Iran refused to fulfill part of its obligations under the “nuclear deal”. What will be the consequences of Tehran’s decision and how will the US react to it?Iran’s patience has broken. Exactly one year after Donald trump’s decision to withdraw from the Joint comprehensive action plan (JCPOA), Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced his refusal to implement part of its provisions.
Recall that the JCPOA was signed by the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) and the six mediators — USA, Russia, France, Germany, great Britain and China — on July 15, 2015. This agreement, known as the “nuclear deal”, implies an end to Iran’s development of nuclear weapons in exchange for a step-by-step abolition of international anti-Iranian sanctions.
What are the conditions of the “nuclear deal” will break Iran?
Today, the Iranian leadership has sent a letter to the ambassadors of Germany, great Britain, China and Russia, notifying them of the “suspension of certain obligations” under the JCPOA. Tehran handed over the details of the decision to the EU high representative for foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini, who acts as the coordinator of the JCPOA.
In particular, Iran refuses to limit the reserves of enriched uranium and heavy water used in nuclear reactors. According to the JCPOA, Tehran is obliged to reduce the reserves of enriched uranium by 97% and not to enrich it above 3.67% — this level makes uranium unsuitable for the creation of nuclear weapons.
The second commitment under the JCPOA, which Iran is going to break, is the modernization of the heavy water reactor in Arak. Under the terms of the deal, the Iranians should not use this reactor to produce weapons-grade plutonium.
The JCPOA also limits the number of centrifuges and prohibits the construction of new uranium enrichment facilities for 15 years.
Why Iran refuses SVPD?
The Iranian leadership justifies its decision by the fact that the parties to the transaction could not “compensate” the damage from the us sanctions.
The United States withdrew from the nuclear deal on may 8, 2018. In August and November 2019, the White house imposed two packages of sanctions. Under the restriction were the automotive industry, aviation, banking sector, gold trade, transactions in dollars and oil sales.
In November, trump gave a delay to eight buyers of Iranian oil, in particular Turkey, South Korea, Greece, Italy, Japan, India, etc. But on April 30, the White house canceled exceptions for these countries.
The European Union after the us sanctions promised to create a mechanism to bypass them, which will allow Iran to sell its oil to the world market, bypassing the dollar. In January, the EU launched a Tool to support trade exchanges (Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges, INSTEX SAS). But this system does not affect the oil industry, and extends to pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and agriculture.
The future is in the hands of the EU
Iran is ready to return to compliance with the deal, but only if the other participants fulfill their obligations. “Especially in the banking industry and oil fields,” the Iranian authorities said in a statement.
After the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, European corporations began hastily withdrawing their assets from Iran. One of the biggest blows to the Iranian economy was the refusal of the French company Total S. A. to invest a billion dollars in the development of the largest field of South Pars. The example of Total S. A. was followed by Siemens, Deutsche Bahn, Peugeot, Deutsche Telekom, Daimler and other major players.
Translated into ordinary language, demand of Iran lies in the fact that the European Union is no “chatter” about what he is going to buy Iranian oil despite US sanctions, but actually began to write it, and resumed development of oil fields in the Persian Gulf.
“Iran’s decision was taken after a new wave of us restrictions on its nuclear industry, which actually make it impossible to fully implement the agreement. Iran needs assurances from Europeans that its nuclear program will not be terminated as a result of us measures. He also expects that they (Europeans — ed. ed.) will take real steps to provide Iran with the promised economic benefits from the transaction, which could not be implemented because of the us sanctions,” said the teacher of Tehran University named after Shahid Beheshti hamidrez Azizi to Tsargrad.
If Iran does not see any benefit from the nuclear deal, and the EU, under pain of punishment from the “big brother”, does not dare to do business with Tehran, the latter has fewer incentives to remain within the JCPOA.
At the same time, Rouhani’s decision pours water on the mill of the White house and the “hawks” of the American administration. Washington can interpret Tehran’s partial renunciation of the provisions of the deal as a resumption of the development of a nuclear bomb. Moreover, foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif allowed his country to withdraw from the Treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT) at the end of April.
These days, the United States sent to the Persian Gulf aircraft carrier group led by the aircraft carrier “Abraham Lincoln”. Consequently, a military solution to the Iranian problem is still on the agenda of the State Department and the Pentagon.
What should Russia do?
real from the first day of trump’s exit from the JCPOA condemned this decision. Moscow is going to participate in the European mechanism of circumvention of American sanctions. Tehran is pinning high hopes on Russia. Zarif, who is on a visit to Moscow, hopes to create a system with Turkey and Russia, like the European INDEX.
“A mechanism similar to INDEX can be implemented with other countries, those who are interested in it, including Russia and Turkey,” the Iranian Minister said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
The withdrawal of Iran from the illegal sanctions pressure of America requires joint efforts of the leading players: the EU, Russia, China, and Turkey. However, each of these players has difficulties with the US. China is afraid of new tariffs and therefore trades with Iran on black schemes. Turkey after the collapse of the Lira felt the power of Washington. And the EU does not want to be in the place of China and Turkey.
“Moscow can play an important role in helping Iran circumvent US sanctions. Since Russia itself has suffered from Western sanctions, both countries can develop mechanisms for independent trade, possibly with the participation of some other countries, such as Turkey. The system will benefit each of the participants,” Azizi stressed.
From March to April 2019, Iranian oil exports fell from 1.7 million to less than 1 million barrels per day. The economic crisis in Iran may strengthen the conservatives led by Ayatollah Khomeini, which will bring the confrontation between Tehran and Washington closer. Iran will grow closer to Russia, and the reduction of Iranian supplies will temporarily stimulate a profitable price increase for us. However, us swinging Iran’s arms harms Moscow’s regional strategy, primarily in Syria.