By Jubin Katiraie
With the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, on 8 May 2018 and the start of a new round of sanctions against the regime, the clerical government,
which has seen that the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) by European countries will not solve any of its problems and help the regime to get rid of the sanctions, has tried constantly blackmailed and set a deadline for withdrawal from the JCPOA agreement to put Europe at odds with the US. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani officially began lowering Iran’s commitments to the JCPOA on 8 May 2019.
The mullahs’ gradual withdrawal from the JCPOA continued with steps throughout 2019, and the regime eventually responded to what it called ‘sanctions and non-profits of Iran from the JCPOA,’ stating that it would no longer impose any restrictions on its nuclear program. Thus, the fifth step to leave the JCPOA was taken on 5 January 2020.
Although during this time the main European countries (France, Germany, Britain) tried to activate INSTEX to prevent their economic relations with the regime from being disrupted and to hold this large market, but the US pressure prevented such economic exchanges between Europe and the regime, and finally, on 14 January, after the regime’s fifth step of withdrawal from the JCPOA, the three European states officially announced their intention to use the trigger mechanism.
What is the trigger mechanism?
The trigger mechanism, in order to resolve the anticipated dispute in the JCPOA, is a proposal that if one of the JCPOA parties concludes that the other party does not adhere to the obligations set forth in the JCPOA agreement, it may appeal to the Joint Commission.
And if, within a 35-day timeframe, the complaint is not resolved as the complainant wishes, the complainant may refer the complaint to the UN Security Council. Thereafter, the Security Council also has 30 days to issue a resolution on the suspension or reinstatement of sanctions.
If during this time the Security Council fails to issue a new resolution on this matter, all UN Security Council sanctions imposed prior to the brokerage of the JCPOA will be automatically restored. This is called the “trigger mechanism” or the quick return of sanctions. The important thing about activating the trigger mechanism is that sanctions relief cannot be vetoed. That is, the regime cannot use its allies like China and Russia to veto it.
Although High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said the mechanism for resolving the dispute over Iran’s nuclear agreement is not to impose sanctions on Iran, but UK prime minister Boris Johnson took a step further and said, we’re going to replace the JCPOA with something else, let’s replace it with a “Trump deal.”
Look at recent events and new sanctions
The third week of January, which started with a lot of irritation on the news around Iran, continues. There has surely never been a time for the Velayat-e Faqih (mullahs’) regime to be subjected by social and political pressure from the people inside the country, and pressure from outside because of the sanctions.
In the aftermath of this situation, a Ukrainian airplane was attacked by the IRGC’s missile defense and more than 176 people were killed, making it the starting point for the second phase of the uprising in the streets of Tehran and other cities. Student protests in the universities of Amir Kabir, Sharif, Tehran, Khaje Nasir also spread because of regime’s lies and secrecy over the responsibility of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) by attacking the civil airplane and spread to other cities in the country. Students specifically blamed Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for direct responsibility for the crime and demanded that he step down from the regime.
After the assassination of Qassem Suleimani, the US imposed new sanctions on the mullahs. So far, US sanctions, as part of its maximum pressure campaign, have been steadily increasing. New steps taken in this regard could prevent Iran’s regime from continuing to sell the same small amount of oil to China as it still does. Or prevent the billion-dollar annual revenue from selling steel and iron. Raising sanctions could also take the remnant life of the economy of the mullahs and move it to complete drowning.
The pressures on the regime and the crises which this regime is faced with are unprecedented, and the mullahs’ dictatorship is trying to rid itself in any way. The latest reaction of the regime by attacking the Ein-Al-Assad base in Iraq which houses US troops with missiles was with prior notice so absurd that according to Hossein Shariatmadari, a close confidant of Khamenei and managing editor of Kayhan, ‘blood did not come out of the nose of an American’.
Khamenei knows that any kind of retreat can bring a series of other retreats, such as human rights or the stopping of missile projects and will quickly lead to the regime’s destruction by the people.
Will the trigger be pulled?
The European appeasement policy in response to the regime’s fifth step of withdrawing from the JCPOA at the same time with the uprising shift lanes and they announced a trigger mechanism in a statement. Although American pressure on the issue was not without effect, the great reality that has led Europeans to despair with regards to the regime is the rise of students and the Iranian people and protesting the regime in recent months.
Despite the death of more than 1500 young men and women in the November protests, they have taken to the streets and continue to chant against the mullahs, it is this shift in the conditions of Iranian society toward change in Iran and a bright future of a free Iran that has forced the West and, in particular, the Europeans to bring themselves into line with this situation.
While Josep Borrell has acknowledged in his latest statement that the previous sanctions will not resume again, there is a harsh reality that social conditions in Iran will change Iran’s, as well as the international situation, have come close to a decisive point.
If the trigger mechanism is reactivated, it is only because of the circumstances that the Iranian people’s uprising has imposed on the international community, and it will continue to be so. In a nutshell, it is the uprising and protest of the people for the overthrow of the medieval regime that will trigger the overthrow.