrichment and the number of centrifuges increases, Iran will have virtually no JCPOA commitments and only monitoring issues will remain,” he said.

A few days ago, Iran did what it promised, by abandoning the first of the remaining two commitments to the nuclear deal.

Now, unless a miracle happens and the parties bring their positions closer, Tehran's next step may be rejection of IAEA verification mechanism, which will mean the ultimate collapse of the nuclear agreement. Then there'll be only the withdrawal from NPT (Non-proliferation Treaty), about the possibility of which Tehran has previously stated.

It is not yet known exactly what the parties concerned are going to do, but the first reaction of each of them to the latest step of Iran was absolutely predictable.

The White House administration warned that Iran is preparing a “rapid nuclear breakout,” and urged European allies to join the US in pressuring Tehran.

Russia expressed its deep concern about the risk of a complete collapse of JCPOA, stressing at the same time that it understands the background of Tehran's actions.

The European signatories to the nuclear deal condemned another reduction in Iran's commitments and urged it to return to previous positions. On Monday, the foreign Ministers of Germany, Great Britain and France were to meet in Paris to discuss the situation around Iran's nuclear program.

China sees the main reason for Tehran’s latest act in the US withdrawal from JCPOA, and called Washington to abandon sanctions against Tehran.

Israel is probably the first among those wishing to see Iran’s nuclear program to be dismantled.

Since the establishment of the state of Israel, the highest priority for any Israeli Government has been to be militarily well above than any potential adversary.

At one time, Israel was lobbying for the closure of the F-35 combat aircraft program for Turkey. In fact, it comes down to the very idea of substantial military superiority over all neighbors in the region. The Turkish authorities have repeatedly stated that Israel is behind the closure of Ankara's access to the F-35 acquisition program.

For the time being Israel, which possesses fifth-generation F-35 aircraft, has no rivals in the Middle East airspace, and if Turkey has it, it would threaten Israel's supremacy.

The same applies, but to an immeasurably greater extent, to nuclear weapons.

For the past forty years, Iran and Israel has been bitter enemies, but unlike Israel’s “Arab foes”, Tehran today has all the technical capabilities to create nuclear weapons.

The Israeli leadership remains firmly convinced that Iran continues to hide its secret nuclear weapons program. Sources in Israeli intelligence warn that “if Iran acts vigorously, it will be able to create atomic bomb in less than a year,” Israeli media reported.

Lately, President Trump had three causes (it doesn’t matter justifiable or artificial) to launch a military strike on Iran: an act of sabotage against oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, the downing of the US drone, and an attack on Saudi oil infrastructure. In all cases, Trump preferred non-military outcome, contrary to the expectations of many in Israel.

If a close friend of Israel, based on his own interests, refrained from the use of force, then what to say about the presidential candidates from Democrats, most of which call for diplomacy or insist on the US returning to 2015 deal?

In 2012, Israel was preparing an operation to attack Iranian nuclear facilities, but, having agreed to Washington’s arguments, canceled it.

An Israeli military expert, Alex Goltseker, believes that if Tehran reaches a certain point (of uranium enrichment) and there is a real danger for Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, Israel may again consider certain actions on Iranian territory.

“Because no matter who will be the American President – no one will pull these chestnuts out of the fire for us,” he said.

At some point, Israel, which has so far coordinated its actions on the issue with the United States, may decide to act on its own. This will likely be the worst scenario for all.