While the IAEA has certified Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) eight times and even Trump administration has certified Iran's compliance with JCPOA twice under a law that requires it to notify Congress of Iran's compliance every 90 days, there are some reports that President Trump's administration is planning to decertify Iran's compliance with the international nuclear agreement (JCPOA), MNA reported.
Many analysts believe recent actions taken by the US administration demonstrate that President Trump plans to renege on the Iran nuclear agreement, actions like insisting on inspection of Iran’s military sites and imposing new round of sanctions against Iran under different baseless accusations.
Despite the US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley’s insistence on inspecting Iran’s military sites during her visit with IAEA officials in Vienna, the agency not only confirmed Iran's compliance to JPCOA once again but also emphasized that there is no need to give up the US request to signal a political message.
In an interview with professor of geopolitics, University of San Francisco (California) and University of Montenegro, Dr. Filip Kovacevic, the issue was discussed by Payman Yazdani from MNA.
Following is the full text of the interview:
Q: While recent IAEA report confirms that Iran has met its obligations under JCPOA, the US seeks to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran and says the IAEA inspection mechanisms are not efficient and asks for inspection of Iran military sites. What is the US after?
I think that the most revealing in this respect is the interview that the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Mike Pompeo, gave to the Fox News Network on September 11, 2017. Pompeo connected Iran not only to Al-Qaida, but also to North Korea, and, in this way, placed Iran firmly in the 'axis of evil' as perceived by the US military and intelligence establishment. This means that Iran is defined as the key geopolitical enemy by the Trump administration, no matter what Iran really does.
Q: Recently Trump has extended Iran sanctions relief for another 120 days and at the same time his treasury state imposed new sanctions on some Iranian companies and individuals. Some say Trump has chosen diplomatic approach and just not to reduce his political pressure and attack on Iran, he imposes new sanctions besides extending sanction relief. What do you think of this?
I think that the top priority of the Trump administration at this time is the rapid preparation for the coming military intervention in North Korea and so it was decided to push back for some time in the future putting additional harsh pressure on Iran. However, this is not to say that the days of the nuclear agreement with Iran are not numbered. I think that with this presidential administration, they are. The agreement will be terminated in one way or another, but this will be disclosed publicly sometime in the future. And it will be sooner rather than later, if the North Korean operation is successful. But, what if it is not successful? The new Korean War could easily become much worse than Vietnam for the US.
Q: Iranian FM has said inspections must not lead to leak of Iran’s military secret information and because of this Iran won't allow its military sites be inspected. Is it possible to see that the US creating fake documents against Iran as it did in Iraq in 1990s (some experts like Tariq Rauf, ex-IAEA official believes in it)?
Forging documents by US is always a possibility. False information is the fact of life for all Great Powers.
The US intelligence community has long-time expertise in subversive and disinformation activities. It has also frequently been politicized by wanting to please the commander-in-chief and his military team.
Just think back to the issue of Iraqi WMDs. As in that case, the US intelligence may choose to rely on unreliable defectors who intentionally fabricate information damaging to Iran. This was the case in Iraq with the defector under the codename Curveball.
Q: If the US withdraws from the Nuclear Deal, obviously the European companies and banks won’t work with Iran even if their governments remain committed to the JCPOA. This won’t be pleasing for Iran. Shouldn’t European countries provide their companies and banks with necessary guarantees?
The present European Union leaders are under the firm control of the US establishment. They do not have much room (or political courage) for any independent policies. However, the majority of the people in Europe want changes. They want to be friendly with the East (Russia, Iran and China) and not see the East through the framework of the domineering Anglo-American geopolitics. What is needed is the change of leadership direction in Europe.
At this time, the EU is simply ‘washing the dirty dishes’ of NATO military-intelligence complex. I do not believe that the present leaders, especially the German chancellor Angela Merkel, will risk another confrontation with the US over Iran. So, while the Europeans may use more diplomatic rhetoric, the final result will be in the interest of the US and not Iran.
Filip Kovacevic is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Politics, specializing in geopolitics, US foreign policy, and East-Central European/Eurasian affairs. He is on leave from the University of Montenegro where he has taught since 2005 and has been appointed to the position of Associate Professor.