Washington intensifies intimidatory propaganda to cover up lack of options on JCPOA

July 16, 2021 - 21:43

TEHRAN – With the Vienna nuclear talks between Iran and world powers hitting a deadlock, diplomatic circles in Washington and Europe are once again being prodded to reflect on the options the U.S. has on the table to deal with Iran. 

Western diplomats have said Washington does not have many options on Iran if the nuclear talks fail to deliver a result in the coming weeks but, in a thinly-veiled threat, they threatened Iran with more suffering.

A senior U.S. official told Reuters Thursday that the alternatives for the 2015 nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), would be worse for Iran. “I think all the alternatives are worse for us. I think they are worse for Iran. And frankly, I think, at the end of the day, Iran will suffer – I don’t know if they suffer more than we will - but they will be in a bad situation,” the U.S. diplomat said on condition of anonymity. 

“Which is why we have argued now for some time that the best option is a strict return to compliance with the (deal). That’s our analysis,” the U.S. official said.

Washington would do all it could to revive the deal, the official said, but added, “We have to be prepared to live with the alternatives.”

This warning came after all U.S. threats failed to work with Iran. Following the sixth round of the Vienna talks, several American and European diplomats warned Iran against refusing to make tough decisions on the JCPOA. In other words, they called on Iran to make more concessions to get the JCPOA revived in the seventh round. They even went so far as to brandish a withdrawal from the talks, which they now ask Iran to resume. 

“We wouldn't be going back to Vienna if we thought that it's not possible to reach a deal. I don't think that this window is going to be open forever. At some point, we'll have to conclude that this is not succeeding. But we're not there yet,” U.S. envoy to the Vienna talks Rob Malley told NPR after the sixth round. 

U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken reiterated Malley’s threat by implying that the ball is in Iran’s court. 

“There will come a point, yes, where it will be very hard to return back to the standards set by the JCPOA,” the top U.S. diplomat said at a briefing in Paris after meeting with French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian. He also called on Iran to make “difficult” decisions to advance talks that could revive the JCPOA.

Le Drian reiterated the same call. “It’s been six weeks since the negotiations started again. Some progress was achieved, and we will now be entering the most difficult times. It will require some strong and courageous decisions on behalf of the new Iranian authorities, but now is the time,” he said.

Iran responded by saying that if there is a party to make tough decisions it is the U.S. and its European allies, not Iran. Because Iran had already made a series of tough decisions to protect the nuclear deal after former U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from it. 

In complete disregard to American and European intimidatory propaganda, Iran moved to expand its peaceful nuclear program by starting the production of enriched uranium metal.  Instead of addressing Iran’s concerns, the U.S. and its European allies started to signal threats and intimidation that the talks might collapse and that Iran would suffer more as if they have many more options than negotiating with Iran. 

This is while even the Americans themselves acknowledge that they have no other option but to revive the original deal. Senator Chris Murphy told Jewish Insider that the 2015 nuclear deal remains the U.S.’s only viable option for dealing with Iran.

“I don’t accept the premise that we can’t find a way back into this deal. It will require hard choices by the United States, difficult choices by the Iranians, but I don’t see a path forward without being inside this deal,” Murphy said. “I still believe that our only course of action is to get back into the deal.”

Ever since Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA in May 2018, the U.S. did everything in its power to extract more concessions from Iran. That included imposing harsh economic sanctions on Iran with aim of bringing the country’s economy to collapse. Iran suffered but did not collapse and continued to stand tall.

Some former Western diplomats who had been privy to U.S.-European deliberations on Iran now admit that Iran is unlikely to give in on its rights. A case in point is Gerard Araud, France’s former ambassador to the U.S. He told Reuters that Iran has shown its resilience in the face of the so-called “maximum pressure” campaign, a policy that the Trump administration initiated against Iran after walking out of the JCPOA, and that even economic pressure cannot be an alternative for the JCPOA. 

“I don’t see an alternative to the JCPOA other than ‘maximum pressure’ but this regime has shown its resilience and I don’t see it caving to it,” the former French diplomat said. 

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