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The Triangle of Conspiracy Against Iranian Nuclear Deal

Donald Trump president of America finally withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran on May 8, 2018. He said, “The deal was an embarrassment to him as a citizen.” It was not unprecedented, because when he came to power in 2017, promised to exit from the agreement.

Apart from the reaction of Islamic republic of Iran or European countries which have said we stay on the deal, there are key factors behind this decision beyond the international aspects and laws.

Dispute between Iran and the west began in 2002 when International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was informed that Iran has a nuclear plan which was not declared. In 2003 by Tehran Agreement, Iran accepted to clarify its nuclear program. IAEA started monitoring, sending inspectors and expert delegations to Tehran and issuing reports on Iran with the cooperation of Iranian officials. But, Iran continued its plan to enrich uranium and working on heavy water-related projects. In 2010, one year after that Yukiya Amano being appointed as the new director general of IAEA, he reported that Iran had not provided the necessary cooperation. Iran rejected some reports that it had not clarified IAEA questions. The oil and economic sanctions were started by Security Council of United Nations. In addition to, western countries launched a massive political and economic campaign against Iran between 2012 and 2015.

The west plus Israel had a big propaganda and tried to show to the world that Iran has secret plan and is much closer to make a nuclear bomb. Israel said: “Iran is a threat”. Iran was under the pressure of black diplomacy by Israeli leadership. It has to be mentioned that president Ahmadinejad belong to hardliners reacted to the propaganda and said that it has had a good and open cooperation with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). IAEA repeatedly said that we have not found any suspicious activity in Iranian nuclear facilities. Hasan Rohani who was moderate (elected in presidential election in 2013) tried to have positive and progressive cooperation with IAEA. He appointed Javad Zarif new foreign minister, technocrat diplomat, to end a decade disagreements and sanctions. Iran was under severe pressure by UN and international community.

From March 26, 2015 talks with 5 permanent members of United Nations plus Germany started and then, they reached to a conclusion on April 2. Finally on July 14, 2015 the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and 6 countries was announced. On July 20, 2015, the Security Council voted to approve resolution 2231, which terminated the prior sanctions-imposing Security Council resolutions.

Iran agreed to not only limit the size of its stockpile of enriched uranium- which is used to make reactor fuel, but also nuclear weapons for 15 years and a number of centrifuges installed to enrich uranium for 10 years.[1]Iran also agreed to modify a heavy water facility so; it could not produce plutonium suitable for a bomb. In return, sanctions imposed by the UN, U.S. and EU were lifted.

Less than two years later, Yukiya Amano director general of IAEA on 11 May, 2017 said “Iran is implementing its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement.”[2]Only Israel and some Arab countries with the leadership of Saudi Arabia condemned this agreement when it was signed in 2015 hours later. Of course in American administrative only John Bolton Neo- conservative and anti-Iran hated the deal in 2015. Netanyahu and King Salman wanted Obama to wage war against Iran. Netanyahu very soon tried to lobby in Capitol Hill against the deal weeks after.

What caused Trump to unsign the Iran nuclear deal?

Nobody has asked why America is walking away to the deal? What is wrong with the deal? Is Iran breaching the agreement? Does IAEA find something wrong or suspicious in Iranian nuclear program? Nobody asks can United States exit from the agreement? They signed it by the legal representative of USA in Lausanne. Who broke the deal? Did they find something wrong in Iranian program that they want to stop it? These are questions which should be answered before understanding the USA act.

IAEA the International Atomic Energy Agency on 1 May, 2018 just 7 days before Trump’s decision said: “Iran had complied with the limit on the level to which it can enrich uranium. IAEA also said, “It has no credible evidence that Iran was working a developing a nuclear “explosive device” after 2009 and that the UN’s nuclear watchdog considered the issue “closed” after in a report in December 2015.”[3]IAEA is the only authorized body which has inspectors in Iran and accountable to the UN secretary. UN watch dog has also defended the Landmark agreement after the Trump’s withdrawal. IAEA in recent report says, “The agency… has conducted complementary access under the additional protocol to all the sites and locations in Iran which it needed to visit”. It added, “Timely and proactive cooperation by Iran in providing such access would facilitate implementation of the additional protocol and enhance confidence”.[4]This was the first report of IAEA on May 24, 2018 since Trump came to office.  The above report clearly shows that no diversion has been seen in Iran’s nuclear program by IAEA.

Moreover one day after Netanyahu as a showmanship show video that claimed secret Iranian program, UN nuclear agency reiterated it found no traces of Iran nuclear arms program.[5]It is obvious that Iranian nuclear activity is peaceful and indorsed by official report of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on 9thMay 2018. Yukiya Amano director general of IAEA in an official statement one day after USA walking away of the Iran and 6 powers deal said, “As of today, the IAEA can confirm that the nuclear related commitments are being implemented by Iran.”[6]These remarks leave no doubt that Iran is not in violation of the deal. So, the question is what was the main reason for president Trump to back out of the deal?

We should look for the answer elsewhere, those who were opposed to any compromise with Iran. The enmity triangle with Iran: Israel, Saudi Arabia and Hawkish in USA administration put pressure and surrounded Trump and made him to do this in favor of their interests.

America has shown when it comes to its interest; it does not respect its commitments. JCPOA was a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Pulling out of it, causes lack of trust to the international treaties. If any agreement or treaty is supposed to be revised by changing the president in the United States, no agreement will be respected.

It is not the first time that united State is withdrawing from the international treaties and agreements. America withdrew from Paris agreement on climate change in 2016, from UNESCO in 2017 and Immigration Treaty recently.

On the other hand, USA became the first power to unilaterally withdraw from a nuclear arms control treaty in 2001 which was signed in 1972[7]. Again in 2000 America signed Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) but in 2002 the U.S. made the unprecedented move to unsign the treaty.

Who are behind the decision?

Saudi Lobby

The Saudis have an ally in John R. Bolton, the president’s new national security advisor. Jeremy Shapiro, research director at the European Council on Foreign Relations and a state department official during the Obama administration, argued that the nuclear deal opposition from Saudi Arabia, Israel and other regional players were behind this policy.[8]Shaprio reinstates that they believe they are in this existential conflict with the Iranian regime, and nuclear weapons are small part of that conflict.” He says Israel is also a complicated case.

On the other hand, Irina Slav in Oil Price Magazine wrote that Riyadh and Tel- Aviv are behind Trump on this decision. Former CIA director John O Brennon, said Donald Trump simultaneously lied about the Iranian nuclear deal, undermined global confidence in US commitments.[9]

Marwan Bishara senior analyst of Aljazeera mentioned Riyadh took advantage of Trump’s foreign policy creed and greed to incite and entice the new president against Iran with hundreds of billions dollar in contracts. It’s a little – Known fact that Saudi and Israel pushed for attacking Iran instead of Iraq after 9/11.[10]Zack Beauchamp senior reporter and editor in “Think Progress” said about the Saudi lobby in White house. “Mohammad Bin Salman has long opposed the agreement and mounted a quiet lobbying campaign to kill it. He has befriended Trump’s son- in- law, Jared Kushner, and there is no doubt that he talked his ear off about the deal’s defects.”[11]Jered Kushner is also senior advisor of Trump. Salman has said that he is in his pocket. Salman visited USA on last March. Salman in that meeting with Trump asked for withdrawal from Iran agreement. He said his country was eyeing $ 400 billion in US business opportunities over the next four years. In that meeting countering Iran was the center of two side negotiations.

Israel Lobby

Israel from the very first was opposed to any agreement with Iran regarding to nuclear dispute and regional ambitions. Netanyahu is in the key player of the Zionist lobby at the back of the scene. There is conspiracy behind Trump decision. Leila Sadat, director of the Whitney R. Harris of Law Institute at the Washington University School of law, told Newsweek. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s slide show, which claimed to prove Iran, had once planned to develop nuclear weapons and Trump administration’s alleged hiring of the Israeli intelligence firm Black Cube to investigate former Obama administration officials who supported the nuclear deal was suspicious.”[12]On the other hand, Meg Kelly in Washington Post wrote that Israel findings are as nothing new. “Documents produced by Israel mostly cover the pre- 2003 period.”[13] Rabinowitz assistant professor of international relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem wrote that documents did not prove that Iran violated the JCPOA.[14] 

When the deal signed in 2015, Israel said, “It is a disaster.” Moreover there is revelation about Israeli lobby in white house when Trump started his presidential campaign. Trump in his campaign promised to back out of the deal.  Who were his advisor and financial supporter? Eli Clifton who was reporter for the American Independent News Network in his current revelation show three billionaires paved way for Trump’s Iran deal withdrawal. CNN Poll released that Sheldon Adelson and Bernard Marcus, two biggest donors to Trump campaign, and Paul Singer financial supporter of president were Zionist lobby closed to Trump. Marcus and Adelson were members of the Likudist Republican Jewish Coalition.

John Bolton had a meeting with magadonor Sheldon Adelton. During this meeting Bolton phoned the president and urged Trump to include a line in his remarks for October’s UN Speech, noting that he reserved the right to scrap the nuclear agreement with Iran entirely. On the other hand Bernard Marcus the second largest campaign contributor, compared the Iran Deal to “doing bussines with the devil”.[15]Marcus said “I think Iran is a devil”. It means Israeli lobby is controlling foreign policy of Trump. Trump pledged to tear up the Obama administration’s signature when his electoral campaign started.

Hawk Lobby

Donald Trump in March 2018 replaced his national security advisor with John Bolton. John Bolton is right wing pro-Israel. He hated Iranian nuclear deal. It was he who suggested that Trump should pull out of the deal by May 12, 2018. He believes that preemptive strikes could prove useful in keeping Iran from going nuclear.[16]Mike Pompeo has Hawkish history as well. He was one of the Congress’s most outspoken who condemned Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. Before being secretary of State, he ran CIA. He is very famous for his supporting Israel. When Donald Trump won the election in 2016, Pompeo tweeted regarding the Iran nuclear deal and wrote: “I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.”

In 2015 after signing the deal with Iran, he had said, “deal won’t stop Iran from getting a nuclear bomb and places Israel at more risk.”[17]In November 2015, Pompeo visited Israel and met with Netanyahu, a meeting which he said left a strong impression on him. In that meeting Pompeo admired Netanyahu for efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, he claimed.[18]When he became secretary of state, he visited Tel Aviv in April 2018. In there, he did not say about Palestinian but he talked on Iran. Netanyahu after this meeting said: “Pompeo is a true friend of Israel and a true friend of Jewish people.”[19]Jewish lobby relations with Neo-cons have a long history but Netanyahu tried to keep in touch with Pompeo and Hawkish. When the election in America started, he got in touch with Trump’s team. They convinced Trump to put the plan for walking away from the deal in his electoral campaigns.

On February 22th 2017, the same day that Trump took office, Iran was certified as compliant by the International Atomic Energy Agency.  Mike Pence US vice president told the Conservative political Action Conference that America would no longer certify the deal.[20]

It is very interesting that we know when it comes to Israel policy, Mike Pence a religious nationalist is as a key Trump’s right hand man. He visited Israel in last January and fully supported Israel in his Knesset speech. He said to liberals that he is a sincere pro-Israel in faith as much as real politic considerations of the United States’ national security.

American Hawkish, John Bolton, Mike Pompeo and Mike pence now are in Trump’s security team. They all are Hawkish and against Iran. This team includes Israel and with the money and lobby of Saudi Arabia has formed a triangle of enmity against Iran. The nuclear case is the only justification. The purpose of withdrawing the deal is something beyond it. The purpose which makes the things be complicated in coming months.

Majid Karimi is a Middle East Analyst and Iranian former correspondent in London. He is the author of three books about the Iran / Iraq war.

Notes.

[1] BBC News, Middle East. 23 May, 2018, bbc.com.

[2] Amano, Yukiya, “Reflections on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action”. IAEA press center, 11 May, 2017. www.iaia.org.

[3] Radio Free Europe, rfel.org. May 1, 2018.

[4] “UN atomic watchdog delivers mix report on Iranian nuclear deal”. Reuters, Vienna, 25 May, 2018. www.businesslive.co.za

[5] Reuters. 1/5/2018. Haaretz.com.

[6]– Official website of IAEA. Statement by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, Vienna, Austria, 09 May, 2018.

[7] US position on International Treaties updated July 2003. Global policy.org

[8] Sanger, David. Kirkpatrick, David, “Behind’s Trump’s Termination of Iran Deal Is a risky Bet?” New York Times, May 9, 2018.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Bishara, Marwan, “Trump, Iran and the I.S.R.A.E.L’ doctrine.” Aljazeera, 09 May, 2018.

[11] Beauchamp, Zack, “2 winners and 5 losers from Trump’s Iran deal withdrawal”, Vox. May 8, 2018.

[12] Tom O’Conner. “Did Trump Break the Law?” Newsweek, May 9, 2018.

[13] Kelly, Meg. “President Trump’s reasons for leaving the Iran nuclear deal “Washington Post, May 9, 2018.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Clifton, Eli. Follow the Money: The Billionaires Paved Way for Trump’s Iran Deal Withdrawal”.  May 8, 2018.

[16] Kampeas, Ron. “Jews Watching Bolton Like a Hawk”, Times of Israel.com, March 27, 2018.

[17] Ibid.

[18]  Tibon, Amir. “Mike Pompeo has Hawkish History on Israel and Iran” Haartz, 30.11.2017.

[19] In First Meeting, Pompeo Thrills Netanyahu with Hawkish Talk on Iran and What He Doesn’t Say about Palestinians.” Haartz, April 29, 2018

[20] Beevor, Eleenor “What is the pro- Israel Lobby and how it is Shaping US Foreign Policy on Iran” AIPAC report. Feb, 25th, 2018. www.albavaba.com.

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