For the first time, Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi admitted that the Persian regime “could move forward” in its quest to develop nuclear weapons.
Alavi issued the threat in a statement to the local press; he did so as a warning against continuing international sanctions, and hours after the U.S. President, Joe Biden announced that he will not remove sanctions unless the Iranian regime stops enriching uranium.
“Our nuclear program is peaceful and the supreme leader’s fatwa has banned nuclear weapons, but if they push Iran in that direction, then it would not be Iran’s fault, but the fault of those who pushed it,” Alavi said.
Last month, former Iranian diplomat Amir Mousavi claimed that Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei could reverse the religious opinion banning the acquisition, development or use of nuclear weapons.
“A fatwa is issued depending on the circumstances that develop. Therefore, I believe that if the Americans and Zionists act dangerously, the fatwa could be changed,” he said in an interview with Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen TV.
Khamenei said on Sunday that he will return to abiding by the terms of the 2015 nuclear weapon deal only if Washington lifts sanctions put in place by the Donald Trump administration after withdrawing from the deal that had been pushed by Barack Obama.
Iran has insisted that the U.S. first remove its sanctions to return to compliance with the deal, while Washington has demanded otherwise.
The “sine qua non” condition for Joe Biden to authorize his emissaries to negotiate a new nuclear weapons deal and lift sanctions on Iran in the meantime is that the Persian regime completely halt its uranium enrichment program said President Biden in his first interview in office, granted at the White House to CBS.
Biden’s response was scant. Reporter Nora O’Donnell asked him, “Is the U.S. going to lift sanctions first to get Iran back to the negotiating table?” The president replied, “No.” O’Donnell cross-examined, to be sure, “Do they have to stop enriching uranium first?” Biden nodded in agreement.
Iran currently enriches its uranium inventories to about 4.5 percent. The figure is above the 3.67 % limit imposed by the 2015 deal. The Persian regime began breaching its obligations in 2019 in retaliation for the U.S. exit a year earlier from the pact and its reimposition of sanctions.
Michael Goodwin said in his article for the New York Post that the terms of the Obama-Biden administration nuclear weapons deal negotiated by John Kerry “were a surrender that paved the way for the mullahs to receive nuclear weapons in due course.”
Goodwin recalls that the deal was so bad that international sanctions were lifted and Obama returned unfrozen Iranian funds, many of which went to fund terrorism in the region. Despite this, Biden has already invited Iran to join the deal and brought Kerry back for another round of negotiations.
Internationalist David Bittan agrees with Goodwin. He asserts that “returning to the nuclear deal without a privileged negotiating position that allows for tight control over Iran would be a mistake.”
Like Obama, Iran expects Biden to bow at its feet
Joseph Humire, hemispheric security analyst and director of the Center for Free Secure Society told El American that “Iran is looking to rebound and sees in Biden an opportunity it can exploit to its advantage.”
The Trump administration successfully managed to weaken the Iranian regime not only with sanctions, but with diplomacy, intelligence and military surgical operations. A situation that could change under Biden.
“Right now what Biden has to understand is that there is no need to have talks with Iran, because now the cards are in the hands of the United States, when you have the upper hand you don’t initiate the conversation.”
The analyst considers that, if returning to a nuclear agreement with Iran, the United States must set clear conditions, because if Biden loses the advantage achieved by Trump, he would be “condemning the Middle East to a very dangerous period.”
“It is very dangerous because the Arab countries have a sense of calm that Iran is no longer going to bother, and if these countries see that Biden is not going to take action, they will do it on their own and that worries me because, even though these countries are allies, many of them are not democratic either,” he added.
Humire recalled that when Iran entered into the agreement, it was Iran that set the conditions, as it conditioned it not to talk about human rights, terrorism or its missile programs. The specialist recalled that with the nuclear agreement promoted by the Obama administration, Iran made progress in the area of terrorism and weapons. The analyst fears that the Persian regime will regain strength.
“The way that agreement was reached with Obama was very bad and irresponsible, with many loopholes, handing over many privileges to Iran and taking very little advantages and without any guarantees (…) If Biden would like to retake that agreement he has to do it better than in the previous years, because the last one only led to more failures,” he said.
After learning that Biden is willing to negotiate, Iran warned that it will not accept the preconditions of a new Biden administration. Both sides seem to want the other to be the first to come up with the terms of the agreement.
Given this scenario, it remains to be seen what Biden’s position will be in the face of a regime that seeks to stand up after the Trump administration and the countries of the Middle East aligned to weaken it.