By Mohammad Mazhari

Israeli adventures in Iraq to disrupt JCPOA revival can’t be ruled out: American professor

March 12, 2021 - 10:22

TEHRAN – Pointing to Israeli moves to cripple efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal, an American professor says Israel’s adventures in the region cannot be ruled out in terms of the attacks in Iraq.

“Israeli mischief in the region to disrupt a resumption of the JCPOA certainly cannot be ruled out in terms of the attacks in Iraq,” Robert C. Smith, a professor of political science at San Francisco State University, tells the Tehran Times in an exclusive interview.

“One can hope U.S. intelligence is alert and proactive,” Smith says.

On March 5, Qais al-Khazali, the secretary-general of Iraq’s Asaeb Ahl al-Haq resistance group, said Israel is behind attacks on the U.S. embassy and military bases in Iraq.

He said Israel is directing the attacks on U.S. headquarters and embassy in Baghdad through Iraqi mercenaries.

“Certainly, conservatives in Congress and the media will try to cripple the process, along with some liberal supporters of Israel in the administration and Congress.” San Francisco State University professor Robert C. Smith warns.While some sources have said that a number of Iraqi security figures are also playing a facilitating role in managing operations against U.S. bases in the country, Al- Khazali said the Zionist regime is taking advantage of the situation in Iraq to blame resistance groups for such unlawful military acts.

Apparently, Israel is trying relentlessly to bring the Biden administration and the resistance groups into a conflict to complicate any compromise on the 2015 nuclear deal as there is a wrong assumption that resistance groups are allied to Iran. This is while there are widespread differences between resistance groups that fought Daesh (ISIS). 

On the other side, Biden has sent confusing signals to Tehran when it comes to lifting sanctions on Iran, after his predecessor Donald Trump reimposed economic sanctions on Tehran in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 that confirmed the 2015 nuclear deal.  

Trump pulled out of the nuclear pact, unraveling the signature foreign policy achievement of his predecessor Barack Obama. 

The 2015 agreement was concluded between seven countries – Iran and the 5+1 nations - after more than two years of grueling negotiations. The Trump administration not only returned the sanctions lifted under the nuclear deal, it also added new harsh ones, including a total ban on Iran’s oil exports.

Nevertheless, Biden pledged in his election campaigns that the U.S. will return to international agreements including the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the official name for the nuclear agreement. 

After coming into power, Biden has taken hesitant steps toward Iran without any significant move to remove American sanctions. Some American officials have urged Iran to comply fully abide by the JCPOA as Iran has scaled back some of its commitments due to the violation of the deal by the other sides.

However, professor Smith notes that “the U.S. should take the first step, as Biden seemed imply it would do if he became President, i.e., U.S. should rejoin the JCPOA and lift the sanctions imposed by the previous administration.”

Iran removed some limits on its nuclear program as a remedy to create a kind of balance between rights and obligations. Iran took these steps exactly one year after Trump abandoned the deal and the remaining sides took not step to compensate Iran from illegal sanctions.

Moreover, Israel and Saudi Arabia along with Iran hawks in the Senate are making every effort to prevent the revival of the JCPOA, claiming that the pact will increase Iran’s regional influence.

“Biden is under tremendous pressure from some of his advisors, conservatives in Congress and the media, some liberals in his own Party, Israel and Saudi Arabia to attempt to renegotiate the agreement, as well as include extraneous matters such as Iranian missiles and its alleged support for proxy wars in the region,” San Francisco State University remarks. 

According to the American professor, the situation is complicated by divisions within the administration, as well as concerns about the upcoming presidential election in Iran.

“Certainly, conservatives in Congress and the media will try to cripple the process, along with some liberal supporters of Israel in the administration and Congress,” Smith emphasizes. “I think the delayed decision on the JCPOA, reflecting divisions in the administration, domestic pressures and lack of a clear stand by the UK and France on the imperative of an immediate return to the agreement are ‘negative signals’ and with all the aforementioned pressures likely will inhibit Biden taking ‘the brave decisions’ that are necessary.”


  • 2021-03-12 12:30
    Biden even refused to sanction M.B.S over Khashoggi's butchering because he is not Serious and determined .

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