Iran “JCPOA blackmail” must be met with international pressure
On February 9, Iran’s intelligence minister said persistent Western pressure could push Tehran to fight back like a “cornered cat” and seek nuclear weapons. Earlier, on February 7, Khamenei entered the arena under the pretext of the anniversary of the Shah's air force technicians meeting with Khomeini in 1979 and met with several regime air force commanders. At the same time, ordinary people from various segments of Iranian society, farmers, teachers, stock market shareholders, retirees, nurses, etc., took to the streets in more than 20 cities to protest unemployment, high prices, corruption and looting by the regime's gangs, and his regime’s diplomat terrorist Assadi was sentenced to 20 years in prison in Belgium. Khamenei, however, to cover up these crises did not mention the economic and social problems plaguing his regime, instead focusing his speech on drawing his regime’s roadmap to the JCPOA. In this speech, Khamenei made every effort to blame the United States and European countries and identify them as the enemy and the culprit. Khamenei does this to gain concessions from the United States through blackmail on uranium enrichment activities to extort them on one hand, and to pave the way for suppression of internal protests on the other.
Khamenei drew a red line for his regime gangs and stressed that no one should deviate from this line and said, "This is the definite and irreversible policy of the Islamic Republic and the common denominator of all officials and no one will deviate from it."
The source of Khamenei's thinking and plan is based on his hypothesis that the new US administration will not go to war against him and is inclined to appease him, thus he can gain more points by resorting to mumbo jumbo and sophistry. He pursues the same policy in dealing with the coronavirus crisis inside Iran. In his speech on January 8, 2021, he said, "We do not trust the vaccines from the United States and Britain, and the two vaccines are forbidden to enter the country,". By doing so, he intends to protect his regime from the danger of uprisings and protests and keep the people busy with coronavirus crises by delaying vaccination as much as possible.
But what is the reality?
Is it possible to return to the previous balance of 2015?
The fact is the rules of the game have changed and it is not possible to return to the previous balance.
The bipartisan letter was sent to the president on Thursday and corresponded with the introduction of a resolution co-sponsored by 112 lawmakers from both sides of the aisle reaffirming U.S. support for Iranian civil society.
It also notes the struggle of the Iranian people in the country itself, highlighting protests in Nov. 2019 and the execution of a wrestling champion in September. The NCRI has pushed for a democratic, secular Iran and the resolution notes the 10-point plan put forward by its president-elect.
From the social point of view in Iran, everything has changed after the uprisings of 2017 and at their height of 2019.
The fact is that today the circle of possible negotiations between the P5 + 1 and the regime is no longer closed, as French President Macron bluntly put it: "Saudi Arabia must also be" involved "in any negotiations with Iran for a new agreement." More importantly, Biden responded no to a CBS television presenter on February 7, 2021, who asked if he would lift sanctions to begin negotiations.
Abdullah Izadpanah in the mullahs’ parliament on February 7, 2021, said, “The threshold of tolerance of the people has sharply decreased. Youth unemployment is a serious threat.”
Ali Bigdeli, a government expert, contradicted Khamenei and emphasized that we have no choice but to retreat and negotiate and said: "Also consider that bearing these heavy economic pressures is not tolerable for the Iranian people. Iran should try to get rid of this poisonous atmosphere and political isolation because the continuation of this situation can lead to social uprisings. (Jahan Sanat newspaper, February 7)
A citizen posted a video on social media on February 5, 2021, and in that said, "Hello. today, Friday, February 5, right now in Nayshabour’s Eastgah street at 7 o'clock I saw they broke a window and ripped apart a photo of Khamenei. It is evident that people are tired of them. I hope this year would be the last of these dictators ruling us. I hope for that day."
So, Khamenei has taken a big risk, this is a double-edged sword that can end up chopping Khamenei. The result of such a policy can be seen in the regime's approaches to international relations.
Ghalibaf left for Moscow on February 5, 2021, with a message from Khamenei; But they did not let him into the Kremlin ...! The so-called "reformist" gang took a swing at Ghalibaf and said that this was an insult for the regime ...! What is the reality now? Why did Putin meet with Qassem Soleimani before, violating UN protocols, and even met with Khamenei in Tehran, but now they do not let in Khamenei's message carrier ...? The fact is the rules of the game have changed to the detriment of the mullahs’ regime. Khamenei who is terrified of popular uprisings and protests understands such a change before anyone else!
*Hassan Mahmoudi is a Europe-based social analyst, researcher, independent observer, and commentator of Middle Eastern and Iranian Politics. He tweets under @hassan_mahmou1