6 experiences for Iran to learn from JCPOA

Khamenei.ir- As for the first section, the necessary introduction to every decision is referring to one’s previous experiences: “Anyone who experiences previously experienced matters will end up feeling regretful,” [an Arabic proverb]. If we do not learn a lesson from past experiences, we will surely suffer a great loss. We should place experience within our sights: we should reflect on our own experiences and learn from them. A number of experiences are before us. If I mention four or five of them, you will confirm them all: they are in front of us. Past experiences are important in our decision-making today. They are also important for future generations and those who want to tackle multiple tasks in the future and help the Islamic Republic move forward with power, God willing. 

The first experience to reflect upon is that the government of the Islamic Republic cannot interact with the US. Why is that? It is because the US does not fulfil its own commitments. You cannot say that recent actions are just now carried out by the current US government and Trump. No. Even the previous administration–which held talks with Iran and whose Secretary of State participated in the European meetings for 10, 15 days– was very similar to the present administration. Of course, they behaved differently, but they violated their commitments: they imposed sanctions as well. They [Obama admin.] acted against their commitments, too. The US government always goes against its commitments: this is not their first time around; events from the past confirm this.

All their [USA’s] infringements against the JCPO – as our diplomats say – violations to the body and soul of the Bar-Jaam. This [aforementioned] has been acknowledged by our honourable diplomats – who made this great effort and worked day and night for the JCPOA – on numerous occasions, during the term of the current US administration and the previous one as well. The officials said that the JCPOA has been violated; sometimes, the USA violated its soul, and, sometimes, they violated its body [framework].

Well, it is clear that, at least, the Islamic Republic cannot interact with a government that violates international treaties so easily and later on erases its signature, as if nothing happened, and then says that it wants to withdraw. They signed it with dramatic TV appearances, showing off the signature signing event, just to abandon the treaty. So, for those who kept asking us, many times: “Why are you not negotiating with the US, why are you not working with the US?”–There is an answer to your question! Of course, the US government behaves the same towards many other countries; it behaves the same exact way towards many other governments: we do not want to get into this subject. The Islamic Republic, at the least, cannot interact and work with the US government: this is the first experience we should learn from.

Iran was the committed and loyal party to this treaty: they [USA] have no excuse [for abandoning it]: the International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed this, many times. Others have confirmed that Iran has been strongly committed. They [USA] have no excuse! Nonetheless, you have all witnessed them easily violate this international treaty. They violated their own signature: they took back their own words and said they do not agree with it. Well, one cannot negotiate with such a [fickle] government. It is not possible to trust, work with or sign an agreement with such a capricious government: this is the gist of the matter.

Of course, when we said that they are not trustworthy, for us, this is only the proverbial illustration of the issue. When I look at regional issues and the issues of our own country, I see that they have acted in the same way towards others. From the year 1332 to 1357 – in other words, for 25 years – Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was completely obedient to the USA. They treated him poorly, countless times. If you read the memoirs of Alam, you will see that he complains to his close companion about the behaviour of the Americans. Of course, he did not dare do so in public or in direct conversations with the Americans. However, he was subservient to them till the end. After fate decided that the wretched and downtrodden Reza Pahlavi should leave Iran, they did not let him enter the US. However, for a while, he went and stayed there [in the USA] for some time; but later on, they booted him out. They treated their close servant – who served them for 25 years – like he was nothing!

Hosni Mubarak had a comparable story [to Pahlavi]. During sensitive days, when the Egyptian Revolution had just begun, when it reached its peak, and when anything could happen at any moment, they [USA] supported him for one hour, then they rejected him several hours later, and a few hours afterwards they changed their rhetoric once more. In the end, they [USA] abandoned Mubarak, and it was over for him: that was while Hosni Mubarak was completely dangling from their hands. He did whatever the USA asked for regarding Palestine and other issues. They are like this: the Americans are like this; the US government and the US regime operates like this. This is an experience.

As for the second experience, to reflect upon, it is the depth of US enmity directed at Iran and the Islamic Republic. US enmity runs a deep, it’s not superficial. Their opposition is not on the basis of an issue like the nuclear one, everyone has understood this much: the issue is way beyond this. Their problem is that they are opposed–deeply opposed–to a system which has risen, become refined, and evolved in this sensitive region; a system which is opposed to the oppression of the US; which does not show any consideration for the US; which expands the spirit of resistance in the region and which has raised the flag of Islam. Their problem is that they do not want this Islamic government and the Islamic Republic to exist.

Not only do the leaders of the US administration want this establishment to be crushed, but they also hate the people who support this establishment – the Iranian nation. One of the vice presidents of the US – not of this president, one of the former V.P.’s – openly said that they should uproot the Iranian nation, not the Islamic Republic! So, America’s issue with the Islamic Republic is not about some fight over nuclear capabilities or the issue of missiles and the like. No. There is another narrative behind the nuclear issue, the issue of missiles and other such issues. The reason why they highlight these matters – I might expand on this during my statements – is that they want to destroy the elements of power within the Islamic Republic. These concerns are all about elements of power in the Islamic Republic and elements of power for the Iranian nation: that is why they insist on them. This is yet another experience, and it is one that cannot be ignored. We should keep in mind that the US is the enemy of the Iranian nation and the Islamic Republic; its enmity is deep. The underlying problem is not about nuclear and atomic energy and the like, rather the issue is about the Islamic Republic.

The third experience is that complaisance in the face of this enemy – because of some seasonal expediencies that we have in certain cases – will not blunt the blade of US enmity, rather it will make him bolder: this is another experience to learn from. We should not forget that whenever we compromised, just a little, they advanced at a faster pace. The same sinister president who was the epitome of evil – the second Bush – called Iran “The Axis of Evil” because of the docility that the Iranian government of the time had shown towards him. He stood with pride as he called Iran, “The Axis of Evil” because some complaisance had been shown to him. In the present time, too, we protested against the sanctions they’ve imposed, the things that they’ve done, and the wrongdoings they’ve committed, but we did not make a practical or strong move: it was paying some of the prices. In return, for paying such a price, you saw the US President and his Secretary of State entered the arena and spoke in a brazen, flamboyant, and shameless manner.

Retreating before them and displaying docility will have no impact on decreasing their enmity. If there is someone who feels that we should compromise with such an enemy so that he does not dispense enmity, the way to prevent him from manifesting this enmity is to avoid acting in an amenable manner or to avoid compromise with him. If you want to do something to prevent him from further enmity, very well, go find a way, but the best way to do so is to avoid compromise and retreat.

Of course, this is not particular to the US: Westerners are mainly like this. We will not forget – this is an event that unforgettable in our history – that at a particular point in time, our president [Hujjatul-Islam wal Muslimeen Hashemi Rafsanjani] who was an advocate of compliance in the face of the West, was summoned by a Western government – by Germany on the Mykonos case – because of some unreasonable and nonsensical claim against Iran: this incident revealed their shamelessness. There are other events like the Mykonos event as well. This is another experience to look back on. We should remember that the way to prevent the enmity of such enemies will not be gained by retreating, or by being acquiescent and the like.

Another experience is just the opposite of the aforementioned; in other words, resistance will greatly increase the possibility of leading the enemy towards retreat: this happened during nuclear talks. During the years 1383, 1384, 2004-2005, respectively, all of our nuclear facilities were closed. We had closed down the Isfahan UCF Factory because of our negotiations. The aim was to normalize the Islamic Republic’s case: the case of Iran’s nuclear issue. The more we retreated, the more they advanced. The more we complied, the more troublesome they became, until they said to the Iranian team: “Gentlemen, the guarantee that you give is only possible under one condition: you have to close down all your nuclear facilities. You have to close them all.” –This was similar to something that happened in Libya. This was the real guarantee: “Otherwise, the guarantee that your nuclear activities are peaceful is not possible, in any other way. The only way is to destroy all your facilities.” –They entered the arena like so. All the while, the Isfahan factory – which was a basic and rudimentary one – was closed: there was no nuclear enrichment, in any way or form. We were negotiating on having one to three centrifuges, but they said that it was not possible. They [USA] did not agree that we should have even one centrifuge!

Later on, we saw that they were making extravagant claims and behaving arrogantly; so, we said: “Game over!” We broke all the seals [nuclear]; we developed the UCF factory; we began enrichment in Natanz and later on in other cities. We continued with these promising operations until we managed to enrich our uranium by 20-percent. In other words, we began developing from a point of 3.5-percent enriched uranium–which was previously prohibited by the West–to producing 20-percent: this was achieved by our pious youth! You are all aware of the numerous achievements that they have accomplished. When we reached that point of production, they [the West] insisted – in one sense, begging – that we should end our 20-percent enrichment, and they claimed that in return, we can have five, six thousand centrifuges. These were the same people who were not prepared to let us have two or three centrifuges! They said, “It is alright. You can keep the enrichment process. You can have five, six thousand centrifuges in order to produce 3.5-percent enriched uranium.”

Today, Dr. Rouhani pointed out that they – the UN and various other political organizations around the world – have formally recognized Iran’s right to engage in nuclear enrichment. Yes, they have done so, but this does not originate from negotiations, rather it originates from our overall progress! Because we have progressed, moved forward and achieved enrichment at 20 percent, they have become satisfied with this state of affairs. Otherwise, if we were supposed to negotiate and earn this right, through negotiating, this would not have been achieved today, and it would have never been achieved. This is another experience, proving that you should pursue your own interests and move forward, with courage, in the face of greed from the other side and the opposing camp.

Another experience we have managed, which is equally important, is that Europe cooperates with the US on the most important cases. We do not intend to fight against the Europeans. We do not intend to oppose, disagree, or argue with representatives of these three European countries, but we should come to know the realities. These three countries [France, Germany, and England] have shown that they cooperate with and follow the US on the most important issues. Everyone probably remembers the indecent position played by the French Foreign Minister during the nuclear negotiations. In a game of “good cop vs. bad cop,” they said that he played the role of bad cop. Of course, this role was coordinated with the Americans’ agenda.

Another example stems from the behaviour of the English, over the case of our right to purchase “Yellowcake,” which had become certain of. In the [JCPOA], it was predicted that we could buy Yellowcake from a specific centre and transfer it into the country, but the English prevented this. This proves that they cooperate and collaborate with the US: this has been the reality to this day. This was another experience that we should not forget. They promise us certain things, but in practice, we have not seen anything. In my opinion, we have not seen anything in practice. I do not recall one time that they stood up to the US – in the real sense of the word – to defend our rights.
Another important experience, in events related to the JCPOA, is the intertwining of the nation’s matters into the JCPOA, other agreements like it and other foreign matters is a grave mistake. We should not tie the issues of the country – the economic and other issues of the country – to something that is out of our control or act on something that is decided outside of the country.

When we tie the economic issues and finance of the country into the JCPOA, then the result is that investors and entrepreneurs wait a few months on decisions foreigners will make regarding JCPOA. They wait a few more months to see if they stay in or withdraw from the agreement if they sign or not; and after they sign it, it’s a matter of if they will be committed to it or not. This way, the active economic body of the country – the body which is run by the people – constantly waits for the signal of foreigners.

We cannot put the country’s capacity on hold for the JCPOA–holding for some time for its implementation, and some time for their commitment, and non-commitment to it. And all this in the face of an enemy like the US! These are pieces from our past experiences. We should keep these experiences within sight and mind so they will not be repeated, so we will not be stung twice by the same snake in the hole, and so that we can completely benefit from these experiences in future events.

If we do not benefit from these experiences and instead satisfy ourselves with insignificant things, we will suffer a loss. As Mr. President pointed out, the Americans were really defeated in the eyes of the world in terms of morality, legitimacy, and political credibility. The US lost its credibility: this is a reality, and there is no doubt about it. However, I want to pose this question, did we begin the negotiations so that the US will lose its credibility? Was this the purpose of our negotiations? We began these negotiations with the purpose of lifting sanctions, but you see that many of the sanctions have not been lifted yet. In the present time, too, they are threatening to impose other sanctions on Iran. They are going to restore the secondary sanctions, which had been lifted on the basis of a clause in the JCPOA and the resolution passed by the UN Security Council, was this the end goal?