The president and founder of MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute), Yigal Carmon, says the American media has dangerously refused to notice that Iran has not only not approved the terms of the JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action it signed with the P5+1), but that it has no plans to do so.
Even President Barack Obama will soon have no choice but to re-open the negotiations with Iran – and will pass the hot potato onto his successor in the White House.
Carmon, who founded MEMRI in 1998, served as a counter-terrorism advisor to Prime Ministers Yitzchak Shamir and Yitzchak Rabin and participated in the Israeli negotiations with Syria in Madrid and Washington in the early 90's.
In his latest article, he explains that the JCPOA is actually not an agreement, but a document outlining a set of understandings and disputes between Iran and the countries whose sanctions it was trying to have removed.
"For example," Carmon writes, "the JCPOA states that in the event of Iranian violations, sanctions will be re-imposed (snapback). However, the Iranian position, which rejects all sanctions, is incorporated in the same document. 'Iran has stated that if sanctions are reinstated in whole or in part, Iran will treat that as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part.'"
This will come to a head no later than six weeks from now, Carmon warns. For it is on Dec. 15 that the U.S. is to lift its sanctions – if and only if the IAEA reports by then that Iran has fulfilled its JCPOA obligations. Iran actually has no intention of doing so, however, as ultimate decision-maker Supreme Leader Khamenei has made clear.
Carmon asks: "Did the U.S. administration insist that Iran approve the JCPOA, as concluded and announced in Vienna on July 14? No! Does the U.S. realize that Iran's ultimate authority to approve laws rests with Supreme Leader Khamenei, and that he has not yet approved the JCPOA? NO! Nevertheless, the U.S. and Europe have chosen to regard what Iran has done as approval – so that the peace process will not be halted."
The obligations that Iran must fulfill by December 15 in order to merit the lifting of sanctions make up a long list, beginning with reducing the centrifuges at Natanz from over 16,000 to 5,060 IR-1 machines, removing the core of the Arak reactor and disabling it, and much more. Yet it has taken no steps to do this, even though only six weeks remain.
Nor has anyone in the West "spoken up about the fraud of Iran's alleged 'approval' of the JCPOA. Western intelligence agencies and think tanks have also held their tongues. Everyone swallowed the lie, in a spirit of goodwill, in order to allow the JCPOA to proceed, for 'peace in our time.'"
In the end, Carmon tells us, even though there are those who say that Obama will continue to capitulate, "they fail to realize that he can simply surrender no farther… The weeks will pass, and the media and politicians will be forced to admit that [the agreement is no longer in effect]… Thus, it appears that President Obama's only option, shameful as it is, is to restart the negotiations with the Iranians and talk with them about their leaders' new conditions. As is well-known, this administration advocates diplomacy – guaranteeing that there will be no breakthrough any time soon."
Carmon concludes that this is not a bad alternative for Obama: "All he needs to do is play for time and reach the end of his term with an agreement in hand – albeit virtual – and negotiations in progress – albeit unending. He will pass this situation on to the next administration. The success will be all his, and the failure will be all theirs."