Although the Trump administration has admitted that nothing Iran is doing violates the terms of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known colloquially as the ‘nuclear deal’, America’s increased sanctions against Iran are reaching a point of no return for Tehran.
Iran recently successfully launched a Simorgh rocket designed to take satellites into space. I spite of this peaceful activity, the US used the event to justify further sanctions on Iran.
Today, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said the following about America’s rejection of the letter and spirit of the JCPOA,
“If America wants to go back to the experience [of imposing sanctions], Iran would certainly return in a short time – not a week or a month but within hours – to conditions more advanced than before the start of negotiations.
The world has clearly seen that under Trump, America has ignored international agreements and, in addition to undermining the (nuclear deal), has broken its word on the Paris agreement and the Cuba accord… and that the United States is not a good partner or a reliable negotiator”.
Previously, Rouhani stated,
“Iran would not be the first to pull out of the nuclear deal, but it will not remain silent about the US repeated violations of the accord. Those who want to tear up the nuclear deal should know that they will be ripping up their own political life”.
Rouhani’s statements were echoed by Kaveh Afrasiabi who stated,
“Unfortunately, despite the fact the Trump administration has repeatedly certified Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement, it continues to take these counterproductive steps that threaten the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and elicit an Iranian response, as we have seen by the Iranian Parliament sanctioning some American entities, and Iran for a fifth time complaining to the JCPOA joint commission”.
Iran’s statements far from just being motivated by the disheartening language coming out of Washington are also based on historical precedent.
In December of 2003, Libya reached a similar deal to the JCPOA with the United States. In return for suspending various weapons programmes, Libya would in return be able to conduct business with the countries led by the western powers that had for years, sanctioned the gas rich North African state.
By 2009, the Libyan government had become disappointed with the deal reached with the United States feeling that the drawbacks far outweighed any perceived rewards. Two years later, the Libyan government was violently overthrown and its revolutionary leader Muammar Gaddafi savagely executed.
This is the precedent set by the United States for deals signed in good faith and then broken, leaving behind them a trail of blood. It does not bode well for others in a similar position.
North Korea’s government in fact cited the NATO war on Libya as a justification for its own weapons programme as a deterrent for NATO aggression, the kind which Libya still continues to suffer from.
If even the Trump administration admits that Iran has not violated a single aspect of the 2015 deal, yet still continues to antagonise Iran, recent historical precedent would dictate that if Iran pulled out, it would be because the US cannot uphold the deal and Iran does not want to suffer the fate of Libya, as no nation would.