Iran Is Already Gloating
AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi
Iran Is Already Gloating
AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi
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Araghchi explained how Iran will manage the outcomes of the side agreements as follows:

"In the new round of talks, I told our friends at the Ministry of Defense that I vow to you that not one more word than the information that has already been given to the IAEA will be conveyed to them. The story of Parchin is one of 12 fabricated cases against Iran and the Westerners vehemently insisted that the PMD issue must be resolved. (They said) this file cannot remain open while we lift the sanctions. Before the implementation of the deal, we need to answer certain questions that the IAEA has for us. As far as the deal is concerned, these issues have been resolved, but there remain issues between us and the IAEA before it can finalize its report. That report will be gray. It will neither be black nor white. With regards to this issue, a roadmap has been signed by Mr. Salehi and Mr. Amano based on which, for example,we will present some of our own assessments on PMD by Aug. 15 and the IAEA will review them by Oct. 15, and that will conclude the task of the IAEA. We have no further problems as far as the deal is concerned, but by Dec. 15, Amano will present the final assessment and we have made some precautionary arrangements to hold off on certain things we need to do until the IAEA presents its final report. Meaning this will cause the Westerners themselves to pressure the IAEA to wrap up the case as soon as possible so that the deal could be implemented."

It is particularly noteworthy that Araghchi, in stark contrast to the U.S. view, has repeatedly asserted that the side agreements in the IAEA roadmap are not part of the JCPOA and therefore not subject to international review.  

PMD is a Mere Formality. In short, Araghchi let us know that the IAEA has already decided it will not reveal any new discoveries in its ambiguous report; it will neither entirely confirm nor deny any past military nuclear activities in suspect sites such as Parchin. He also notes that the IAEA will review the Islamic Republic's own assessment of possible military dimensions and implies that the entire process is nothing more than a formality. Furthermore, he sees circumstances as supporting Iran's strategy, because the IAEA will be under pressure from Western countries eager to wrap up the deal so that they may exploit the Iranian market. Araghchi's statements make it clear that inspections as detailed in the secret side agreements involve nothing more than the Islamic Republic's voluntarily submission of redundant and useless information to the IAEA: "To friends who ask us, I respond that we don't trust the IAEA, nor the inspectors and nor the Westerners ... we trust in ourselves."  

Araghchi goes on to explain how Iran could handle the 24-day process triggered if the IAEA suspect activities in non-nuclear facilities: "The IAEA has to present us with evidence as to why it thinks there have been illegal activities occurring. After this step, we need to negotiate. Other countries do the same. After the negotiations, if we are convinced, we might allow them access. In cases where their evidence is not entirely unfounded, we can even use substitute methods; for example, we will say we cannot allow you into the main facility but we can allow you access to the area behind it. The other method is for us to videotape it ourselves and present it to them. But if the IAEA refuses our offers and insists on access, this subject has been left unsaid in the Additional Protocol." 

In case of a dispute between the IAEA and the Islamic Republic, he explains that "other provisions" have been added to the JPCOA in order to avoid the usual IAEA process of reporting a denial of access to its Board of Governors and subsequently to the U.N. Security Council. "If Iran and the IAEA reach a dead end, the issue will be referred to a Joint Commission which will have seven to 14 days to clear the legal process ... This process takes 24 days. Of course, any access will be managed by us, meaning in the same blindfolded manner that I had explained before and some had made fun of. But this is really not silly. This has happened before. We can take them in blindfolded."

Fallacious "Snapback" Sanctions. Obama has said that if Iran violates the nuclear deal, all of the sanctions can snap back into place and we will not need the support of other members of the U.N. Security Council. The United States, he claims, can trigger these snapback sanctions on its own. But paragraph 37 of the JCPOA makes clear that the provisions of the U.N. Security Council resolutions would be reimposed "unless the U.N. Security Council decides otherwise," and it even goes on to insulate established contracts with Iran from whatever snapback sanctions are imposed. Knowing that any contracts entered into with Iran by foreign companies could survive so-called snapback sanctions even when Iran is caught cheating, the Obama administration has sent letters to the governments of China, Germany, France and Britain assuring them that companies doing business with Iran will not be penalized if Iran violates the JCPOA. Senators Mark Kirk and Marco Rubio are demanding that the Obama administration release the contents of these letters - contents that are currently undisclosed - to the American public.

Dropping Arms and Missile Sanctions from the Deal. Perhaps one of the most disturbing aspects of the nuclear negotiations is Obama's apparent complicity in dropping arms restrictions, including an embargo and missile sanctions, from the nuclear deal. The Iranian side made clear that it would not stop arming Hezbollah, and the president knew that he could not defend the deal before U.S. allies and the Congress without these sanctions. The solution: Kerry proposed relaxing the arms and missile sanctions and putting them in the U.N. resolution. By separating these sanctions from the nuclear deal, Obama and Kerry acknowledged that breaking the arms and missile sanctions would not break the nuclear deal. Problem solved!