After U.S. President Trump announced that he would be pulling the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the international community reeled, with various outcomes being predicted. The European Union, however, is trying to keep the deal in place, hoping that continued negotiations with Iran will keep the door open, even as President Trump argues that letting the deal fall apart will bring Iran back to the negotiation table.
The Iranian regime is currently struggling at home, as the positive economic impact of the JCPOA has not been felt by the average Iranian, while the threat of the U.S. sanctions being reinstituted means the economy is likely to go further downhill.
Protests, which started last year, have continued in all industries and aspects of Iranian life. These protests seem to be focused on how the regime’s policies are negatively impacting the fabric of Iran, economically, socially, and culturally. The European community is focusing on finding the right measures to keep Iran in the deal, even as European companies face sanctions from the U.S. if they continue to do business with Iran. Most of the U.S. sanctions will come back into force within the next 180 days.
“The United States will not permit Iran’s increasingly brazen abuse of the international financial system. The global community must remain vigilant against Iran’s deceptive efforts to provide financial support to its terrorist proxies,” said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
This point of view matches the viewpoint of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which is a coalition of resistance groups that speak out against the Iranian regime and its crimes against Iranians. They have consistently called for the international community to reject any deal with the regime, noting that they have not kept their word in the past, and that the regime is only attempting to gain access to funds for their military operations. Additionally, they point to the crimes of the regime against the Iranian people, along with the massive corruption and human rights violations.
“The courageous chants in today’s demonstrations targeting the heads of the Judiciary and Executive branch, as well as the suppressive State Security Force and intelligence forces, reflect the Iranian people’s desire for the overthrow of the mullahs’ religious dictatorship,” said NCRI’s President-elect Maryam Rajavi in a statement regarding the protests.
Even with the JCPOA in place, Iran was still struggling with corruption that impacted its ability to join the international banking system, thus keeping their businesses limited in their ability to create more international ties and bring those benefits to average Iranians.
The U.S. is also changing its strategy with Iran. Last week, the Treasury Department announced new sanctions against what was referred to as Iran’s currency exchange network, which is used to fund Iranian clients. Additionally, the U.S. is speaking out about Iran’s funding of Hezbollah, as well as other terrorist groups, who are spreading unrest throughout the region.
In light of Iran’s fundamentalism spreading throughout Iraq and Syria, as well as Lebanon, it is clear that the JCPOA is just one piece of a much larger puzzle when it comes to addressing the Iranian regime.
Another piece of that puzzle is meeting on June 30, where Iranians, members of the resistance, and their supporters will meet to discuss the future of Iran in light of these developments regarding the JCPOA and the increasing protests within the country.
With all these different aspects involved, it could mean that an agreement with Iran and Europe might still not be enough to keep the regime in power.