Dr. Majid Rafizadeh/Europe Backs Iranian Nuclear Breakout/UN must respond to Iran’s breaches of nuclear deal//د.مجيد رافيزادا: يجب على الأمم المتحدة أن تتخذ الإجراءات القانونية لمواجهة اختراقات إيران للمعاهدة النووية/أوروبا تساند إيران في اختراقاتها للإتفاق النووي

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Europe Backs Iranian Nuclear Breakout
د.مجيد رافيزادا: أوروبا تساند إيران في اختراقاتها للإتفاق النووي
Majid Rafizadeh/Gatestone Institute/November 14/2019

UN must respond to Iran’s breaches of nuclear deal
د.مجيد رافيزادا: يجب على الأمم المتحدة أن تتخذ الإجراءات القانونية لمواجهة اختراقات إيران للمعاهدة النووية
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh/Arab News/November 14, 2019
Donald Trump reinstates the full panoply of sanctions against Iran that were waived under the JCPOA nuclear agreement. (Reuters)
The clock is ticking as the Iranian regime defiantly begins spinning more centrifuges, enriching uranium to a higher level, and pursuing its nuclear ambitions at a faster pace.
One of the most powerful tools the international community possesses as it aims to halt Iran’s nuclear activities is to immediately start the process of restoring UN sanctions against Tehran. When the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), aka the Iran nuclear deal, was struck in 2015, the signatories agreed to lift the UN sanctions against Tehran as a reward for the ruling clerics’ promise to restrict their nuclear activities and comply with the terms of the deal.
The sanctions were significant, as they threatened the hold on power of the ruling clergy and ultimately brought the Iranian leaders to the negotiating table between 2013 and 2015.
There were four rounds of sanctions. The first, which included UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions 1696 and 1737, imposed in 2006, called on Iran to “suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development” and called on the International Atomic Energy Agency to provide a report regarding Iran’s compliance with the terms of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The five permanent members of the UNSC also unanimously called on all countries to freeze the financial assets of Iranian entities linked to the nuclear program, to ban Iran’s import and export of “sensitive nuclear material and equipment,” and to sanction the supply or sale of nuclear-related equipment and technology.
The second round of sanctions was adopted by the UNSC through resolution 1747, which imposed an arms embargo on Iran, banning all of Tehran’s arms exports and placing travel restrictions on individuals linked to the nuclear program. The third round, resolution 1803, imposed restrictions on Iranian bank transactions and called on countries to inspect Iranian ships and cargo planes where there were reasonable grounds to believe that the regime was smuggling prohibited products. Finally, the fourth round of sanctions came through resolution 1929, which banned Iran from buying heavy weapons and further tightened the grip on Iran’s financial dealings.
Reinstating these sanctions would undoubtedly put significant pressure on the Iranian leaders. There is a provision within UNSC resolution 2231, which ratified the JCPOA, that would allow such a course of action. In order to invoke this provision, “a JCPOA participant state” can notify the UNSC that there has been a “significant non-performance of commitments under the JCPOA.”
Several European politicians have already begun changing their soft stance toward Iran.
The challenge here is that the US is no longer considered a JCPOA participant state. If the Trump administration had not withdrawn from the nuclear deal, it could have sent Iran’s nuclear file to the UNSC, detailing its violations of the JCPOA, including enriching uranium at a higher level and spinning more centrifuges than permitted.
Russia and China are not willing to take a stand against Iran’s nuclear defiance. As a result, to address this shortcoming the US must persuade one of its European allies that is still a party to the JCPOA — France, Germany or the UK — to report Iran’s non-compliance to the UNSC.
The UK would seem to be the most likely candidate to perform such a task, as France and Germany appear to be on the left of the political spectrum and are still advocating for having a cordial relationship with Iran and salvaging the nuclear deal.
Through its diplomatic initiatives, global economic leverage and the old transatlantic partnership, the US can persuade its European allies to halt Iran’s march toward becoming a nuclear state. Several European politicians have already begun changing their soft stance toward Iran. For example, one senior European diplomat anonymously told Reuters: “The more Iranians do things that potentially violate the accord, the less inclined we are to make efforts to help them.” The diplomat added: “It’s a vicious circle. If they go in this direction, they will be all alone, face snapback and be ostracized by everyone.”
If Iran’s breaches are reported to the UNSC, the members will have 30 days to resolve the issue. If all five permanent members do not agree on a subsequent resolution to maintain the lifting of the sanctions, then all four rounds will be automatically reimposed.
Before it is too late and before Iran becomes a nuclear state, it is time for the UN to bring back its sanctions against the theocratic establishment.
*Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a Harvard-educated Iranian-American political scientist. He is a leading expert on Iran and US foreign policy, a businessman and president of the International American Council. Twitter: @Dr_Rafizadeh
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News’ point-of-view

Europe Backs Iranian Nuclear Breakout
د.مجيد رافيزادا: أوروبا تساند إيران في اختراقاتها للإتفاق النووي
Majid Rafizadeh/Gatestone Institute/November 14/2019
Tehran shelters members of the terrorist group Al Qaeda, and it is reportedly continuing to facilitate the group’s operations.
Now imagine if this rogue state obtains nuclear weapons, what kind of destruction could it inflict on the world?
The international community, particularly European nations, must take urgent steps to counter Iran-backed international terrorism and prevent it from becoming a nuclear state.
Iran continues to smuggle weapons and provide military, financial, intelligence and advisory assistance to proxies throughout the Middle East, such as the Houthis, Hezbollah, Iraqi Shiite militias, Kata’ib Hizballah, and Hamas. Pictured: Lebanese Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah visits Iran’s “Supreme Leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (Image source: khamenei.ir)
When the US State Department released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism on November 1, 2019, four countries — North Korea, Sudan, Iran, and Tehran’s staunch ally, Syria — were listed as state sponsors of terrorism. The annual report describes the theocratic establishment of Iran as “the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism” in 2018.
How, in 2018, did the Iranian government receive the title “the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism”? The criteria by which it is determined if a country should be listed as a state sponsor of terrorism are based on whether that state has constantly provided support for acts of terrorism.
In the region, Iran has continued to smuggle weapons and provide military, financial, intelligence and advisory assistance to proxies such as the Houthis, Hezbollah, Iraqi Shiite militias, Kata’ib Hizballah, Hamas and other designated Palestinian terrorist groups, such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC).
Tehran has spent roughly one billion dollars per year to arm and train these militant groups, which serve Iran’s interests. This sum has contributed to a greater capability for Houthi rocket launches at civilian targets in Saudi Arabia, the deployment of thousands of Hezbollah foot-soldiers in Syria, and the regular bombardment of southern Israel with Hamas rockets bankrolled by Iran.
The report indicates that in 2018:
“These Palestinian terrorist groups [Palestinian Islamic Jihad and PFLP-GC] were behind numerous deadly attacks originating in Gaza and the West Bank, including attacks against Israeli civilians in the Sinai Peninsula.”
While Iranian leaders often attempt to deny any involvement in arming or training militia groups, the leader of one of these terror groups, Hassan Nasrallah openly admitted in 2016:
“We are open about the fact that Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, are from the Islamic Republic of Iran… As long as Iran has money, we have money… Just as we receive the rockets that we use to threaten Israel, we are receiving our money. No law will prevent us from receiving it.”
Iran also went a step further in 2018 by providing technology to its proxies in order to enable them manufacture advanced weapons and missiles at home. The State Department report states:
“Israeli security officials and politicians expressed concerns that Iran was supplying Hizballah with advanced weapons systems and technologies, as well as assisting the group in creating infrastructure that would permit it to indigenously produce rockets and missiles to threaten Israel from Lebanon and Syria.”
The Iranian government has, in addition, sponsored Shiite militant groups in Bahrain. The State Department blacklisted the Bahraini Shiite militant group, Al-Ashtar Brigades, because of its ties to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). In Iraq, Iran’s Shiite militia groups have also committed unspeakable crimes against humanity.
Iran’s terrorist plotting has been seen beyond the Middle East, particularly in Europe. In January 2018, German authorities discovered 10 individuals linked to the IRGC who were alleged to have been spying on Israeli citizens.
European officials also foiled a terrorist attack that in June 2018 targeted a large “Free Iran” convention in Paris, attended by many high-level speakers such as former US House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, and former Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird. An Iranian diplomat and several other individuals of Iranian origin were arrested in France, Belgium and Germany. After a thorough investigation, French officials concluded that the Iranian regime had been behind the bomb plot.
Iran’s attacks were also evident in 2018 in Denmark, where officials accused Tehran of attempting to assassinate one of its citizens. Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen emphasized the seriousness of the plot:
“An Iranian intelligence agency has planned an assassination on Danish soil. This is completely unacceptable. In fact, the gravity of the matter is difficult to describe. That has been made crystal clear to the Iranian ambassador in Copenhagen today.”
In Albania, two Iranian authorities were expelled from the country for plotting terrorist attacks in 2018.
The Iranian government was also behind major cyber attacks against foreign governments and private companies.
Finally, Tehran shelters members of the terrorist group Al Qaeda, and it is reportedly continuing to facilitate the group’s operations.
Iran is indeed the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism, due to the government-backed terrorism in the region and beyond. Now imagine if this rogue state obtains nuclear weapons, what kind of destruction could it inflict on the world? The international community, particularly European nations, must take tangible steps to counter Iran-backed international terrorism and prevent it from becoming a nuclear state.
*Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US Foreign Policy. He can be reached at Dr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu
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