Perhaps anticipating the moment Iran has to inform European supporters of the 2015 nuclear deal ‘don’t say we didn’t warn you,’ a senior Iranian official has warned “a crisis” is now unfolding and that Tehran’s incremental breaches of the JCPOA should serve as a “wake-up call” for European signatories of the deal.
FT reports Iran is prepared to amp up its nuclear activity every two months, following last week’s announced doubling of advanced centrifuges, blowing past prior commitments under the deal which the US unilaterally withdrew from in May 2018. Per the FT report:
Hamid Baeidinejad, Iran’s ambassador to the UK, said Tehran’s move this week to inject uranium gas into centrifuges at its Fordow plant — a significant escalation of the Islamic republic’s nuclear activity — was “adopted as a warning to the other sides and the international community that we are at a crisis”.
“We hope this warning would encourage all other parties to implement their commitments,” Baeidinejad continued. “Now it depends on the other side — if they don’t take this warning seriously . . . we will be in a very difficult situation.”
Of course there’s nothing new to this new ‘crisis’, given European signatories Germany, France, and the UK have for over a year limped along under White House threats, while still trying to assure and appease Iranian leaders that they are “doing something,” which has included setting up a ‘SWIFT alternative’ payment channel for humanitarian related purchases, and Macron’s more recent $15bn credit line proposal.
Baeidinejad again echoed that Europe’s efforts remain too-little-too-late and that a final breaking point is coming: “They have taken commitments that are defined in very clear terms and they should be able to implement those commitments,” he said.
Though Iran claims its still operating within the framework of the JCPOA, a major final breaking point is expressed in the FT report as follows:
While previous moves were more focused on research and development, western diplomats in Tehran fear the injection of gas into the centrifuges, which had previously spun empty, marked a more decisive escalation.
Though Iran and Washington threats have been largely out of the news compared with the constant Persian Gulf driven global headlines of this past summer and the tit-for-tat ‘tanker wars’, the threat a US-Iran military encounter remains a constant possibility.