How could anyone think otherwise about Iran

I am going to quote some sources and let you decide about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) aka the Iranian nuclear deal signed in 2015. In my view these sources provide a picture that can be ignored or denied. In my opinion they show that the JCPOA is dead and cannot be resurrected. In my opinion they show that Iran didn’t uphold its side of the deal. In my opinion they show also that Trump’s sanctions are not going to make any significant impact on Iran. In my opinion they show that Europe is dithering. What is your opinion?

The first source is US Secretary of State Pompeo who claims Iran is increasing its “testing and proliferation” of missiles and called on the Islamic Republic to “cease these activities.” The tests, he said, “violates UNSCR 2231” that “calls on” Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”

The second source that I quote is Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi who responded to Pompeo. He says, “Iran’s missile program has a defensive nature and is designed according to the needs of the country” and “No resolution at the Security Council has banned Iran’s missile program or missile tests.”

Just a bit of background facts on this. Washington has imposed “toughest ever” sanctions against Iran after withdrawing from the JCPOA while the European parties to the JCPOA have vowed all-out efforts to save the agreement and protect their firms in the face of American bans. They are now working to set up the so-called Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in a bid to circumvent the US sanctions against Iran and facilitate non-dollar trade with Tehran.

The third source is Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi who has warned that it cannot wait forever for the establishment of a SPV payment mechanism the Europeans have promised to launch in order to maintain trade with Tehran. He said, “We’ve so far witnessed that the European countries have the political will [to maintain business relations with Iran], and have not seen any sign that proves it”

The fourth source that I quote is the Iranian Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Commander Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh. He says “The US bases in Afghanistan, the UAE, and Qatar as well as the US aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf are within our reach and are easy meat for us.”

The fifth source shows how Iranian missiles are used outside of Iran’s borders. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem in an exclusive interview with Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network said Iran conducted missile strikes against strongholds of Daesh Takfiri terror militant positions in the country’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.

The sixth source is a collection of data that looks to ascertain if American inspired. sanctions are having an impact on Iran.  Iran had a trade surplus of $2 billion over a period of eight months starting 21 March 2018.  Iran’s non-oil exports over the same period stood at $31.4 billion which was higher than the corresponding period in 2017 by around 13 percent. Key export items included liquefied propane ($1.3 billion), light oil products excluding gasoline ($1.1 billion) and methanol ($1 billion). The majority of Iran’s non-oil exports were petrochemical products (33 percent). The top export destination for Iran’s non-oil products was Iraq which imported $6.7 billion worth of products from the Islamic Republic over the period.

I have written two article shows the dilemma of sanctions both by those who are going to bust them and those who are exempt 1) The Persian Gulf Sanction Busters, The Times of Israel, 16 August 2018, https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-persian-gulf-sanction-busters/ and 2) The means of changing Iran. The Times of Israel, 8 November 2018 https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-means-of-changing-iran/)

Given more space I could compile a significant volume of additional quotes that show more of the same above. So, while I am only expressing my views and opinion after reading all that I can about the subject, I would also like you all to think and answer “What is your opinion?” Do you really believe that Iran has no bad aggressive intentions by developing missiles? Do you really believe that Iran has no bad aggressive intentions by supporting Hamas and Hezbollah? Do you really believe that Iran has no bad aggressive intentions when it bad-mouths Israel? Is it all the imagination of others and myself that Iran is threatening and growing in threat?   

About the Author
Dr Glen Segell is Fellow at the Ezri Center for Iran & Persian Gulf Studies, University of Haifa.
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