nuclear talks vienna

What should Iran do if US withdraws from nuclear deal

IFP – A political commentator has proposed a scenario to counter Washington’s possible withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

Political analyst Mohammad SaeidAhadian has, in an article published in the Persian-language Khorasan daily, weighed in on Washington’s repeated violations of the Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and proposed a scenario to respond to the United States’ possible withdrawal from the agreement.

In part of his article, the commentator raises a question:

“Should we pull out of the JCPOA unilaterally or should we continue to move on the one-way path we are currently in?”

Here are the highlights of his proposed answer to the question:

The first possibility is that the US Congress will give the thumps up to the Trump administration’s plan. The ratification of the plan would mean an official withdrawal from the JCPOA. In that case, Washington will be to blame for the revocation of the agreement, and Iran can stop all of its voluntary actions. The best thing would be for Iran to announce it will not implement the Additional Protocol, will stop all supervision [by the UN nuclear agency of Tehran’s nuclear work]which goes beyond the protocol and will cooperate only within the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) while giving fresh impetus to its peaceful activities. In addition to all these measures which are all in keeping with peaceful nuclear work, Iran should clinch a general deal (not a new agreement) with Europe on the extension of a ban on sanctions against Tehran. Under the agreement, Iran should not conduct activities which are interpreted as measures within the framework of nuclear weapons development such as enrichment of uranium to the 20-percent purity level, etc. In that case, and given the chasm which has grown between Europe and the US, sanctions will not return to the level before the conclusion of the JCPOA. Accordingly, US sanctions, which will definitely affect Iran’s economy, will not be able to completely block Iran’s economic transactions with the world.

In fact, withdrawing from the nuclear deal preemptively before Congress announces its decision would not seem very rational. Nevertheless, Iran should not stand idly by and simply keep waiting and objecting while US lawmakers are reviewing the JCPOA and deliberating on their final decision. Rather, Iran should seize the opportunity to build a global consensus against Trump’s position.

In fact, Trump gave us the best chance to officially pressure Europe. Iran should threaten Europe: Now that the US has contravened the JCPOA by launching media propaganda campaigns and does not allow Tehran to benefit from JCPOA, Iran will not reciprocate Washington’s violation of the deal and will make good on its nuclear commitments only if Europe taps into its potential to give the necessary guarantees to giant European economic enterprises to sign and implement several major contracts with Iran whose symbolic impact will lead to the lifting of sanctions and reinforcement of the JCPOA. This proposal has several advantages: First, Iran will get out of the current diplomatic passivity and will take the initiative. Moreover, if Europe does not agree, it will become clear that we cannot bank on Europe after the possible annulment of the JCPOA. So, we can draw up a scenario excluding Europe.