International double standard made Iran cautious about talks: former Italian diplomat

March 13, 2021 - 21:7

TEHRAN - Marco Carnelos, a former Italian diplomat, has said that the international community is following a double standard in dealing with Iran and this has made the country wary of rejoining the 2015 nuclear deal. 

Carnelos drew a comparison between Iran and Israel in terms of having transparent cooperation with relevant international agencies.

“Israel, having never signed the NPT and being the only Middle Eastern nation to unofficially develop a military nuclear program, should have been closely monitored,” wrote the former diplomat in an article for the Middle East Eye website. “Not a chance. For historical reasons and others somewhat related to U.S. foreign policy, Israel’s nuclear program has always been a taboo for the international community, and it remains so to this day.”

In the article titled “The world can't fool Tehran again”, Carnelos added, “Meanwhile, this has been ‘compensated' for by an international mobilization against the nuclear program of Iran - a state that signed the NPT and voluntarily implemented its Additional Protocol, enabling unannounced and intrusive inspections to monitor compliance. While this is called realpolitik, to many, it sounds like double standards. The last six years of Iran’s nuclear saga are well known.”

According to the former diplomat, Iran, by signing the 2015 nuclear deal – officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)-, accepted limits on its program in exchange for an end to international sanctions.

“While Iran complied with the deal, duly certified by the IAEA, sanctions relief never fully materialized - and in May 2018, the U.S. withdrew from the agreement and adopted new, unprecedentedly harsh sanctions against Iran. The UK, France, Germany and the EU tried to keep the deal on track - but ultimately, to avoid U.S. wrath and damaging secondary sanctions, they abstained from economic activity with Iran, maintaining the sanctions de facto and further damaging Iran’s economy and trust,” Carnelos wrote. 

He added, “Less than three years later, and while U.S. President Joe Biden has announced his intention to re-enter the nuclear deal, a new narrative about the nature of the Iranian threat is being advanced by the U.S. and Israel, echoed in some European chancelleries. The nuclear deal is being deemed obsolete and in need of renegotiation, mainly because it does not address two important issues: Iran’s ballistic-missile program and its “malign and destabilizing activities” in the region. As to the first objection, ballistic missiles were never part of the nuclear deal’s core business - and incidentally, they were already deployed across the region, not just in Iran, when the deal was negotiated and signed.”

According to Carnelos, those highlighting Iran’s ballistic missile threat are also staunch supporters of sanctions, the so-called “maximum pressure policy.”

“By advocating the inclusion of Iran’s ballistic missiles in a new agreement, they fail to explain how it has been possible for Iran to significantly improve its missiles and make them so much more threatening in just a few years, while it was subjected to the most punishing sanctions regime ever conceived. Their focus on the missiles is a massive indictment of their own sanctions’ effectiveness. The U.S. and European silence on such a contradictory and embarrassing stance might be understandable; much less so the deafening one maintained by western media,” he continued.

The former Italian diplomat also pointed to the oft-repeated claim that Iran’s influence in the region is “malign.”

“As to Iran’s alleged ‘malign and destabilizing activities’ in the region, the Holy Gospel may be useful: ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’ Assessing the recent history of the Middle East, Iran is certainly not alone in this endeavor. Putting temporarily aside the mother of all regional destabilizing activities, the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, is it sound to assume that Iran will accept putting its conduct under negotiation, while its regional rivals remain free to continue business as usual, often aimed at damaging its own interests?  Again, it is called realpolitik, but it sounds to many like double standards,” carnelos continued. 

Facing international double standards, Iran will be cautious about rejoining the agreement after the U.S. broke it with impunity, he said.