Iran is already a malignant influence
In 2015, Iran signed a deal with some of the world’s biggest powers, agreeing to halt its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
The agreement, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was signed between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council: China, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, France), plus Germany and the European Union.
Under the terms of the deal, Iran agreed to put limits on its nuclear development, including halting uranium enrichment and reducing its uranium stockpile. In exchange, UN and EU sanctions were lifted and a estimated at 125 billion dollars (CAD) abroad, Iranian assets have been unfrozen.
Many criticisms of the JCPOA were voiced at the time, including over the agreement’s sunset clauses which delayed, but did not negate, Iran’s ability to become a nuclear threshold state. Other shortcomings of the deal were its poor verification regime that prevented instant IAEA inspections and the way the deal failed to curb Iran’s ballistic missile program and did not did not address Iran’s support for terrorism and its quest for regional hegemony. Critics of the deal observed that it could be seen in Iran as a ransom payment, thus inciting and emboldening the Islamic Republic’s actions in the future.
It didn’t take long for Iran’s violations to be publicized, including restart of uranium enrichment centrifuges almost military grade.
In 2018, the Trump administration announced the US withdrawal, citing Iran’s repeated violations of the accord. Although the other parties remained in the deal after the US pulled out, Iranian belligerence and malice continued unabated.
Now, nearly four years after America’s exit, the United States appears willing to re-enter the deal under the Biden administration.
Regardless of US participation, a potential JCPOA redux in 2022 would have all the hallmarks of its predecessor’s fatal shortcomings.
As part of the 2015 agreement and ongoing negotiations, Iran would be rewarded by agreeing to freeze, but not mothball, its nuclear program, thereby offering Iran a massive financial windfall and only postponing its atomic ambitions. Still in the cards, the potential reimbursement of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Considered Terrorists. Today, Iran is more untrustworthy than ever, remaining determined to foment regional discord and arm terrorist groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, Houthis, etc. throughout the Levant.
Iran used weak enforcement mechanisms of the 2015 deal to solidify its nuclear capability, putting the Islamic Republic in a far more advantageous position than it was during the initial negotiations. Iran has pivoted in recent years as it attempts to wean itself off its overreliance on oil revenue, focusing on expanding economic partnerships with regional powers like China, the world’s fastest growing economy. . If successful, Iran will be even less vulnerable Western economic sanctions than before.
Israel, the biggest target of Iran’s malevolent terrorist proxies, has speak against the re-signing of a nuclear agreement. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett observed that this “shorter and weaker” deal allows Iran to build “advanced centrifuge stadiums without restrictions.”
Saudi Arabia recently announced that it would only support a revised nuclear deal if it recognized Iran’s malign influence beyond the nuclear issue. “Any return (to the JCPOA) should only be the first step towards a longer and stronger deal…the current deal does not protect us from an Iranian nuclear or military capability,” the foreign minister said. of the Kingdom, Prince Faisal ben Farhan.
The Trudeau government was supports the JCPOA, and as an ally of the United States, it will probably support it again. But without acknowledging the fatal flaws in the original deal and the apparent slight revisions in the ongoing negotiations, world powers appear poised to make the same mistakes, but this time in the face of a more confrontational Iran acknowledging its influence.
The rulers of the Islamic Republic of Iran already wield harmful influence. Adding nuclear capability to the mix would only strengthen its reach and unfreezing billions in assets would only give it a war chest to continue to sponsor state terrorism around the world.