In a recent interview that President Obama gave to Israeli outlet Channel 2’s Ilana Dayan, he indirectly defended the Islamic Republic and suggested that the ruling clerics are not going to cheat on the terms of the final nuclear deal. But how can President Obama be so sure about Iran’s compliance if a deal is reached and when economic sanctions are lifted? Is he making such an argument based on Iran’s past history of nuclear defiance? Or based on its current military intervention in several nations and support for Shiite militia groups, proxies, and Islamic Jihad?
It is crucial to point out that the nuclear activities of the Islamic Republic came to the international spotlight due to Iran’s clandestine and underground nuclear sites. Iran had since repeatedly violated the IAEA’s terms by building additional underground nuclear sites and inching towards nuclear capabilities in order to obtain nuclear weapons.
President Obama also argued that sanctions will snap back in case Iran cheats. Nevertheless, the truth is that there is no such thing as automatic snapping back of sanctions. In addition, by the time that the international community realizes that Iran has cheated, Iran would have reduced the nuclear break-out capacity to zero, boosted its Revolutionary Guards’ economy, and gained billions of dollars. Secondly, Russia and China will scuttle any process that would snap back the economic sanctions.
There exists a crucial underlying misconception in the West headed by the Obama administration regarding the final nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic, which is approaching its June 30th deadline.
From President Obama and the Western powers’s perspective, the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic is going to be transformational and revolutionary. This follows that the West, and particularly the White House, contends that the final nuclear deal or the nuclear resolution is going to transform the character of Iran’s political system in the long term; hence it will fundamentally alter Iran’s regional, domestic policies, shift its support for Shiite militia groups and proxies across the Middle East, moderate Iran’s foreign policy, and probably change the government in the long term.
On the other hand, from the Iranian leaders’s perspective, the nuclear deal is transitory, fleeting, momentary and transactional. In other words, Iranian authorities will follow the rules of the nuclear agreement for the limited time assigned in the deal. They will boost their economy, regain billions of dollars, and reinitiate their nuclear program soon after.
As long as Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is alive, the Islamic Republic is going to prioritize its Islamist revolutionary ideologies. The 75-years-old man, who has ruled over 25 years and continuously spread anti-American and anti-Semitic propaganda, is not going to change his position and become a Western-loving person open to forces of globalization and integration. His has created a powerful social base based on his anti-American and anti-Semitic propagandas.
Since Iranian leaders view the final nuclear deal on a short-term basis, from the perspective of Iranian leaders, particularly Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and influential officials of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), reaching a final nuclear deal is a no-brainer, economically speaking. In addition, the leaders of the Islamic Republic are cognizant of the fact that they will not give up their nuclear program based on the current terms of the nuclear agreement.
Most recently, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, which owes the Islamic Republic an outstanding debt of more than $2 billion, has been talking about repaying Iranian leaders the debt after the nuclear deal is signed. and consequently the related sanctions are lifted. Several other foreign companies were unable to pay Iran due to the financial and banking sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council and previous US administrations. Nevertheless, President Obama is opening the way for the flow of billions of dollars into the revolutionary Islamist ideology of the Islamic Republic.
It is crucial to point out that the flow of billions of dollars into the Islamic Republic will not trickle down to the Iranian ordinary people or even be distributed equally among the governmental institutions such as Iran’s foreign ministry. An overwhelming majority of the cash will likely be controlled by the IRGC, Quds forces (an elite revolutionary branch of IRGC fighting in foreign countries) and office of the Supreme Leader. The IRGC and office of the Supreme Leader do enjoy a monopoly over major economic sectors of the Islamic Republic.
The issue of immediate access to billions of dollars is particularly appealing and crucial for the Iranian leaders due to the notion that Tehran looks at the final nuclear deal through the prism of short-term, immediate economic and geopolitical boosts.
As a result, the final nuclear deal is viewed as purely short-term business for the IRGC and the Supreme Leader.
Finally, it is rational for every government to have strategies to rein in Iran’s full economic return. But, what is the Obama administration’s strategy? Apparently, the Obama administration does not have one. This is due to the fact that the administration believes that the Islamic Republic will not cheat, interfere in other nations’ affairs, or do any harm in case sanctions are lifted. In other words, the Islamic Republic is going to be another Switzerland.
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