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The Unknown Fate of Iran’s Retirees

For weeks, the social security retirees of Iran have been protesting their bad living condition and lack of money and insurance. Social security retirees complain about the government’s delay in raising their pensions, but the question that many of them ask is, in principle, why should the increase in the pension of social security retirees depend on the government?

A retiree under the sponsorships of the Social Security Organization has generally paid 30 years of insurance premiums to this organization, and in principle, these premiums should be stored in the pension fund of this organization, and the pensions and pension increases of retirees that must be paid are also from the funds and investments accumulated in this fund.

A report prepared by the state-run daily Eghtesad Online on the status of the Social Security Organization’s pension fund shows that 70 percent of the resources of the Social Security Pension Fund are through premiums that it receives from individuals, and only 12 percent of its resources are provided from the income of investments. In other words, the fund is heavily dependent on the premiums it currently receives from insured workers, and the previous capitals and investments have not yielded much for the fund.

The finger of blame is pointing at the government
There are various analyses on the cause of this situation, but they all have one thing in common: By withdrawing the resources of the Social Security Fund, the government had the largest share in weakening the fund and did not pay its debts to the fund. On the other hand, part of the government’s debts to the Social Security Fund have been paid with the liquidation of loss-making state-owned companies, which has practically not benefited the fund.

Interestingly, the Social Security Fund, despite its unfavorable situation, still receives the least assistance from government sources, and according to the Eghtesad Online’s report, the State Pension Fund and the Steel Fund are in a much worse situation than Social Security Fund and provide most of their resources from the government’s assistance.

One of the government’s officials Mohammad Assadi from the General Department of Public Relations of the Social Security Organization said about the government’s delay and inaction providing the funds for the retirees:

“Last year’s resolution of the Islamic Parliament to transfer 32 trillion tomans of shares of state-owned companies to social security should be implemented so that this organization can provide desirable and needed services to the covered society with the support of reliable financial resources in addition to implementation.” (Jahani press, April 19, 2021)

He added: “This organization spends more than 15 trillion tomans a month this year, and in order to fulfill its obligations, in addition to receiving insurance premiums on time, which is the most important source of social security funding, it must also receive claims from the government through a precise and effective mechanism.” (Jahani press, April 19, 2021)

From these sentences it can be understood that the government is not just supporting the retirees but is stealing their money. And according to the cognition that we have from this regime, this capital is used for the regime’s malign activities like its nuclear and missile program and its meddling in the Middle East.

Although nationwide rallies have been held regularly and weekly for months by the retirees, the demands of retirees have not yet been met. The protesting retirees, in addition to increasing the level of pension to the level of the poverty line, which is now 10 million tomans, demand the repeal of Article 69 of Social Security, ‌ increase in their annual pensions and free medical treatment.

At their protests, they also chanted: “Officials, Give us back our rights”, “Expensiveness, inflation, the scourge of people’s lives.”

There are also slogans that the government fears the most like, “We will not vote anymore, because we heard so many lies.”

In recent months, social security retirees have been among those who have held regular weekly rallies to protest the lack of adequate pay. With the poverty line reaching nearly 10 million tomans, officials, including members of parliament, acknowledge the huge gap between workers and retirees’ incomes with the living expenses.

Trafficking In Iran; A Major Concern

The trafficking of women in Iran is a real problem, with most of the victims smuggled out of the country from the provinces of Hormozgan, Sistan and Baluchestan, and Khuzestan.

Lawyer Hossein Komeili said: “In Sistan and Baluchestan, where forced marriages are common, women are given to men in Afghanistan and Pakistan. [It’s a form of] organized trafficking [where] corruption in the bureaucracy [and cooperation between] “smugglers and the police” [make the issue worse].”

Of course, the government hides the relevant statistics, so it’s impossible to know for sure how many victims there are, but the state-run ROKNA News Agency says that the women are moved under the pretext of finding employment, smuggled into countries, and forced to become sex workers because their identification documents are stolen before they even leave Iran.

Despite its opacity, the government is still considered tier 3 by the US State Department for failing to make the minimum effort to combat human trafficking and the US said that the domestic Iran trafficking networks appear to enjoy anonymity.

One Iranian strategist, Hassan Abbasi, publically exposed the trafficking of women to other Middle Eastern countries as far back as 2008, condemning the President, the Information Minister, the Expediency Discernment Council, the Revolutionary Guards, the Bassij, the Judiciary Chief, the commander of the State Security Force, and Tehran’s mayor for failing to address the issue.

But, of course, one of the main reasons for the increased rate of trafficking is poverty because people are desperate to escape the hardships in Iran, tricked with thoughts of a better life. This is worse in more deprived areas.

Komeili said: “The University of Tehran has a law clinic in the Oudlajan area of Tehran. A woman came to the clinic and said, ‘My daughter has been missing for 2 weeks! Her friends said she went abroad.’ We asked, ‘What did you do in these 2 weeks?’ I did nothing. I thought she was going abroad to earn money and send it to us,” the mother replied. Therefore, the principal reason for human trafficking is poverty, and victims fall into traffickers’ traps thinking they are finding jobs. Laws must be changed, and the victim must not be seen as a criminal.”

While sex trafficking is a major part of this criminal industry, we shouldn’t forget about the nasty blood and organ trafficking business, whereby victims (including children) are held for some time abroad before they are killed for their blood and organs.

Iranians Want the COVID Vaccine, so Why Can’t They Get It?

The Iranian people desperately want the government to purchase the safe coronavirus vaccines, approved by the World Health Organisation, and begin to roll out the vaccination program in order to save hundreds of thousands of lives.

But, of course, that’s not going to happen. Back in January, after months of lies about sanctions preventing them from buying the vaccines, supreme leader Ali Khamenei actually banned the import of vaccines made in the US or UK, which most approved ones were at the time. Then, they promised that Iranians would get an as-yet-untested Cuba vaccine over the next two years.

Now, it’s the survival of the richest as Coronavirus Task Force Committee spokesperson Alireza Raisi announced that imported vaccines would not be covered by the government, which means that anyone who cannot afford to be vaccinated will have to wait months for their shot. This was confirmed by the Red Crescent, which said that the vaccines would not be free.

This is the culmination of the authorities’ policy to use the pandemic as a means of control, hoping to stop protests that could overthrow them just weeks after the November 2019 protests rocked the system to its core. The mullahs relied on a high death toll to cull potential protesters and terrify the rest. Now, they want to reduce the people’s anger through the import of a fraction of vaccines.

Not to mention that the vaccine money will end up in the hands of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and Khamenei, extorting from the people, who are in such dire financial straits that they cannot afford poultry, bread, and eggs and live below the poverty line.

Even the state-run media is questioning this decision, with the daily Javan saying on April 19 it would create “corruption, distrust, discrimination, and… black markets”, while the Mardom Salari said that high costs were putting many poorer people off, especially when they were first told it would be free.

The Iranian opposition wrote: “The regime’s criminal measures will have social consequences. Many factions warn of the “ticking social bomb” of the Iranian society and the public outrage that has already manifested itself in five major uprisings in the past two-and-half years. But at this point, it seems that the regime is in a deadlock, and no matter what path it chooses, waiting at the end will be the wrath of the Iranian people and their demands of regime change.”

Treating Stagflation, Only by Restructuring Iran’s Economy

For the past century, revenue from the sale of Iran’s oil has filled the pockets of the dictatorships in this country, especially that of the theocratical rule. What has been ignored and neglected is the scientific, economic, technical, and educational development of the country and its people.

Every time the rulers faced a problem or challenge, they have chosen the simplest way which is further opening the oil valves.

Knots that could be untied with the main source of the country which are the people and helping the development, welfare and prosperity of the country have become more blind, and the benefits of the oil money flowed in the pockets of the rulers, and its consequences becoming the chains of poverty and misery of the people.

Now after one hundred years of corrupted rulers, the country’s economic and social damages are unsolvable.

One of the biggest challenges and gaps in Iran’s economy which are now becoming visible, because the government has lost its main source of income which is oil, are inflation and the stagnation of the economy.

The government and the mullahs’ rule are no longer capable to solve both the social and economic crisis at the same time and are forced to choose between them.

But whichever has priority, the other will act like an unstoppable wildfire which will hurt the country and people. Even the government’s specialists are confessing that the rule has lost the time in these 40 years to solve the country’s economic problems. And they are not able to reverse that time anymore unless heavy changes are made in the future.

Controlling inflation and creating a recession or economic boom with money printing has reached a dangerous stage. Iran’s economy is at a difficult juncture this year, with rising inflation, especially in the last three years, while many officials fear Iran’s fate will that of Venezuela. On the other hand, any boom requires a lot of money to be injected into the market, which in turn will further increase inflation.

“Iran’s economy is in a difficult situation. Recession and inflation are the most important economic problems that Iran is facing in 2021, and if it (Government) does not have a plan for it, this situation will be transferred to the following years, in which economic development plans will no longer make sense.” (State-run daily Arman, April 17, 2021)

Mehdi Karbasian, a government economist, said: “Iran’s economy has been suffering from stagflation for years and this procedure is one of the rare economic diseases in the world. That is, countries are either in recession or inflation and stagflation are very rare. But unfortunately, over the past decades, we have also had serious stagflation at times.” (Mashregh, April 17, 2021)

He points to inflation above 40 percent, which is felt in the items and food of the weak strata of society, i.e., the fourth and fifth deciles, close to 70 percent of the society, and on the other hand, the recession has reached a point where GDP has been negative for several years and we see that the economy has shrunk over the past year or two, and in one year in 2019 the country’s economy shrank by 12 percent.

The inevitable result of this situation is dissatisfaction.

“There has been a fundamental change in the context of Iranian society that can no longer be denied. This event is the turning point of society in the satisfaction curve and the flow of satisfaction.

“The twelfth government no longer has the money to give to the higher institutions and the regulatory bodies, and they fall from the satisfied rank to the line of the dissatisfied. It no longer has the money to give to the workers, so the workers are also dissatisfied.

“Iran’s education and health personnel are dissatisfied because of the government’s inability to increase wages and salaries due to a lack of welfare funding.

“There is no money left to pay farmers to buy wheat. Journalists, footballers, writers, intellectuals, as well as government employees, and more importantly, actors and key players in politics and economics, are also dissatisfied.” (Jahan-e-Sanat, April 17, 2021)

And now the sweet dreams of all officials and experts of this regime in returning the situation to a previous state are fade away and “now, at the beginning of 2021, we are facing a society full of all kinds of problems, and it seems that Iran’s economy is falling apart, and the consequences of this event will sooner or later affect other sectors such as politics, culture and social affairs.” (Jahan-e-Sanat, April 17, 2021)

And these phrases are evidence enough: “As in 2020, there is no empty capacity of stock exchanges and debt securities to compensate for this deficit and prevent the monetization of this deficit.

“How is the stock market and the debt market (capital market) supposed to finance a total of about 300 trillion Tomans of the government’s budget of 840 trillion Tomans in 2021, which is equivalent to 35 percent?” (Kayhan, January 26, 2021)

Iran’s Suicide Cases on the Rise

As more Iranians, particularly women, feel increasingly helpless in the face of so many crises and societal issues, suicide rates in Iran are going up because they feel detached from friends and family, as well as from fulfilling lives outside of their personal relationships.

In fact, since 2017, 60 people, mostly women, have died from suicide in the city of Dishmuk alone, which suicide rates in the provinces of Kurdistan, Kermanshah, and Ilam were highest.

Sociologist and university professor Amanullah Gharaee-Moghadam said that one of the main reasons for suicide of a lack of trust in the authorities overall and discrimination inherent within the mullahs’ laws.

He said: “They say, ‘give birth to more babies!’” They have told girls that their hair was seen. Did they become religious? The structure in Iran is sick. You cannot force society to observe rules from 100 years ago. Today, young people see, hear, and read. They observe the world through their computers.”

Indeed, one of the problems is forced marriage, which is more common in girls under 15. Most of the time, it causes irreparable damage as girls drop out of school to get married and then if their husband dies or divorces them, they are left without the means to get a good job to support themselves.

Here are some of the most recent examples of suicide due to forced marriage:

  • Anahita Shahidi, 18, killed herself on January 23 to avoid a forced marriage to her cousin
  • Sahar Fakheri, 20, committed suicide on March 18 so that she wouldn’t be married off
  • An unnamed 15-year-old girl, who was a victim of child marriage, killed herself just after getting married

It’s worth noting that the suicide rate jumped 4.2% in the period March 21-November 20, 2020, compared with the same period in 2019. This is likely due to the pandemic and the authorities’ lacklustre response to it, but the main cause for suicide, especially among women is still the mullahs; dictatorship.

The state-run daily Jahanesanat previously warned that this spate of suicides could become more pronounced and inspire protests, not unlike the ones that nearly overthrew the rulling theocracy in 2019 and 2017.

The Iranian Resistance wrote: “Beyond all the frustration surrounding the mullahs’ misogynistic rule and overall distrust in the government, protests such as those in 2017 and 2019 are on the rise. The fact that more people are protesting gives hope to the Iranian people for the eventual overthrow of the regime.”

80,000 Iranian Nurses Have Had Coronavirus

Over 251,000 Iranians have now died from coronavirus in Iran, according to the Iranian Resistance, while the Head of Iran’s Nursing Organization Mohammad Mirza Beigi reports that 80,000 nurses were infected and 8,000 cannot work right now because of it.

All of this displays the authorites’ cruelty in refusing to buy the vaccines to protect healthcare workers and the public.

Beigi told the Entekhab website on April 6 that four nurses are needed for every 1,000 citizens of a country, according to international standards, but there is less than one nurse per 1,000 citizens in Iran.

The nursing shortage isn’t a new thing. In 2018, Hossein-Ali Shahriari, the head of the Parliamentary Health Committee, said that across the public and private healthcare sectors, there was a “shortage of 80,000 to 150,000 nurses”, but it has been made worse because of the pandemic, with 10% of the staff out of commission and 110 nurses having died from COVID-19, according to Beigi.

Of course, since Beigi made these comments, the death toll for nurses has risen to 130 and may have increased since, according to the General Director of the Nurse’s House, who said that the delay in purchasing and distributing the vaccine is “massacring” nurses in hospitals.

On April 13, Mohammad Sharifi Moghadam said: “Unfortunately, in the past week, eight nurses in various cities died from COVID-19 and in light of the delay in the vaccination of nurses, it can be said that nurses are being massacred in hospitals. Unfortunately, with 130 dead nurses who were fighting COVID-19, we are among the countries with the most number of infections and deaths among nurses.”

Horrifically, the true number may be much higher because of the government secrecy surrounding COVID-19 deaths and infection.

Officials refuse to get the vaccines already approved by the World Health Organisation, with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei expressly banning several of them in January, and is blaming the public for rising infections, saying that they don’t follow health protocols but now even the state-run media is pushing back.

The Jahan-e Sanat state-run daily wrote on April 8: “Everyone knows that during the past 14 months, the government has put preference over the economy to the lives and health of people, although the people are always the ones who are sacrificed.”

Hamid Emadi, a member of the COVID-19 Taskforce said on April 9, that the county would face “at least three difficult weeks filled with death” because conditions in hospitals were so bad.

Iran: Civil Disobedience and Conflict With the State Norms

Corruption and fear of the people’s fury and protests are factors that Iranian officials and state media are warning each other about daily. The ruling factions blame each other for the spread of the coronavirus warning about the consequences of such an inhuman policy, not considering the necessary resources for the vaccination of the people.

The state-run daily Arman in an article with the title, “Do not blame people in crises” on April 18, warned the state about the consequences of its policy on the coronavirus and wrote: “’When the class gap expands so much that even mountains and hills are unable to fill it, how can we talk about the confrontation of life and bread?

“Civil disobedience and abnormalities are the main products of economic pressures in society, and we must also pay attention to the logical point that people‘s patience has its limits.” (Arman, April 18, 2021)

“Not trusting people” is the title of one the articles of the Jahan-e-Sanat daily, which pointed to the hollow promises of the government about the coronavirus and wrote: “This has made people angry about the current situation. When a spark hits these people, they enter the field with the utmost violence, and then the people become uncontrollable.” (Jahan-e-Sanat, April 18, 2021)

Then the state-run daily Resalat dashes cold water of the government’s fake hope and wrote: “We will fail in the face of coronavirus, and the fate of the vaccines we need will be unknown.” (Resalat, April 18, 2021)

Other factors like the social and economic crisis are causes for concern for the government affiliates too, warning each other, which is uncomplimentary confess about their institutional corruption.

“The reasons for the endless cycle of underdevelopment” is the title of one these warnings an article in the Iran daily, which is belonging to the president’s faction, attacked the rival faction and wrote: “they (Supreme leader’s faction) have converted the political wings of Iran to soup kitchen, then warned: “This is the path that will lead to a very dangerous impasse.” (Iran daily, April 18, 2021)

“I wish we did not have mines” is the title of an article in the Mostagel daily pointing to one of the corruption cases and wrote: “The government receives about $400 trillion a year in pre-mining revenue without spending a return on mining protection or beneficiary villagers.” (Mostagel, April 18, 2021)

“The stock market seeks to build trust” is another article pointing corruption written the state-run daily Vatan-e-Emrooz who wrote: “The government earned about 2000 trillion tomans by selling two negotiable investment funds called ‘Dara One’ and ‘Palayesh One’. The government also earned about 1700 trillion tomans from the tax on stock transfers. These figures show that the capital market in 2020, if not favorable for real shareholders, was sweet for the government.” (Vatan-e-Emrooz, April 18, 2021)

The state-run daily Setareh-e-Sohb analyzed the root of the government’s corruption and wrote: “The country’s economy has been a victim of the country’s oligarchy for the past few decades, and now the government is in the service of the same oligarchy’s pocket, and if this path and trend does not change, Iran’s situation will worsen in the future.” (Setareh-e-Sohb, April 18, 2021)

The state-run daily Etemad also warns of years of looting from the pockets of the people, citing ‘sociologists, economists, politicians and economic activists’ within the system and wrote: “The increasing and continuous decline of the purchasing power of the citizens is like a time bomb, and if we do not neutralize it at the right time, we do not know how much damage it will cause to the (system) with its explosion.” (Etemad, April 18, 2021)

Who’s in the Iran Presidential Race and Does It Matter?

Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei has long expressed his support for a “young and hezbollahi” government with a president in the mould of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani.

With the Presidential elections coming up in June, the state media is focusing on possible candidates, as various officials have already put their names forward, but as the decision is ultimately in the hands of Khamenei, which one is looking most promising?

Probably Hossein Dehghan. This former Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) official and Defence Minister is currently the most important candidate, but the state-run IRNA news agency warns that “military figures” will not help ease the growing tensions that could see the clerical system swept from power.

Other important candidates are:

  • current judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi, known for his role in the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners
  • Mullahs’ founder’s grandson Hassan Khomeini, although Khamenei asked Khomeini to withdraw his candidacy with the hopes of preventing protests
  • former parliament speaker Ali Larijani, who Khamenei has also tried to block coverage of

However, the ILNA also notes that who wins is less important than whether Iranians are turning up to vote, as a large boycott is planned to protest the mullahs’ corruption and show the need for regime change.

The piece read: “The most important element that can bring people to the ballot boxes is the officials’ apology to the people for their shortcomings. In today’s society, we are witnessing people giving a cold shoulder and showing indifference to the elections, and if these circumstances continue it is predicted that there will be a sharp decline in votes.”

The Aftab Yazd wrote that many Iranians also feel that their participation in the elections is irrelevant because nothing changes for the people, no matter the faction in power. This, plus the dire economic situation, has led to despair and the paper warns that it won’t be easy to regain the people’s trust.

While the Vaght Sobh advised that the people’s main issue is how economic problems are caused by government policies, which is why a significant proportion of the country will boycott the elections.

This is not out of the blue. In the parliamentary elections of February 2020, the officials recorded their lowest ever turnout, even though they’d hidden evidence about the pandemic to get people to come out and vote.

The Iranian opposition wrote: “Whether Khamenei gives the green light to the current candidates or takes the risk to nominate Raisi as his main candidate for the 2021 presidential elections is one issue to keep an eye on in the coming days.”

Iran Media Admits Cause to Economic Crisis

Hatred towards the Iranian ruling system has only increased due to the economic and social crises that the people have been battling over the past year, but rather than shy away from the truth, Iran’s state-run media are now admitting that these crises are caused by corruption and mishandling.

The ILNA News Agency wrote on April 16: “Until the last month of last year, inflation was rising. The shock therapy of the economy, which started from the beginning of 2018 until the last month of 2020, has accelerated rapidly and has drastically increased the minimum cost of living.”

The agency then quoted Iran’s Statistic Center as saying that goods have increased by 1.8% on average over the past month, with transport up 30% and basic foodstuffs up 25%.

But while the people live in poverty, those at the top of the governmental organisations are earning untold amounts, much more than the workers. In fact, while workers may earn $107, officials get over $1,000.

ILNA wrote: ”They do not have to worry about more expensive taxi rates or poultry prices. But workers have to always calculate the difference between their salaries, the inflation, and skyrocketing prices.”

And Mashreq News quoted Alireza Afshar, the head of the Soft War Institute of the Higher National Defense University, as saying that mismanagement has caused more economic problems than sanctions.

Of course, the Iranian people already know this. That’s why they chant “Our enemy is here, they lie when they say it is the US”.

After four decades of the mullahs’ rule, it is now clear that all Iranians opposed them, with the Jahan-e Sanat saying that “no one in Iran is satisfied” with the current ruling system and that the country is set for an explosion.

Even senior Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) commander Hamid Reza Jalaie-Pour said on April 16: “Our country is filled with dissatisfaction. They should be resolved, if not, they will condense, and there will be consequences for us.”

Jalaie-Pour also warned that the coming protests would far surpass those of 2018 and 2019, which shook the foundations of the clerical system in Iran.

He said: “We do not have a dialogue between the government and civil society. The consequences of revolutions are costly. This has created difficulties for the [system] in terms of legitimacy, participation, and efficiency.”

While the Etemad daily said that if people’s dissatisfactions and the issues within the system were not addressed then it will soon topple the ruling theocracy.

Iran 60% Enrichment, Upper or Lower Hand?

Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, announced that the government is carrying out uranium enrichment at 60 percent purity.

“On Wednesday, we ordered the launch of 60 percent and 12.40 am (Friday) we got the 60 percent product. The product we are taking now is about 9 grams per hour. They are working on the arrangement of the chains, which reduces our production by 60 percent and may reach 5 to 6 grams. But with these two chains, we produce 20 percent at the same time.” (State-run daily Entekhab, April 16, 2021)

In this way the Iranian government has tighten the ring of the siege around its own throat, with the hope that with this venture, which is already failing, it would force the negotiators of the world powers to accept its demands, analysts say.

It seems that Iran’s government has taken this step in order to gain more concessions and has a full hand in the negotiations. The fact is that such an action, first, shows the emptiness of its hands having no cards in the negotiations, and was forced to take such a step.

More clearly said this was the regime’s last chance and solution to make an exit out of this siege, but such a move is not a step forward at all, while moving itself on the verge of a very dangerous precipice.

Fereydoun Majlisi, a retired government diplomat, said: “Iran’s action to increase enrichment to 60 percent is an act of anger and in response to the recent repeated explosions in Natanz. In fact, these actions are an invitation to war, and it is not clear how its fate will end.” (State-run Setareh-e-Sobh, April 14, 2021)

He went on to make his point more clearly: “Going to 60 percent enrichment is explicitly threatening to go to alarming percentages. In fact, by enriching it by more than 25 percent, which is needed for peaceful activities, you are sending a message to the world that you intend to go to alarming percentages. Of course, those who have repeatedly said they agree with the weapon and have spoken of the need to build and maintain it support this move.” (State-run Setareh-e-Sobh, April 14, 2021)

The regime’s move came after the initial speculation that the United States would lift sanctions and its verification by the regime had been dashed, with the United States announcing that it would only lift sanctions that were incompatible with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). While it turned out that returning to the 2015 JCPOA was nothing more than an illusion, analysts believe. And the plan that is underway is to finally bring this regime to the brink of accepting missile and regional JCPOAs.

This issue has caused the frustration of the regime, and its supreme leader Ali Khamenei said about it: “[America’s proposal] is often arrogant and humiliating, we are even not able to look at.”

So, until now it is clear that the regime has the lower hand in the negotiations. It has only two ways to get out of this stagnation. One, to accept all the demands of the other party like the JCPOA of its missile arsenal and the JCPOA to stopping its actions in the Middle East, and the second solution is to disobey it and go in the opposite direction, which would have serious consequences like being included under Article 7 of the Charter of the United Nations.

The consequences of such a risk are also very clear. A state-run daily reported: “This move will definitely cause dissatisfaction and protest from the other side, and currents in the United States, Europe and the West Asian region will be activated to defeat the negotiations in order to put pressure on Iran. For example, they may use the trigger mechanism. Even greater destructive actions can be predicted. Maybe after this, acts should not be indirect and should be direct.” (Resalat, April 15, 2021)

With such a situation, talking about power and having the upper hand in the nuclear negotiations is just a joke. It can be said that taking steps to enrich 60 percent “is a threatening move intended to intimidate and gain concessions, and its use is limited to the same meeting and to advancing the negotiations.” (State-run daily Setareh-e-Sobh, April 14, 2021)