The Iran Nuclear Negotiations: Five Shams And One Truth
September 13, 2022
For many years, the West has been trying to prevent – and later slow down – Iran's efforts to become a nuclear power. Everybody knows that Iran wants nuclear weapons; thus, the very idea of negotiations is farcical. Within the big farce that is the JCPOA, there are four specific shams that fully expose it for what it is.
Sham 1: The Text Of The JCPOA Allows For Nuclear Weapons Development
The JCPOA was presented as an agreement that would prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Yet in reality, the text of the agreement explicitly allows Iran – subject to certain conditions – to acquire the technical know-how and peripheral capabilities needed to develop a nuclear bomb.
Article 82 in Section T of the JCPOA's Annex 1 reads:
"82.2. Designing, developing, fabricating, acquiring, or using multi-point explosive detonation systems suitable for a nuclear explosive device [is prohibited], unless approved by the Joint Commission for non-nuclear purposes and subject to monitoring.
"82.3. Designing, developing, fabricating, acquiring, or using explosive diagnostic systems (streak cameras, framing cameras and flash x-ray cameras) suitable for the development of a nuclear explosive device [is prohibited], unless approved by the Joint Commission for non-nuclear purposes and subject to monitoring."
Importantly, the IAEA was intentionally excluded from these clauses.
Even when the IAEA asked to monitor Iran in 2017 pursuant to Section T,
its director-general Yukiya Amano accepted the argument that the IAEA
has no authority to enforce Section T, and that this is a "problem for
the Joint Commission." However, the Joint Commission lacks any ability
to monitor Iran's nuclear activities.
The JCPOA required Iran's 8.5-ton inventory of enriched uranium to be transferred to Russia to be kept in its custody,
but in reality the uranium disappeared, evading IAEA oversight, as
attested at a House of Representatives hearing by the Obama State
Department's Iran coordinator Stephen Mull.
Sham 2: The IAEA Is Not Allowed to Carry Out Inspections At Any Time And At Any Place
Sham 3: Iran Keeps Claiming That Supreme Leader Khamenei Has Issued A Fatwa Banning Nuclear Weapons, But No Such Fatwa Has Ever Existed
The Iranians keep claiming that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa banning nuclear weapons. But there is no such fatwa, and it has never existed.
For years, Western officials – including former U.S. President Barack Obama and former Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry – have treated this supposed fatwa as if they have seen it with their own eyes.
Sham 4: Western Countries Keep Negotiating With Iran, Even Though They Themselves Have Accused It Of Not Providing Credible Answers To Suspicions Regarding Its Nuclear Weapons Program
On September 10, 2022, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom issued a joint statement saying that Iran has not been taking satisfactory steps to answer outstanding questions regarding its nuclear program and the location of nuclear materials in its territory.
Yet, the West is nonetheless negotiating with Iran on the assumption that it is an honest and reliable partner.
Meanwhile, Iran has also engaged in nuclear weapons espionage, targeted Americans (former U.S. national security advisor John Bolton, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and dissident journalist Masih Alinejad), and lied about these actions.
Sham 5: The West Is Negotiating For An Agreement Even Though Its Sunset Clauses Begin Taking Effect Within a Few Months
Even if Iran were a trustworthy negotiations partner, even if the fatwa existed, even if the IAEA could enforce Section T, and even if anybody knew where the 8.5 tons of enriched uranium had disappeared to – the nuclear negotiations are still meaningless, since the sunset clauses begin taking effect in 2023.
The One Truth:
The only time Iran stepped back and truly halted its nuclear program was in 2003, when U.S. forces were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
* Y. Carmon is President of MEMRI; M. Reiter is a Research Fellow at MEMRI.
 Recently, the Iranians themselves have begun openly speaking about nuclear weapons. See: MEMRI TV Clip No. 9816, Iranian Political Analyst Emad Abshenas: Iran Has Crossed The Nuclear Threshold; It Can Produce A Nuclear Weapon In A Matter Of Days, September 9, 2022; MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1648, Shift In Iranian Regime Statements On Nuclear Weapons: Regime Spokesmen Talk Openly About Them, Aiming For Western Acquiescence To Iran As A Nuclear Threshold State, August 2, 2022.
 MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1348, The JCPOA's Critical Flaw Is Its Lack Of Real Inspection By The IAEA; Those Focusing On Iran's Ballistic Missiles And The JCPOA's Sunset Clause Are Evading The Urgent Issue – The Need For Real Inspection Now, October 3, 2017.
 According to some sources, the inventory consisted of up to 11.4 metric tons of enriched uranium. See: 2009-2017.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2015/12/250876.htm, December 28, 2015.
 In addition, unprecedentedly lenient international protocols were established especially for Iran, and they enabled it to easily conceal heavy water that it had produced in excess of the quota set by the JCPOA. See: MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1567, The 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal Revisited, March 26, 2021.
 MEMRI Daily Brief No. 407, A Return To The Pitfalls Of The 2015 Nuclear Agreement?, August 30, 2022.
 Diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files/iran/news/article/iran-joint-statement-by-france-germany-and-the-united-kingdom-10-sept-22, September 10, 2022.
 Sweden's intelligence services have recently reported that Iran has been engaging in industrial espionage aimed at Swedish technology that can be used in a nuclear weapons program. See: Sakerhetspolisen.se/ovriga-sidor/other-languages/english-engelska/press-room/security-service-yearbook-2021.htm, accessed September 8, 2022.
 France24.com/en/americas/20220811-iran-rejects-us-claim-of-plot-to-kill-ex-national-security-advisor-john-bolton, August 11, 2022.
 Washingtonpost.com/world/2021/07/14/iran-journalist-kidnapping-alinejad/, July 14, 2021.