Siamak Baqeri, a senior analyst of nuclear and strategic issues, in an interview with the Persian-language Basirat website, has addressed various aspects of the issue. What follows is the full text of the interview:
What is your take on Trump’s conditional suspension of Iran's nuclear sanctions?
Trump's extension of waivers on sanctions roots in his anti-Iranian view, and it depends on Trump administration’s view regarding the Islamic Republic. Trump is well aware of the authority and power of the Islamic Republic of Iran; therefore, the US will pursue several goals by conditional suspension of Iran's nuclear sanctions:
First: The Americans have made commitments in the JCPOA, but they are planning not to fulfil their obligations. Thus, in order to find some sort of justification for such an act, they constantly set forth something about the deal to justify their non-compliance with their obligations.
Second: The US is seeking to create a psychological warfare in the economic relations of the international companies with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Trump tries to eliminate the benefits that the Islamic Republic of Iran already was gaining from the deal; especially the economic ones, to deprive us of such interests. According to Americans, if the Islamic Republic could restore its economic ties, its power and authority will increase, and the Iran will become more stable.
Third: Through the suspension of Iran's nuclear sanctions, the US is seeking a kind of opportunity to buy more time to make the Europeans convinced about Iran. Conversely, after the sealing of the deal, the Europeans have not defended the agreement as expected. On the other hand, the Europeans did not have much in common with the Trump positions regarding the suspension of the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear sanctions. Currently, Trump, through the four-month waiver of sanctions, seeks to persuade the Europeans to pursue such goals. An important point here is that Trump is looking for a kind of blackmail. With such a move, he is trying to have opponents of the Islamic Republic of Iran next to himself, especially the regional ones, so that he may have access to the Saudi Arabian or Emirati petrodollars to fix the United States’ bankrupt economy. As long as this situation prevails, the US can get concessions from the Saudis and, by signing contracts, resolve its economic problems.
Fourth: The US is seeking to disrupt the psychological and economic situation inside Iran. They think the more they disrupt our foreign economic relations, the more they can affect our domestic economic issues including the issue of foreign currency exchange, and the issue of price hike and the like. And in so doing, they think they can create a kind of instability and economic insecurity by influencing the prices. Of course, they are trying to foster psychological media propaganda to provoke social movements to destabilize Iran; an agenda that Washington has repeatedly stressed on.
Trump has announced that the re-suspension of sanctions needs a review of the JCPOA. Who should conduct such a review? Would Trump succeed in performing such a project?
First of all, the issue of suspending sanctions is itself a violation of the spirit of the JCPOA. Why are we talking about violating the spirit of the JCPOA? Because by such policies they want to disrupt the peace and stability of Iran's economic relations, and according to the deal, this is a violation of the soul of the nuclear accord. Conditional suspension of sanctions would have consequences for the Islamic Republic of Iran at the global level, while the JCPOA was supposed to be implemented on the basis of trust. The next issue is that revision of the deal would never be acceptable. It means that the Islamic Republic of Iran will never accept a review. It is totally irrational that an international contract would be changed or revised with the change of presidents. If such a thing turns into a global trend, the international order will collapse. On the other hand, the review of the deal has not been expressed by any party, except the US, and its allies, i.e. Saudi Arabia, and the Zionist regime. At present, the Islamic Republic has explicitly stated that such reviews will not be accepted. So, at the current situation, Trump’s imposing of conditions may not succeed.
What would Iran do in the face of these actions by the US?
The first step by Iran is that the officials put forward their positions clearly and vehemently in a consensual manner. At the same time, the positions of the Islamic Republic of Iran should be articulated as sort of believable threat. If the threat is not believable, they will find us at a weak position and may increase their pressures. At the same time, such threats can make the Europeans more active to take a more firm stance against the US pressures. This comes as Iran's negotiating team has so far said the Europeans have not used their full capacity to control Trump. Therefore, believable threats are of great significance.
The second move is that we should not be optimistic about the game Trump has just started. We should not even look very optimistically at Trump’s addressing of the Europeans. Our national interest in this regard must be taken into consideration very seriously, regardless of any kind of sensationalisms or considering the interests of the parties, movements, and even the government. No commitments should be given to the Europeans. It should not be assumed if we negotiate with the Europeans, the issue will be resolved. If this is the trend, we'll be trapped again, and there will be another loss for us. At the same time, diplomacy is a very complicated issue, and we must be serious about our relations, especially with the Europeans. In the sense that if the Europeans actually want to prove they are opposed to Trump’s moves, they must give order to their banks to start foreign exchange with Iran. If they are really against Trump’s decisions, they should engage in negotiations with the Islamic Republic without any concern or preconditions. They should encourage their companies to invest in Iran to actually show their commitment to the deal.
The third step is that the Islamic Republic of Iran's diplomats should never put forward a proposition called P4+1 as a good option on the agenda. It means that the JCPOA without the US should not be our policy. We must never enter the complicated game between Europe and the US. International relations domain is a complicated one in which you must not trust the other parties, and you should never trust the diplomacy of the countries that have colonial records. Countries that consider themselves powerful and look at the others as second and third-rate states, have always shown that they have failed in fulfilling their obligations. Therefore, in such situation, we should not put all our eggs in the basket of the Europeans.
SOURCE: Basirat Persian Website