Shani Hormozi, an expert at the Expediency Council’s Centre for Strategic Studies, has, in an article published in the Persian-language Shargh daily, weighed in on the new US government’s policy on the Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
He underlined that the Trump administration is to, once again, report to Congress on Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA on October 15, 2017.
“The reality is that the Trump administration, despite being criticized for its inexperience in the foreign policy arena, is well aware of the dangers of the violation of the JCPOA. So, it seeks to set the stage for pointing the finger at Iran rather than openly withdrawing from the deal. One of the policies adopted [by Washington] in this regard is to lay the groundwork for presenting another definition of ‘compliance,’ whose general framework was delineated by [US Ambassador to the UN] Nikki Haley in a speech,” said the commentator.
Hormozi then referred to Haley’s speech at the American Enterprise Institute.
“Her use of false accusations to offer a new meaning of abidance by the JCPOA as well as using new untrue statements to accuse Iran of not remaining committed to the deal was planned within a meaningful structure,” said Hormozi.
Based on the new concept presented by the US, compliance with the JCPOA is not only a simple and basically technical concept; rather, it has three key components: The JCPOA, UN Security Council Resolution 2231and the law passed by the US Congress to monitor the implementation of the JCPOA.
Then the US says Iran’s compliance should not only be studied from the three above-mentioned perspectives, but, as a whole, it should be reviewed with regard to the nature and history of the Iranian government’s performance. This begs the question of why the Trump administration seeks to link the nature of the Iranian government and its performance since the 1979 Islamic Revolution to the JCPOA. The Trump administration is trying to mention respect for “international regulations” and abidance by “international agreements” together and come to the conclusion that respect for international regulations is a precursor to compliance with international agreements. Although the US has shrewdly crafted this policy to make international players pessimistic about Iran and the future of the country’s compliance with the JCPOA, it suffers from a major shortcoming, which is putting “intention” and “policy” in the wrong order. In fact, Trump first announced he intended not to confirm Iran’s compliance and then called on his Cabinet members and advisors to prepare the ground for announcing the non-compliance. This intention, and not policy, is not lost on media and Washington’s European allies.
Therefore, at least in the short run, arrangements and policies as such, will not be able to persuade key audiences. But what is important is that Trump’s personal traits and character are such that he is as likely to go back on his words as he is to keep them. This gives all players, namely Iran, the message that they should be prepared for all possible scenarios.