MNA | Mohsen Ahadi: The IAEA Board of Governors’ recent resolution, while having been the final nail in the coffin of Iran’s relations with the West, could serve as an opportunity if the government plays its cards right.
The presentation of a draft resolution against Iran to the IAEA Board of Governors by the European Troika (Britain, France, and Germany), which are all signatories to the nuclear deal and were supposed to compensate for the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the deal and stand against Washington’s bullying behavior, indicates the failure of the interaction strategy with the West and the cooperative approach with the Europeans.
When we look back at the last few centuries, in particular from the mid-Safavid period when Iran became acquainted with modern Europe and began to engage in political and economic interactions with the West, we notice the Europeans’ repeated efforts to make the most of their interactions and contracts with our country and cheat Iran out of its money, so to speak.
What is more interesting to note here is that whenever the Iranians realized this and annulled the contracts, the Westerners, while hiding their true intentions, called the Iranians liars who broke their promises.
European colonialism: “Banditry” instead of “Consultation”
Such behavior from Europeans was seen a lot in contemporary history, especially during the Qajar and Pahlavi dynasties, the most important of which can be seen in shameful treaties such as the Tobacco Régie and the D’Arcy Concession.
Whenever a local hero emerged and would try to stand up to these excessive demands, the Westerners would kick him out of the game with all their subtleties, such as the dismissal and execution of Amir Kabir. And when this trick failed and people became involved in the matter, occupation of the country would be put on agenda.
After the Islamic Revolution of Iran and the establishment of the Islamic Republic in the country, the Europeans, and the Westerners in general, who have been now deprived of plundering Iran’s resources and were faced with an independent system with an ideology derived from Islam and Ashura culture, honorable resistance and refusal to pay ransom, did not stop hatching new plots against the country.
Iran’s nuclear case and the controversy over its peaceful nuclear activities, despite repeated statements by our officials, the Iranian Leader’s fatwa and our country’s continued cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, was put under the UN Security Council’s Chapter VII, the result of which were repeated resolutions and international sanctions against Iran.
In 2013, with the new government in place, the policy of engaging with the West and negotiating to resolve the nuclear crisis was put on the agenda of the country’s new foreign policy team. The intensive negotiations ultimately led to the signing of the JCPOA, which was intended to normalize Iran’s nuclear case and reopen the gates to foreign trade with the removal of sanctions.
But in April 2018, at the order of US President Donald Trump, Washington officially withdrew from the nuclear deal and reinstated the unilateral and so-called secondary sanctions on Iran. The US did not stop there and imposed new sanctions on our country, which Brian Hook said was the most severe sanctions regime in history.
The European Union and the three European countries, Britain, Germany, and France, meanwhile, expressed regret over the US move and promised to compensate for the withdrawal. Federica Mogherini, the former EU foreign policy chief, appeared on television with a glowering face just after Trump’s speech following the withdrawal, assuring that with cooperation from all parties, she would preserve the JCPOA.
Commitments for “naught”; Europeans’ failed promises
In June 2018, however, Iran sat down with European countries at the negotiating table, the outcome of which was the 11 commitments made by the European Union, which pledged to stand up to US bullying and compensate for Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA.
The Europeans, to show they were doing something, announced their plans for SPV, which ultimately was nothing but a bitter joke. The SPV, as a precursor to the fulfillment of Europeans’ 11 commitments, was supposed to be a financial mechanism to counter US sanctions, but, like other commitments of Europeans, remained as a mere statement after months and did not even meet one single point of Iran’s interests under the JCPOA.
The Europeans, who have repeatedly cited technical reasons and the inability of their governments to force private companies to engage with Iran as a pretext for failing to implement of the SPV, once again put another ridiculous show on display with the unveiling of INSTEX. The passage of time once again proved the Europeans’ penchant for failing to uphold their commitments.
Europe’s win-win game with US
As Iran started to take measures to reduce commitments to the JCPOA in April 2019, the Europeans revealed their true face and, without mentioning their own failure to live up to their commitments as well as the US actions, called Iran the guilty party for disrupting the nuclear deal.
Meanwhile, many political experts and analysts stated that Europeans had the ability and capacity to secure Iran’s interests, but they did not have the will to do so, and they considered maintaining the status quo as their best option.
The Europeans are trying to prevent our country from both benefiting and withdrawing from the nuclear deal; in other words, they wish to keep Iran committed to its JCPOA obligations while at the same time, keeping the country away from the benefits of the agreement.
By doing so, the Europeans, on the one hand, have maintained Iran’s nuclear limitations and, delusionally believe in having brought Tehran under control, and on the other hand, they have introduced themselves as a factor in keeping the balance in the international arena and painted Trump as a factor in upsetting the international balance.
In the meantime, the Europeans, while pursuing a win-win game for themselves, were making attempts at preventing Iran’s nuclear activities and, on the other hand, making sure not to put themselves in opposition to the United States, and would even receive trade concessions from Trump under the pretext of siding with Washington.
IAEA Board of Governors’ Resolution a nail in the coffin of cooperation with West
Last week, the European Troika submitted a draft resolution to the IAEA Board of Governors for approval, regardless of the US’ destructive measures and Iran’s continued cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has been repeatedly emphasized in the Agency’s reports.
The importance of this draft was that the Board of Governors had not passed any resolutions against Iran since 2012, and the case of Iran’s past nuclear activities, known as the PMD, had been closed under the JCPOA.
The Europeans’ move came at a time when their claims were based on documents provided by the Zionist regime, which were considered as espionage documents and citing them while the IAEA’s own reports stressed Iran’s cooperation, was unacceptable.
In reaction, the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said “What is certain is that the action taken by the Board of Governors is unacceptable to us. The Islamic Republic of Iran has had the highest and most transparent cooperation in the framework of Safeguards with the IAEA and its Board of Governors.”
On Friday, however, with the ratification of the anti-Iran resolution in the Board of Governors and the rising whispers of the Europeans’ agreement to extend Iran’s arms embargo, which according to the JCPOA, must end in October, revealed that trusting Europe not only will fail to meet the country’s needs, but it will also cause harm.
The policy of engaging with the West and easing tensions with them, which has been promoted by some in the country for years, and after 2013, it was practically put into effect as the governing doctrine in Iran, has ended in failure after the Europeans’ move in the Board of Governors and revealed that our national interests cannot be sought in the West, but elsewhere.
The resolution passed in the IAEA Board of Governors, while having been the final nail in the coffin of Iran’s relations with the West, could also become an opportunity for the country’s foreign policy officials if they play their cards right; that is to say, if Iran’s relations further extended with the two countries that voted against the resolution and stood against the US, the country’s national interests would be met.