USA - Iran: The probability of war is growing
Events are taking place in the world that in the coming weeks may lead to a military confrontation between the United States and Iran, a sharp exacerbation of tensions in the Middle East. Iran warned that on June 27, it would exceed the limits on the amount of enriched uranium due to the expiration of the 60-day period provided by Tehran earlier to Europe for launching a payment mechanism for circumventing US sanctions, and that this process will be "accelerated." This was stated by the representative of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Behruz Kamalvandi. He explained this decision to Tehran either by the inability or unwillingness of European countries participating in the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (JCPOA) on the Iranian atomic program to fulfill its obligations. Iran warned that in this case it would not only resume the process of enriching uranium, but would also begin upgrading the heavy-water reactor in Arak. In accordance with the UHVA signed by Iran and the G6 countries (Russia, USA, Britain, France, China and Germany) in 2015, Iran has pledged to impose restrictions on its nuclear program in exchange for the gradual lifting of sanctions.
Iran also agreed - and meticulously fulfilled these promises - to provide the IAEA experts with controlled “regulated access” to their nuclear facilities. JCPOA allows Iran to have 300 kilograms of low-enriched uranium and 130 tons of heavy water. On May 8, 2019, a year after the United States exited the agreement, Tehran announced that it was suspending the fulfillment of a part of its obligations regarding the restrictions on stocks of low-enriched uranium and heavy water. Tehran was forced to do so by American sanctions, which put the majority of the JCPOA signatory countries into a dilemma: to keep trade with Iran or the United States. The choice made by them is obvious. Moreover, not only their European poluvassaly, but also China were among those who “bent” in front of the Americans, which devalued for Iran, which suffered enormous losses, participation in JCPOA, which became for it a humiliating game with only one goal.
The JCPOA crisis will become completely obvious on June 28 in Vienna, where a meeting will be held - without representatives of the United States - of the Joint Commission on the implementation of the Iranian nuclear deal. On July 7, Tehran, which is unlikely to agree with the further infringement of its sovereignty so that other signatories could live comfortably due to it, will begin the second phase of reducing its obligations under JCPOA. This has already been announced by the head of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Javad Zarif.
At the same time, Britain, France and Germany warned Iran, which increased uranium production four times, about the inadmissibility of violating the terms of the agreement. Otherwise, the Europeans promise to restore their own sanctions (which they have already done, in fact, under pressure from the United States, having largely curtailed their trade with Iran), which was terminated under the terms of the 2015 agreement.
Thus, on Friday in Vienna, the gap between Iran and Western signatories of JCPOA will become a mere formality.
Tehran wants to achieve from the participants in the transaction compensation of losses and a balanced fulfillment of obligations in terms of economic incentives. Moreover, Tehran has a legal opportunity to withdraw from the transaction without violating its conditions, since it contains a provision stating that in the event of a significant non-fulfillment by any of the participants of its obligations, Iran has the right to terminate the implementation of JCPOA in whole or in part. However, for Europeans, this is a “red line”, and they expect Iran to fulfill its obligations in the nuclear part completely and regardless of what happens in other areas.
As we see, the position of the European countries is cowardly and selfish: they actually submit to American sanctions, they do not fulfill their obligations. But in these conditions Iran is expected to scrupulously fulfill its own requirements, threatening to openly support the United States if Tehran, angry with all this, is implementing its warnings. The Iranians are tired of believing the promises of Europeans, which the EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini once again voiced today, is about to start working on the notorious Instex mechanism.
In general, the situation is really very alarming, the Americans brought it almost to the pre-crisis, if not the crisis, state.
The international community will not be able to fully verify Iran’s nuclear activities. The Americans do not perceive Iran demonized by them as a full-fledged member of the international community and do not intend to allow it to have any nuclear program, even under the tight control of the IAEA, to which any state has the right.
From the foregoing, it is not difficult to make a forecast of events for a period from several weeks to several months. As soon as or shortly after Iran officially announces that it refuses to adhere to JCPOA, the United States can launch air strikes against nuclear and military facilities of the Islamic Republic. This may cost the Americans a lot, pushing them to new strikes, although they will not conduct ground operations. This escalation will blow up the situation in the Middle East and could lead to a confrontation between the US and Russia if Russian specialists working there in the attacked Iranian nuclear facilities die.
As for the reasons, there will be no shortage of them.
Thus, in the coming weeks and months, especially on the eve of the September early elections in Israel, the likelihood of a mini-war between the United States and Iran, which can grow into something larger and deliver a powerful blow to the global economy, is extremely high. Israel, of course, will also be directly involved. And perhaps it is not alone.