The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is an international agreement involving the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany. Completing it successfully required many months of hard bargaining, Iran giving more than it got in return – to free itself from sanctions imposed solely for political reasons, serving US and Israeli interests mainly. Its nuclear program has no military component, not now or earlier, claims otherwise falsified. Since ending a generation of US-installed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi rule in 1979, Washington treated the Islamic Republic deplorably. It’s not at war with its neighbors, threatens no one, and advocates a nuclear-free Middle East – Israel the sole regional nuclear armed and dangerous nation, yet nothing is done to contest its arsenal, no JCPOA-type deal to eliminate it. Why challenge Iran? Because it’s a sovereign independent nation Washington doesn’t control. And there’s all their hydrocarbon riches Big Oil wants exploited for its own bottom line interests. On November 25, The Wall Street Journal reported Washington “and its Western allies…pressing pressing Iran to take steps to sharply cut the amount of radioactive material it holds in a bid to shore up last year’s nuclear deal and discourage the incoming Trump administration from abandoning it,” citing unnamed Western officials. Will Trump scrap or renegotiate JCPOA as vowed while campaigning? Highly unlikely. It’s an international agreement, America one of six countries involved plus Iran. Renegotiating what took many months to agree on would begin his tenure on the wrong foot, irresponsibly challenging the other permanent Security Council members plus Germany. He’s more likely to continue a hard line on Tehran in other ways, maintaining illegal US sanctions, maybe adding more, breaching the letter and spirit of JCPOA – instead of responsibly ending 37 years of hostility, treating Iranian sovereignty with the respect it deserves. Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA, Reza Najafi, warned against taking steps to undermine JCPOA terms, stressing Tehran’s full compliance, saying: “The P5+1 countries have a clear responsibility to abide by the JCPOA with good will and in a constructive atmosphere based on mutual respect and through avoiding any steps that run contrary to the text and spirit of the JCPOA and undermine its successful implementation.” Complaints about Tehran exceeding its agreed on heavy water inventory of 130 metric tons were overblown – the issue resolved when 11 tons were sent to Oman days earlier. IAEA director general Yukiya Amano confirmed Iran’s full compliance with JCPOA terms. Last April, he praised the Islamic Republic for exceeding its obligations under the agreement. Washington continues breaching it by maintaining sanctions, imposing new ones since JCPOA’s implementation in January, and failing to unfreeze all Iranian assets.
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