Time for world to give Iran a nuclear deal ultimatum
The P5+1 world powers ought to give the Iranian regime an ultimatum to either agree to a nuclear deal or face a Plan B.
The regime continues to expand its nuclear program and it last week decided to switch off two UN surveillance cameras. According to an Iranian state TV report, the Iranian government deactivated “cameras of the measuring Online Enrichment Monitor… and flowmeter.” By turning off the surveillance cameras, the Iranian regime is effectively preventing the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, from monitoring its nuclear activities, including uranium enrichment and the use of centrifuges.
Iran’s authorities continue to argue that their nuclear program is designed for peaceful purposes, not for manufacturing an atomic bomb. If this is the case — and if the regime does not have anything to hide when it comes to its nuclear program and activities — why has it switched off the UN surveillance cameras?
Tehran has enriched a substantial amount of uranium up to 60 percent purity, a short technical step away from 90 percent purity, the level that is required to build a nuclear weapon. Even France, Germany and the UK warned last week that the Iranian government’s latest action was “fueling distrust as to Iran’s intentions.”
It is unrealistic to expect that Russia and China would put pressure on the Iranian government to cooperate with the IAEA or halt its nuclear activities until a nuclear deal is reached. In addition, the Iranian leaders have shown during the last few years, including during the recent rounds of negotiations in Vienna, that it has no desire to scale back its nuclear activities and advancements.
As a result, the US, UK, France and Germany ought to make it clear to the Iranian regime that it has to either agree on an effective nuclear deal or face the consequences.
To reach a deal, the Iranian government has to relinquish its irrational and unnecessary demands, which are major barriers to striking an agreement with the world powers. One of the Iranian regime’s demands is removing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from America’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. This demand goes beyond the obligations of the original 2015 nuclear deal, which is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The IRGC’s designation was not linked to Iran’s nuclear program or the JCPOA, it was issued due to the group’s terrorist activities, including its involvement in sponsoring, funding and training terror and militia groups across the Middle East.
Furthermore, the nuclear deal ought to halt Iran’s nuclear program permanently, hence eliminating the possibility of a nuclear arms race in the region and removing the strategic threat that a nuclear-armed Iran might pose via its hegemonic ambitions, thereby shifting the balance of power.
The nuclear deal also should not have any sunset clauses. These clauses pave the way for the Iranian regime to resume enriching uranium to any level it chooses after the period of time specified in the agreement.
And Iran’s ballistic missile program, which is interconnected with the nuclear program, must be restricted. The international community witnessed how the Iranian regime launched far more ballistic missiles after the 2015 nuclear deal, despite UN Security Council Resolution 1929, which states: “Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology, and that states shall take all necessary measures to prevent the transfer of technology or technical assistance to Iran related to such activities.”
The US, UK, France and Germany ought to make it clear to the regime that it has to either agree on an effective nuclear deal or face the consequences.
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh
If the Iranian regime does not agree to a nuclear deal that includes these points within the next couple of weeks, the US, UK, France and Germany must immediately implement a Plan B. It must be made clear to the regime that military options against its nuclear sites will be on the table as part of this Plan B. The international community should not allow the clerical regime to become armed with nuclear weapons. Targeting the regime’s nuclear sites would slow its nuclear advancement, even if it would not completely halt it. Plan B should also include reimposing the four rounds of UN sanctions that were lifted in 2015 due to the JCPOA.
The international community has little choice but to give the Iranian regime an ultimatum that Plan B will be carried out if it refuses to reach a practical nuclear deal.