By: Aladdin Touran
Iran, January 6, 2020—In a statement on Sunday, the Iranian regime declared that it would take the fifth step in rolling back its commitments under the 2015 accord that set limits to its nuclear program. According to the statement, issued by the government of regime president Hassan Rouhani after the Sunday cabinet meeting, Tehran will abandon the final item of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the nuclear deal is formally known.
This means that the Iranian regime will remove all limits on the number of centrifuges, the level of uranium enrichment, as well as research and development.
Iran’s inevitable retreat from the JCPOA
While the regime has stipulated that it is ready to return to its commitments under the JCPOA “if sanctions are removed,” but since there are no prospects of U.S. sanctions being removed, political analysts effectively see this move as Tehran’s exit from the JCPOA.
After the 2018 uprisings in Iran and following the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the regime, saw his only solution in the gradual revoking of JCOPA commitments, a move many described as political suicide. Khamenei declared this policy in a statement by the Supreme National Security Council, and he appointed Rouhani to take care of the step-by-step withdrawal from the nuclear deal.
On May 8, 2019, Rouhani declared the first step in reneging on the JCPOA commitments, while at the same time swearing that he “does not want to withdraw from the JCPOA” and that “today is not the end of the JCPOA.”
In recent days, and before the death of Qasem Soleimani, the chief of the terrorist IRGC Quds Force, Rouhani had been continuously speaking to the benefits of the JCPOA and alluding that his regime is ready to negotiate with the U.S. if the latter lifts its sanctions. But the blow of losing its terror mastermind has put the regime in a precarious position, and it is no longer able to carry out its previous false maneuvers.
The fifth step in abandoning the JCPOA commitment was, after a fashion, the regime’s response to the killing of Soleimani and its futile effort to cover up its fear of showing a military reaction.
Therefore, in the wake of Soleimani’s death, the regime is effectively accelerating its suicidal measures.
The consequences of stepping away from the JCPOA
In the current circumstances, withdrawal from the JCPOA will result in further isolation of the Iranian regime. The regime will also further distance itself from its European counterparts, on whom it had placed great bets.
Instex, the financial vehicle that was supposed to enable the Iranian regime to circumvent U.S. sanctions, is also losing what little chance it had in succeeding. Interestingly, even the regime’s own officials were calling the supposed European drive to keep the regime afloat a “bitter joke.”
Now, the real question is, after shedding all its commitments, will the regime take concrete steps toward building an atomic bomb? Doing so will further place it in adversity with the international community, and the regime will lose the little support it has from the dwindling ranks of the proponents of the appeasement policy.
Further making the situation difficult for the regime is the nationwide uprising that began in November and pushed the regime toward its collapse. As the regime continues to weaken on the international front, it will also face a losing battle against the people of Iran and their organized resistance, which are gaining momentum every day.