For the Iranian regime, the U.S. threat to not certify the Iranian regime, thus indicating the regime has violated the 2015 JCPOA, means that they can continue their strategy of fulfilling their nuclear ambitions. At the same time, the Iranian regime has made it clear over and over again that they would be looking for ways to get around the requirements and inspections of the agreement, while enjoying the economic benefits of the agreement.
Now that the United States might be not re certifying the agreement, it could be the signal that the United States is leaving the agreement. While the U.S. has indicated that Iran has not lived up to the spirit of the agreement, Iran has indicated that they never had any intention of doing so.
Recently, Iranian President Rouhani has attempted to protect this deal that benefits the regime in terms of the release of sanctions and gives it the means to reenter the international marketplace. One of the ways that he did so is to warn that Iran could abandon the agreement within hours, if the United States attempted to reimpose the nuclear sanctions. This would include restarting centrifuges and enriching uranium.
The thought process must be that the fear of Iran enriching uranium would be enough to keep the United States as part of the deal, even as the Trump administration has indicated a return to a much more aggressive policy with Iran.
“The president’s warning was not baseless. If we decide, we can reach 20 percent (uranium) enrichment within five days in Fordow (underground nuclear plant),” said Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.
According to the JCPOA, no enrichment is permitted at Fordow for the next 15 years, although there are still centrifuges in place there.
One of the biggest issues with the United States is the ballistic missile program of Iran, which seems focused on creating a delivery system for a nuclear warhead. Funding for their ballistic missile program was also increased by the Iranian parliament this summer.
The United States has also issued new sanctions related to the missile program, arguing that these do not violate the nuclear agreement, something that Iran disagrees with.
During the negotiations back in 2015, Iran was clear that they weren’t giving up their nuclear program and it is evident that they are using any loopholes available to continue their efforts while technically remaining within the confines of the deal.