11.10.2017 Author: Petr Lvov

Washington is Planning to Withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal


Recently, US President Trump has come forward with a proposal to roll back the so-called “nuclear deal” with Iran, that was signed with the assistance of 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany. According to The Washington Post, Trump is planning to deliver a speech in which he would describe the deal signed two years as something that contradicts America’s national interests.

The hatred of the sitting American president towards Iran is well known and documented. Upon taking his post Trump declared that Tehran is the source of all evil and a hotbed of terrorism. It is expected that in his speech delivered to the US Congress, Trump will outline a new Washington’s approach towards Iran. According to the terms of the deal, every three months Washington should formally express an opinion on whether or not Tehran respects the terms of the deal. The next deadline is due to take place on October 15. Meanwhile Trump himself has already voiced his position in the following terms:

The Iranian regime supports terrorism and exports violence, bloodshed and chaos across the Middle East. That is why we must put an end to Iran’s continued aggression and nuclear ambitions. They have not lived up to the spirit of their agreement.

When he was asked whether the White House intends to announce the denunciation of the deal, he replied that the world would soon hear about Iran.

The situation is being aggravated by Israel that is pouring gasoline on the fire. It’s noteworthy that Tel Aviv has been vocally protesting the deal even back when it was being negotiated. The continued efforts of Israeli political forces to radically affect Washington’s approach to the nuclear deal serves as a point of growing concern of the leading Western European countries.

In this sense, the recent phone conversation that occurred between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his British counterpart Theresa May looks very revealing. Despite the fact that the Prime Minister of Great Britain is considered a very pro-Israeli politician in comparison to her predecessor David Cameron, this conversation showed acute differences between the parties regarding the nuclear agreement with Iran.

The question is whether Europeans capitals will be able to withstand the pressure applied on them by Washington. Even if the US declares its withdrawal from the multilateral agreement with Iran, this will not bind other countries to follow its example. However, European elites are rightfully concerned that any violations of the terms of the agreement by Washington will result in Tehran violating its part of the deal. In addition, Washington can go as far as to introduce sanctions against EU companies that are trading with Iran.

In his fight against Tehran Trump is seeking support from the Congress, since US President will not be able to initiate US withdrawal from the agreement without the approval of the latter. The Trump administration is already engaged in consultations with Senators about the possibility of the so-called “correct or cancel” approach, that was peddled by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Republican Senator Tom Cotton – the leading “hawk” in the opposition to the Iranian deal.

The goal at hand is a tough one, but the both US, Israel and Saudi Arabia are growing increasingly frustrated with Tehran. For the global elite that was advocating further globalization, at the time when the nuclear deal was signed the deal with Iran had a number of advantages. One of its aspects was the recognition of Iran’s right to increase influence in the region and the creation of a “Shiite corridor” up to Lebanon, which was intended to become a barrier to the spread of ISIS to the north, so that it could be pushed to the south, closer to Saudi borders. In the event of Riyadh’s collapse we could witness a second wave of Arab revolutions being triggered that would destroy all of Arabian monarchies, leading to a complete fragmentation of the region. In addition, the collapse of Saudi Arabia would once again push Qatar to the forefront of regional politics.

But for the conservative elites of the United States such a scenario is totally unacceptable, since they perceive Iran as their sworn enemy that shows the world a living example of a successful anti-neocolonial revolution. The Iranian revolution of 1979 seriously differs from all other anti-colonial revolutions of the 20th century, since it represented the development of national liberation movements in the age of new Western domination. In a sense, ISIS represents a kind of an uprising against the West, even though it much more radical than the Iranian revolution. So Washington recognizes no scenario under which Iran can be allowed to exist as a state, even for tactical purposes.

Thus, the withdrawal from the nuclear deal represents a crucial element of the entire globalist strategy for the region of the Middle East and North Africa. Naturally, the resistance to such a development is going to be pretty tough and Trump is going to face a growing discord within his own team along with the opposition of the State Department, since a list of contradictions that Tillerson has with Trump is of no secret for anyone. At the same time, Tillerson did not manage to completely cleanse the State Department from Obama’s men that are quietly creating an environment of sabotage in his domain. Will Trump be able to secure his goal with just one strike is everyone’s guess.

Tehran has been pretty vocal in expressing its concern over the situation, however it could do better job of hiding the fact hat Iran will survive the closure of the deal without any real troubles. The rapid deterioration of Washington’s relations with Iran is designed to create additional difficulties for Tehran in Syria. It may as well result in the US coalition and Israel starting air raids in Syria against such pro-Iranian partners as Hezbollah and Shia militias from Iraq, especially in a situation when Russia is getting deeper into the war, gradually replacing Iran’s elements with its ground presence. Even now a number of Shia groups have significantly reduced their activities in Syria due to their growing frustration of the state of their coordination with Russia’s military, so the situation can become even more complicated. In the course of the recent visit to Moscow, Saudi royal family members have already raised the issue of reducing Iranian military presence in Syria.

It is no accident that the US continues to fuel the situation around Iran while threatening it with new sanctions, while the latter is also responding with threats. Thus, Iranian General Mohammad Ali Jafari has announced that should the United States declare the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, then Iran would see no difference between US servicemen and ISIS militants, which is going to be unprecedented. After all, other state may recognize the US army as a terrorist force, which will have far-reaching consequences. The commander of the IRGC has also advised Washington to abandon its military installations around Iran, since they can be hit by Iranian missiles. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has also announced the need to increase Tehran’s missile potential at the end of September.

An important role in the anti-Iranian hysteria is played by the US military establishment. During his presidential campaign Trump urged Americans to support him so that he could put an end to America’s countless military adventures abroad. However, he would surround himself with all kind of military brass upon his inauguration. All those military commanders are convincing him that Washington can only resolve its difference with Iran with the use of military force. One of the main ideologists of the confrontation with Iran is the head of the Pentagon, James Mattis. His hostile attitude towards the Islamic Republic was so obvious that Obama had to remove him from the post of the head of the Central Command of the US Armed Forces. In 2013, according to Politico, responding to a question about the three main threats to the US, Mattis replied: “Iran, Iran, Iran.” He would then repeat his notion in April 2015.

His opinion is shared by the current head of the US Central Command, General Joseph Votel and the chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee Joseph Dunford, who occupies the second most important military post in the United States.

Tehran has already expressed its outrage over Trump’s plans to introduce new sanctions against Iran. In particular, Washington was going to declare one of most elite units the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist group. The Federation of American Scientists claims that this unit organizes, trains and finances pro-Iranian formations across the Middle East. However, Iran regards the Corps of the Islamic Revolution as one of its most valuable assets so it’s unlikely that it’s going to take this lightly.

In any case, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has already announced that he’s not going to resume talks on the already solved nuclear issue. Similar position was voiced by Russia’s and China’s representatives to the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the sidelines of the session of the UN General Assembly. The European Union adheres to pretty much the same position. For instance, in mid-September, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini announced that the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program is working and that Tehran fulfills its obligations.

The only side that violates the Iranian nuclear deal is Washington since it has not removed all of the anti-Iranian sanctions. So Washington is de facto not a part of the deal anymore, but a formal withdrawal from this document would allow Washington to increase the amount of pressure it puts on Tehran and the EU.

Peter Lvov, Ph.D in political science, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”