۲۸ فروردین ۱۴۰۰ - ۱۵:۴۴
کد خبر: . ۸۳٬۹۰۵

TEHRAN(Bazaar) –  Professor Frank N. von Hippel, former assistant director for national security in the White House Office of Science and Technology, says “I understand the decision by Iran’s government to go to 60% enrichment was to put additional pressure on the US to accelerate the decisions that it needs to make to make possible the revival of the JCPOA.”

Following is the text of the Bazaar interview with Professor Frank N. von Hippel.

Bazaar: The Vienna Summit resumed after Israel's destructive action against Iran's Natanz nuclear facility. Why did the parties prefer the meeting to continue?

Hippel: Neither side wants war and I fear that not reviving the JCPOA would ultimately lead to war.

Bazaar: One of Israel's goals in this action was to get Iran the winner card in the negotiations. This was a great help to the United States. Given Iran's announcement of 60 percent enrichment, do you think Israel has achieved its goal? That is, was it able to empty Iran's hand in the negotiations?

Hippel: I understand the decision by Iran’s government to go to 60% enrichment was to put additional pressure on the US to accelerate the decisions that it needs to make to make possible the revival of the JCPOA. Unfortunately, it also will strengthen the arguments of those who claim that Iran is going for nuclear weapons.  Sixty percent enriched uranium is not weapon-grade but it is definitely weapon usable.  I have not yet heard the calls that it is necessary to bomb Iran’s enrichment facilities but I fear that, if we don’t get the US back quickly into the JCPOA and Iran back into compliance, we will soon hear those calls.

Bazaar: The Chinese representative to the international institution in Vienna, Austria, said that the nuclear expert group tasked with determining Iran's actions to return to the JCPOA is well ahead of the expert group on the lifting of US sanctions against Iran. What do you think is the reason for this?

Hippel: As I understand it, the Trump Administration made it politically more difficult for Biden to lift the nuclear sanctions on Iran by relabeling some of them as anti-terrorism and human-rights-related.  There also was and is a lot of support in both Congress and the Biden Administration for the idea of a “better” deal that would permanently prevent Iran from being able to make nuclear weapons and would also deal with other issues such as ballistic missiles and Iran’s involvements in Lebanon, Syria, etc.

Biden has to make some difficult decisions on sanctions and hopefully - even if it does not include lifting every Trump sanction - Iran will decide that it is better than no deal and we will get the JCPOA back instead of war.  Just this week, Biden made a similarly difficult decision to end the US and NATO military presence in Afghanistan.

Bazaar: What is Biden's strategy for lifting sanctions on Iran (sanctions that were labeled nuclear before the withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA) as labeled by Trump as fighting against terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, or human rights abuses? Will these sanctions be lifted or will they simply be suspended?

Hippel: That is the crux.  How many of those relabeled sanctions must Biden lift to revive the JCPOA?  Some within the administration – perhaps most – are arguing strongly that some sanctions must be held back as bargaining chips to be used in future negotiations.

Bazaar: Iran has stated that it has no opportunity for erosive negotiations and a conclusion must be reached as soon as possible. Why do you think the other side of Iran tends to prolong the talks?

Hippel: The Biden administration is not unified.  I suspect that Iran’s government is not unified either. No one wants to prolong the talks, but there are internal debates on the US side about what fraction of the sanctions can be lifted without a major loss of political support for the JCPOA among the Democrats in Congress and there must be within Iran’s government on what would be good enough even if not every sanction is lifted. Neither side can get everything it wants.  I hope compromise is possible and we can avoid war.

۲۸ فروردین ۱۴۰۰ - ۱۵:۴۴
کد خبر: ۸۳٬۹۰۵

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