The Editorial Board
Despite all the concessions to Tehran, the mullahs’ empty promises, and the media’s wide-eyed optimism, there seems to be no real prospect of an agreement in the near future or perhaps forever for so long as the US and three European countries are seeking to reach an agreement by making concessions to the regime. It is time to face the reality that the regime will never abandon its nuclear weapons program.
First, after years of dealing with the regime’s nuclear dossier, it has become increasingly clear to the West that Tehran’s extensive nuclear program is clearly destined for producing nuclear weapons. Since the beginning, the program was carried out in secret and for years, the regime deliberately cheated to keep it hidden from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The illegitimate regime needs a nuclear weapon in order to guarantee its survival and to export terrorism and fundamentalism outside its borders. That is why it will never abandon this path of its own accord.
Second, the organized opposition’s patriotic and peace-seeking stance has deprived the regime of the uninterrupted opportunity to develop nuclear weapons. In August 2002, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), relying on information provided by the domestic network of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), exposed the regime’s nuclear weapons program to the world for the first time. The announcement triggered IAEA inspections and international sanctions. Dozens of other accurate revelations followed, dealing a major blow to the regime’s nuclear weapons program.
The opposition’s extraordinary revelations stopped the regime’s nuclear advancements while putting a dent in the failed policy of appeasement by some Western governments.
Third, several rounds of major nationwide social upheavals have made it nearly impossible to accommodate the regime or invest in it for the long term. The regime is clearly failing domestically. The explosive social situation should prevent Western governments from doling out concessions to an illegitimate, violent, weak, and disgraced theocracy, which is despised by the overwhelming majority of the population.
The regime’s demand to lift all sanctions is irrational and only aims to stall the negotiations. International sanctions are not focused on the regime’s nuclear weapons program alone. The US president alone cannot undo them. There is rightly strong opposition to removing the IRGC from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) in the US. . It goes without saying that removing the IRGC from the FTO blacklist would send a dangerous political message of weakness to dictators and terrorists across the globe.
Despite all the rosy rhetoric, negotiations over the nuclear deal with Iran are stalled. The consequences of this impasse are not limited to the nuclear deal. The regime desperately needs more money to expand the activities of the IRGC activities, enable its terrorist proxies and strengthen the repressive apparatus at home. The dire living conditions inside Iran, as acknowledged by state-run media, have reached a critical mass. The media are now warning about “overthrow,” which is an unprecedented development in the regime’s political discourse.
In this regard, Ebrahim Razzaqi, an economist and university professor, says: “Problems and economic crises in our society with the aim of attacking and even overthrowing the regime are growing; The current bitter realities cannot be ignored.”
Indeed, the Iranian regime is on borrowed time. The nuclear impasse is only one indication. As long as Tehran’s cheating goes unpunished, it believes it can continue to spoon-feed the IRGC and its regional proxies, enough to keep the Iranian people suppressed and its neighbors in dread. In these circumstances, the West should stand firm and not flinch. It should pile on the pressure.