The Iranian regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei and government officials think that our world is following static rules. They seem to believe that the parameters of foreign policy and balance of power are still like 2015, and that they can resort to the failed policy of appeasement, stick to uranium enrichment, and rely on it to ransom the world.
This miscalculation forced them to return to nuclear war after the presidential change in the United States, and to reduce their commitments to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) one after another. At first, they thought that with these actions, Europe would beg and ask them to hold back so that the US could lift sanctions.
Khamenei resumed a series of missile strikes by using his militants in Iraq to blackmail the US in addition to relinquishing Tehran’s commitments to the JCPOA. These two actions were complementary to act as a lever of pressure to push back the opponent. Khamenei seemed to have found the time for the game to achieve the ultimate goal of lifting sanctions without compromising regional and regional missiles.
In this regard, without a precise calculation, he trapped himself in a self-imposed deadline to exit the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty’s Additional Protocol. Of course, while approaching the peak of this deadline, when he realized that none of the other countries paid any attention to it, he had to accept an in-between solution and accept a three-month agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
With the US attack on the positions of the regime-affiliated militias in Syria, it became clear that all of Khamenei’s dreams so far have are no realized. He thought that he can ignore this statement of Heraclitus, one of the Greek philosophers of the pre-Socratic period, who had said:
“You cannot step into a river twice. Because when we cross it a second time, we are neither the previous man nor that river the former river.”
But the hopeless supreme leader, embarrassed, and scared, stepped in the JCPOA river, but did not find himself in the same river as of in 2015. A river that flowed with gentle and tempting waves on the relations of its foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the then US secretary of state John Kerry. And of course, this Joe Biden was not the same as he had expected.
“While Joe Biden promised during the campaign that he would immediately reverse US decisions in various areas, including the JCPOA, after coming to power, he revoked or changed Donald Trump’s orders and decisions in all areas except the JCPOA! The move was like freezing water for those who thought that the Biden government would return to the JCPOA in a few days and lift the sanctions.” (State-run daily Vatan-e-Emrooz, March 1, 2021)
And the regime’s so-called reformists who saw a sweet future in Biden’s government were forced to accept the bitter reality that everything has changed as one of their affiliated daily’s wrote: “Biden’s America behavior is a sequel to Trump’s American behavior, with the difference that four years of Trump’s cries deafened the world, and for four years Biden’s knavery will occupy the world with itself. According to this:
- The United States will not return to the JCPOA in the sense that Iran intends.
- The United States will continue to view China, Russia, North Korea, and the Islamic Republic of Iran as a threat.
- The United States will continue to benefit from leverage such as sanctions, the UN Security Council, military aggression, and international terrorism.” (State-run daily, Aftab-e-Yazd, March 1)
So, Khamenei must understand that the jug of the appeasement policy has been broken before many years. What Khamenei has miscalculated and, of course, for which he will pay a heavy price, is to scatter dust on the reality of the explosive conditions of society and, consequently, the role of the Iranian resistance in diverting developments toward overthrow.
If in 2015, Europe and America were forced to give concessions to restrain the regime, with the uprisings of December 2017 – January 2018 and November 2019, they realized that it is no longer possible to invest in appeasement with religious fascism. The world beyond the imagination of Khamenei is real. Even the most pragmatic powers, in regulating their relations with this regime, have realized that they should not bet on the losing horse.
There is no escape from the overthrow of this regime, whether with the JCPOA or even with a missile and regional JCPOA.