Tehran (Basirat) :The Élysée Palace is still in charge of the term “completion” to turn it into a common approach to the nuclear deal! This as the term “completion of the nuclear deal” has essentially no meaning other than transforming the deal.
France, like the United States, seeks to make changes to Iran nuclear deal, but using a different rhetoric! However the main question is: How will Paris and Washington would do that? There are some points in this regard that need to be addressed.
Existing evidence and documents suggests that Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron, Presidents of the United States and France, have sought to redefine the "White House Policy on the JCPOA”. In September this year, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, we saw the joint work of Washington and Paris on how to deal with the nuclear deal. Accordingly, Trump and Macron decided to launch and lead the "the JCPOA transformation process” using the legal capacity of the US Congress. Macron's remarks on the "possibility of completion of the JCPOA” by including Iran's missile power and new constraints on Iran's nuclear program were the proofs of this bilateral agreement between the White House and the Élysée Palace.
Following Trump's controversial speech on the nuclear deal and his two-month time limit to the US Congress to review the JCPOA, Macron continued his negative maneuvers in dealing with the missile program of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
When the time limit of the Congress came to an end and the American senators could not reach a consensus on the issue, the vice president of the United States announced the US administration and the Congress will cooperate to approve a new law on Iran's nuclear deal.
"Now, we’re also working with the Congress to arrive at a new agreement, a new set of conditions for sanctions going forward. The reality is that Iran nuclear deal was so ill-founded because in part it not only did it not deny that Iran could develop a nuclear weapon. By it only being a 10-year agreement, it virtually guaranteed that they would develop a nuclear weapon after that 10-year period in time… Whether or not we’ll continue to waive sanctions and the president is actively considering that decision that needs to be made by the middle of this month,” said Mike Pence.
According to Vice President of the United States, the Trump administration and the Congress are drafting a law that if Iran resumes its efforts to develop a nuclear bomb (!) and missile, all nuclear sanctions will immediately be imposed against Tehran!
About three weeks ago, Emmanuel Macron explicitly stated that "the JCPOA” is unchangeable. However, he still talks about completing the nuclear deal! What is certain is that completing the nuclear deal means transforming this agreement. Macron himself knows well that a proposal called "completion of the nuclear deal” through an annexation, supplementary agreement or even a secondary agreement is considered a breach of the original agreement. Breach of the initial agreement also means a major change. In such a situation, the JCPOA will lose its value, so France like the United States, seeks to make changes in the deal, but with a different rhetoric! Then the main question is: How will Paris and Washington would do that? There are some points in this regard that need to be addressed.
Firstly, the US officials (including those in the White House and Senators of the Congress) will first try to agree on a joint plan to "transform the deal”. Over the past two months, Tom Cotton and Bob Corker, two Republican senators, have made great efforts to persuade the Congress to address Donald Trump's concerns, but they failed in this regard. According to the Cotton-Corker joint plan, Iran's missile activities will be linked to the nuclear deal, and if the Islamic Republic prevents the IAEA from inspecting its military sites, the deal will automatically be nullified!
Also, according to their plan, which is drafted in coordination with the White House, the so-called sunset clauses will be removed, and the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program will become permanent! Obviously, all of this is an objective example of a change in the nuclear deal. However, Democrat senators believe that the plan will mean the withdrawal of the United States of America from the deal, and therefore they have not agreed with it. Some Republican senators such as Ron Paul and Jeff Flake are also concerned about this plan. Nevertheless, the joint talks between the Congress and the White House on this project are still in process.
Secondly, the Élysée Palace is still in charge of the term "completion” to turn it into a common approach to the nuclear deal! This as the term "completion of the nuclear deal” has essentially no meaning other than "transforming the deal”.
Emmanuel Macron, on the one hand, states that the deal is unchangeable and, on the other hand, calls for the transformation of the JCPOA through incorporating the issue of Iran's missile power in the deal and imposing permanent restrictions on Iran! Evidently, this contradictory approach is not acceptable at all. What is certain is that the slightest change in the nuclear deal means the other party's failure to fulfill its obligations; in other words, it means the official withdrawal of the P5+1 from the nuclear deal. The insistence on this explicit and decisive stance by the Iranian diplomats and foreign policy system can counterbalance the US-French joint game.
The third point is about the nature of the French nuclear deal game. It should not be forgotten that Washington and Paris are jointly completing a puzzle for the nuclear deal with Iran. In other words, we should not consider Paris and Washington’s game separately. Considering France as a "mediating actor” or "independent actor” would be a mistake in our foreign policy.
Paris has now started to stand against the JCPOA as "the US supporting actor”. Meanwhile, the soft tone of the French authorities should not deceive us about the threats of the sudden change in the country's behavior.
The fact is that the French president and his foreign minister are not going to behave in the same way as the previous governments of the country (Hollande and Laurent Fabius) regarding the nuclear deal. Nonetheless, they continue the same approach of the former governments regarding the peaceful nuclear activities of our country. Therefore, the "behavior of the French government” should not be considered as the "French government's approach" to the nuclear deal. What is significant at the time is the rational observation of Paris’s game in the field of the United States. Only with such clever observation you can deal with this common game.
Source: Basirat Persian Website