Iran unlikely to meet US demands after JCPOA pullout: Experts

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: May 27, 2018, 06:04 PM IST

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Photograph:(Reuters)

It seems unlikely that Iran will meet the new demands made by the United States after its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran nuclear deal, while the withdrawal’s fallout will continue, according to some experts on international affairs.

The experts made the remarks in a current affairs commenting program of the China Global Television Network (CGTN) on Sunday when commenting on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent statement on Iran such as demanding Iran to cease its uranium enrichment, stop supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen and withdraw all its forces from Syria.

Hua Liming, former Chinese ambassador to Iran, said the US demands are seeking to overturn the Iranian regime.

"What President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo said, that was kind of regime change in Iran. That means Iran, the regime will collapse at all, because this is the basis of the Iranian regime now. And I have read in the news that the Iranian leader, Khamenei just put these questions: no discussion about the ballistic missile, no discussion about Iranian regional role and no discussion about 'sunset' at articles. So this is the answer of the Iranians," said Hua.

Iran will not give up its uranium enrichment, which was allowed within stringent limitations by the JCPOA, as demanded by the Trump administration, according to Meir Javendanfar, an Israel-based expert on Middle East affairs.

"This is just the pipe dream to think that the Iranian regime, whatever you think of it, is going to completely give up enrichment. In Iran the enrichment program and the right to enrich is a very much part of the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It would be extremely difficult, if not politically suicidal, for the supreme leader to agree to such a term. So, on the one hand, I think they are unreasonable, but on the other hand, I have to be absolutely honest with you, I think President Trump made a terrible mistake to walk out of the deal," he said.

As a US citizen, Eward Lehman, also a senior fellow with Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said he is disappointed at the US government’s discard of direct diagloue with Iran.

"I understand people can polarize on issues, but I think when the United States doesn't have a direct dialogue, that's not good for anybody and for people and I understand what our Israeli friend was saying as well. I mean trying to poison deals and that's really not helpful. We are all humans in the world here, we are all trying to get along and that's what I find is the worst, but I agree with them, I think that it's going to be very difficult, a bridge too far probably to make," said Lehman.

Javendanfar believes that the US withdrawal will continue to jeopardize the JCPOA, as the European negotiators could eventually turn to the US side.

"I think it won't be long before Iran walks away from the deal, because the Europeans are not going to be able to make up the loss which America has left behind. From my conversation with some European officials, they said that, 'look we can't force our companies to do business with Iran'," he said.

However, China will continue to go all-out in safeguarding the deal, according to Hua.

"China has announced that China will remain in the JCPOA, because China has been one of the major contributors of the JCPOA in the long discussions, the long negotiations for 18 months. So this is the fruit of the efforts of the five plus one. China will not easily give up the JCPOA," said the former diplomat.