News has come out of Iran that they are ready to drop their “Nuclear Agreement,” if the US imposes any more sanctions. Iran agreed to halt any nuclear and ballistic missile technology programs in return for the lifting of sanctions under President Obama’s “Iran Nuclear Deal.” However, it appears that despite the “deal,” the country, under President Hassan Rouhani, has continued “development of a ballistic missile program after Tehran launched a rocket capable of putting a satellite into orbit.”
In response to Iran’s continued development program (which they deny has anything to do with missile technology) President Trump and Congress imposed new sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia.
Iranian President Rouhani told Parliament (in a live televised event), that: “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.” This has lead to the opinion and assertion that his government never actually stopped the program. To state that they could return “within hours” to “conditions more advanced than before the start of the negotiations,“ would seem to support the view that production and research never actually stopped.
Quick to blame President Trump, Rouhani said: “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.” The Iranian President appears to be trying to make common cause with President Trump’s detractors and enemies in Congress. However, it was Congress who passed the sanctions against Iran and President Trump signed off on them.
President Trump, and many of the Republican majority in Congress, campaigned on the fact that the “Iran Deal” was a bad deal. Not only did the US release seven Iranian detainees, who later were determined to be a threat to National Security, but “unfroze assets” worth $150 billion into the bargain. Revelations about other facets of the agreement are coming to light even now.
Iran working on a program that has successfully launched a rocket into orbit is a clear violation of the principles of the agreement. President Trump has said that he doesn’t feel they are “living up to the spirit of the agreement.” Even at the time of its implementation, many criticized the inspection and verification processes of the Iran Nuclear Deal. President Rouhani’s assertion that they could return to a more a more advanced state of capability “within hours” would seem to validate those concerns.
As the North Korean tensions with the US show signs of subsiding, Iran appears to be willing to step up to maintain the nuclear tensions.
Mark is a political writer and journalist who has worked on campaigns for Brexit.