EghtesadOnline: Iran's former diplomat Seyed Hossein Mousavian says that opponents of the nuclear deal in Washington should understand that efforts to undermine the JCPOA only serve to reinforce in the minds of Iranians the notion that the United States cannot be trusted or engaged with on regional or other issues.
In an article posted on al-Monitor on August 3, 2016, Mousavian wrote that opponents of the nuclear deal in the West should understand that efforts to undermine the JCPOA only serve to reinforce in the minds of Iranians the notion that the United States cannot be trusted or engaged with on regional or other issues.
According to IRNA, he said, 'These actions run counter to the nuclear deal, which requires the United States to “sustain this JCPOA and to prevent interference with the realization of the full benefit by Iran of the sanctions lifting.”
The efforts of the lobby in Washington opposed to Iran-US engagement have spurred strong reactions in Tehran, said Mousavian, adding Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani recently declared that the time has come for Iran to “counteract” the actions of Congress.
In this vein, he called for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to make the preparations necessary to return the country’s nuclear capabilities back to their state prior to the nuclear deal, according to the article.
The reality is that the JCPOA was agreed to by six major powers and mandated by a UNSC resolution. If a bill imposing new sanctions on Iran was to be passed by Congress and approved by a future president, it would result in the United States violating the deal and thereby isolating itself. Not only would the JCPOA mandated commission charged with overseeing disputes in the deal’s implementation blame the United States, but Iran would also have JCPOA-stipulated grounds to follow Larijani’s suggestion and engage in “nuclear snapback”— reconstituting its previous nuclear capabilities.
Consequently, the tactic of die-hard opponents of US-Iran engagement — to increase sanctions on Iran — is a moot effort and in fact a bluff. Their real aim is not to directly sabotage the deal, but to create an atmosphere of uncertainty predicated on threatening new non-nuclear sanctions in order to scare away international banks and companies from doing business with Iran, thereby minimizing the incentives Iran has to comply with the deal.
The solution is to not fall for this psychological ploy. International banks and companies should rest assured that nuclear-related sanctions on Iran are gone for good and that there is nothing the United States can do — neither now nor in the future — to re-impose them without destroying its credibility at the same time. Iranian officials, meanwhile, should be careful to not play into the hands of the deal’s American opponents and increase uncertainty about the future of the JCPOA.
Deal opponents in Washington should similarly understand that efforts to undermine the JCPOA only serve to reinforce in the minds of Iranians the notion that the United States cannot be trusted or engaged with on regional or other issues. They should also be cognizant of the fact that Iran is the last pillar in the way of regional collapse — an outcome that would have existential consequences not only for regional countries but also for the West.