Mouood: Using Afghanistan Leverage in the Joint comprehensive Plan of Action / what is the US endpoint in comprehensive negotiations with Iran?
The former Iranian ambassador to Italy and Afghanistan said; CIA Director William Burns is hopeful for the developments in Afghanistan. His idea is that he can impose conditions on Iran that will be forced to re-score on the playing field of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Using Afghanistan Leverage in the Joint comprehensive Plan of Action
Fars news; Mohsen Samimi, Morteza Alizadeh: In the last month or two of Rouhani’s government, Europe and the United States almost stopped the Vienna talks and waited for the government of Seyyed Ibrahim Raisi to begin its work. They knew that the foreign policy approach of the new government was very different from that of the previous government and that it was not possible to engage in Iran, or in other words, a diplomatic dispute, using the last command.
The new government that came to power officially said that the precondition for Iran to enter the talks is the fulfillment of the US commitments. In other words, the sanctions should be lifted first. On the other side, the Americans also made it clear that there was no news of lifting the sanctions. In the meantime, the International Atomic Energy Agency, led by Rafael Grossi, is playing an active role and has arranged trips to Iran. Europe also sent a representative to Iran, and political and diplomatic actions are underway.
However, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action case seems to have become more complex and cannot be seen as a whole. Therefore, in a conversation with Abolfazl Zohrehvand, the former Iranian ambassador to Italy and Afghanistan, he examined the dimensions of possible future of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action talks and the positions of the officials of both sides. The full text of this conversation is as follows:
Sanctions can never be lifted
Q: What is the reason for the insistence of the United States and the three European countries that the nuclear talks continue from the end of the sixth period? It shows that despite claiming that time is short, they have made a profit so far.
Zohrehvand: I think the current position of the Americans is to complete their previous project. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was not an agreement. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a project that was made by the Ex-government. There were four stages of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action one, two, three, and four, and we were supposed to enter the next phase after the previous stage completion. That is why we see that the Americans imposed about 1,500 new sanctions on Iran after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement.
Half of those sanctions are related to the Obama era. The other half is related to the Trump era. Do not forget that a crucial part of the US Treasury Department’s formation reason is the sanctions against Iran. This engineering cannot stop, and such sanctions can never be lifted individually. They should disappear together. Otherwise, we have to manage and complete our anti-sanction modification system. It goes back to the quality of our practice.
The starting point in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action project, which includes comprehensive negotiations, is Regime Change and a change of norms in Iran’s political structure. It was a project that the Europeans convinced the Americans to modify their related strategy. The Americans had previously believed they should change the Iranian regime by a military approach. Later they were convinced that they could divide our work to a point where our behavior changes the sphere of the foreign policy and the domestic environment because changing behavior causes a change of approach. It means; moving us away from a revolutionary approach and creating a new life and paradigm in the Iranian and international political system.
The United States seeks to increase the effectiveness of sanctions
The Americans have no incentive to lift even that part of the Trump-era nuclear sanctions to contain and change Iran. Like the oil sales discount that Mr. Obama signed every six months and Trump signed in two or three stages. They think that the effectiveness of sanctions should increase. There is a division of labor between the United States and Europe, and now there is a division of labor between the Zionist regime and the Americans and the IAEA. The threat of an attack is irrelevant and nonsense. They know that there is no need to use nuclear weapons and that conventional weapons can wipe out the Zionist regime.
The strategic depth of the Zionist regime is 50 km, and there is no place to escape. It is enough for a missile to hit Dimona so that nothing will be left. Through these threats, they are carrying out the carrot and stick project. Threatening Iran is on their agenda. Why? The answer is related to the nature of the political system in Iran. We have nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction.
If we can succeed in our nuclear diplomacy in this area, the problem of strategic weapons will finish, and we shall reach the stage we wanted to get to. The international system must be free of nuclear weapons because it is no longer closed. We see that these countries are now focusing on Biological weapons because biological weapons retain severe capabilities and can only make a difference in the social environment. We oppose Biological and Chemical weapons. We were among the first countries to sign the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, even when we were the biggest victims of chemical weapons after World War II.
The United States is passive and not at the core of its priorities
These show that our revolutionary and religious teachings and epistemology are unrelated to weapons of mass destruction. Our audience is general. Our capacities are various too. We have audiences even among the Jews of the world and the Jews who are anti-Zionist. And they understand our invitation. Iran is the flagship of the religion of invitation.
I believe that Americans are now in a position of passivity, and the issue of nuclear is not their priority. At the same time, they should have this privilege in their pocket. The problem for Americans is their regional position. At the same time as the issue of nuclear disarmament, they sought to work on the regional influence and presence issues as well. Missile power is somehow regional.
Our national capabilities, which have the deterrent aspect of hard and soft threats and maintaining strategic independence, are defined in an equation. We have achieved alignment in threat and opportunity with the surrounding countries. It also talks about the development of our strategy and the participation of neighboring countries in this issue. They also seek to maintain strategic independence and will. Our victory on this issue is a danger to the illegitimate interests of the West.
Mr. Karzai explicitly said that the Americans told me that our problem with Iran was not a nuclear issue but a substantive conflict and that we had to surrender and transform Iran. Of course, this is not possible because Iran is not Iran of the past, and the United States is no longer the same as former America and has become weaker, but we must consider this issue in terms of deterrence.
What should be our policy?
Q: The reformist media increasingly emphasize the need to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and encourage the two sides to reach an agreement. What does this mean without considering the responsibility of the Western side and the non-lifting not so good sanctions?
Zohrehvand: The problem with the reformists is that it has keyed in a project that has found historical and political responsibility today. They took the path of interaction with the West in such a way, meaning that we would give our capacities to get a loan in return, and at the same time, they came to a standstill.
To cover up this issue and get out from under the burden of this historical accusation, they raise these issues, and the second point is that they hope we will go the way of the past. Because in the past, the situation would have been very different if they had reached the slightest achievement. But the previous government left the scene. One of the previous negotiation team members says that he had not seen the word suspension in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and now we see that he has not seen anything called cancellation at all.
Those who said we knew diplomacy and negotiation became elements who betrayed our national security. Now they must admit that their view of the US and West national interests was problematic, and from this view, their national interests hurt badly.
We heard the statement of “Iran Should Become a Norm Member” too. They wanted to normalize Iran, abandon its norms, and accept the authoritarian indices that affirm Western identity and are compatible with Western interests.
The 2030 document is one such example. Eight years have passed since they destroyed the country and handed over a burned land to Mr. Raisi, and they must be held accountable for this situation. The dollar of 1,200 Tomans has reached 27,000 Tomans, and how do they want to answer this to the people?
If reform means trampling on national identity, ignoring religious and national norms, and allowing the enemy to go under our skin, it is Overthrow. Some of the supporters in the reform body did not think of overthrowing. Such people are deceived. Those we just mentioned who created this trend must be held accountable. Unfortunately, this is not the responsibility in our country, and we must resolve this.
In my opinion, Americans are by no means inclined to give any concessions now because they say that if we give them an upper hand, the outcome will not be clear.
Q: A game has just started, and Mr. William Burns recently said we are optimistic and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is still possible. Almost all US officials are not talking about a halt now, despite Iranian officials insisting that the prelude to the lifting of sanctions is a precondition. You mentioned that the Americans do not intend to lift the sanctions. On the other hand, Iran faces a difficult challenge and says they should remove the sanctions.
Zohrehvand: Resolving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action issue has nothing to do with us. We have performed the tasks that we committed and were against our national interests, and today it is the other side must fulfill its remaining obligations. So if they say that The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action brought security to the West, they will have to pay for it.
Iran is not a nuclear threat, and they have made it a credible threat. In this case, the basis is the position of the Supreme Leader, who insisted on lifting all sanctions. The Europeans and the Americans are lifting the sanctions, and we are going back to the commitments we made earlier, but they are not going to lift the sanctions.
CIA Director William Burns hopes for developments in Afghanistan. His idea is that he can impose conditions on the region and Iran in the coming months that Iran will be forced to re-score on the playing field of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, thus putting pressure on Iran and gaining points. It is an unimaginable dream, and they think that economic problems are forcing Iran to come to the negotiating table. They also see the negotiations comprehensive. Because their deceit for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was a project, part of which is becoming a scenario in Afghanistan.
The United States seeks to change the geopolitics of the region
Q: Can you explain this a bit? What is the relation between the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action project and the US regional projects?
Zohrehvand; Lebanon is now facing an economic problem. It has resisted the Westerners. The Westerners have also pushed secret operations and created events in the port of Beirut. The pressure on this country is high. We also see elements affiliated with the West, such as the judge who started a political challenge instead of a legal confrontation. So they keep Lebanon still inflamed.
The Syria renovation matter exists, Iraq has the same trouble, Iran is under sanctions, in Afghanistan the West Front has a new strategy, from the military-political phase to the security phase. The Americans pursued the collapse of the political and social system, and now they are seeking the Afghans’ economic system collapse.
If they can reconcile the three and bring about economic collapse, they will complicate the situation in Afghanistan. It will become even worse. There will be a kind of anarchy throughout the region with an approach to changing geopolitical roles. The same things may happen in Pakistan.
Q: Is this happening in Turkey and Azerbaijan as well?
Zohrehvand; this atmosphere is created in Azerbaijan too. Iran is a mother country. It is strategic in-depth and in its surroundings. Iran is vaster than its natural geography, and today the people of the region are aware of Iran’s capacities, position, and the alignment in threat and opportunity with Iran. The alignment has become a credible threat to the West, and if the Americans cannot stop Iran and China in Afghanistan, they can no longer integrate internally.
Afghanistan is a final ground for Iran, the United States confrontation, and China. The US sacrificed and destroyed Afghanistan for their own sinister goals in the region. I am not talking about ISIS and the Taliban. I am talking about the United States and its intelligence service, and Mr. William Bronze, as the main root of the current chaos and seditions.
Zalmai Khalilzad and Ashraf Ghani implemented a project. However, Khalilzad himself betrayed the Americans because of his Pashtun chauvinism and killed the Americans.
The Americans are in a state of disarray in Afghanistan. Their only job is that they do not want to pay the people, and they have thrown the people in place, but if it works smartly, the Americans will have to leave the region.
The United States wants to keep the JCPA alive
Q: We see that European and American officials and Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, provide a positive atmosphere for negotiations and the IAEA.Do you think that parallel to the political work, they are doing a media job to push us to agree to continue the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action talks to isolate Iran in the media?
Zohrehvand; They are putting pressure on Iran to show the public that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is not in a state of mourning and death. If the Comprehensive Plan of Action project remains unchanged, it will die completely. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action must be within the framework of the project. If it happens, this project will revive.
The United States needs an achievement to maintain the atmosphere of negotiations with Iran
Q: That is, they wait for the projects you mentioned to come to fruition?
Zohrehvand; now they need achievement to maintain the atmosphere of negotiations between themselves and Iran because they are responsible for the resurrection of the dead in their arms and the body of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. We have done what we should not have done.
We should now look for our return check and say that your check has no credit, and if the Americans are to sit at the table, they must fill out the returned check and guarantee that they will not repeat the previous game. We should cash this check and make sure about their obligation’s originality. If it happens, we will enter afterward.
But the Americans are saying that Iran should return to its commitments, enabling us to enter quickly. We do not want them to enter the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” Because we now have 1,500 additional sanctions, in addition to losing heavy water and the Arak power plant and Fordow centrifuges. We have destroyed 11 tons of uranium. Our forces are affected. They have to cover our costs.
The United States seeks leverage to force Iran to negotiate
These things did not happen, and they are not ready for it to happen, and as far as they are concerned, they want to maintain their position. The Americans do not see the issue only in the Nuclear Deal, but in the form of comprehensive negotiations, seeking leverage in other areas to force Iran to be at the negotiating table.
I have even heard some friends suggest that; “we have been negotiating since the beginning of the Trump era, which is again in line with the Supreme Leader’s position that they insisted on lifting all sanctions” This view is wrong. If we agree to continue based on Obama’s last day results, the ball will fall on our ground while the ball is now in the American playground under our feet, in front of their goal, and now they are scoring goals.