Iran's countermeasures What is behind the restraining content is September 6 at 9:30
Iran, which has been "breaking the limits" of the nuclear agreement in stages following the US economic sanctions, announced a new countermeasure on the 4th. This is to promote the research and development of a new centrifuge used for uranium enrichment, which is less restrictive than the international community was concerned about. What is the background?
An unusual meeting where the heads of the three powers meet
At midnight on the 4th, Iran's state-run broadcaster reported the press conference live. It was an unusual press conference with the head of administration, President Rouhani, in the center, and the head of parliament and the judiciary both sides.
This time, it ’s a much more solid lineup than the press conferences of Cheong Wa Dae during the same announcement last July. I felt there was a serious announcement. It was President Rouhani, who had a stern expression. “In the future, we will continue to research and develop various types of new centrifuges without being bound by the limitations of the nuclear agreement.” While repeating the word “research and development,” the conference ended in about 15 minutes.
Centrifuges used for uranium enrichment activities are strictly limited by the nuclear agreement, and the types and number of bases that can be used are severely limited. R & D alone is still limited and should only be carried out in accordance with prior plans.
This countermeasure is to break the limits of nuclear agreements only for centrifuge research and development. This will increase Iran's ability to develop nuclear weapons in the long run, but as long as the limits on uranium enrichment levels are observed, it will not immediately approach the production of nuclear weapons.
As Rouhani himself stated in a cabinet meeting held before the announcement, “It is not a shocking measure”, the content was less constrained than the international community was concerned.
Iranian “unfairness” in the background
Unfairly the limits of gambling. In the first place, the reason why Iran began to break the limits of the nuclear agreement is the “unfairness” that Iran feels. The nuclear agreement originally meant that in return for limiting Iran's nuclear development, sanctions against Iran were lifted and economic benefits were obtained.
However, last year, the American Trump administration unilaterally withdraws from this agreement and reinstates sanctions on Iran. With the withdrawal of foreign companies one after another, crude oil exports that support the Iranian economy no longer remain.
Because American sanctions cover all companies that deal with Iran, European countries such as France, which participate in the nuclear agreement, have been forced to significantly reduce their business with Iran.
Although Iran has endured this unfair situation for a year, it is required to continue the restrictions on nuclear development, even though the economic benefits promised by the nuclear agreement cannot be obtained. I started to say I won't keep my promise.
Professor Marandi of Tehran University, who is familiar with Iranian politics and economics, said, “While violating the nuclear agreement, Europe, which does not offer economic benefits, is also completely violating. I ’m just balancing. ”
Among the countermeasures taken by Iran, in particular, the issue of raising the level of uranium enrichment, which took place in July, is at the heart of the nuclear agreement. The enrichment of uranium, which has been limited to 3.67%, has been raised to 4.5%.
Nuclear power plant fuels with a concentration of 3% to 5% are used. On the other hand, to make a nuclear bomb, it is necessary to increase the enrichment to 90% or more.
Iran has warned that as a future measure, increasing uranium enrichment to 20% is an option. Increasing the enrichment level from 20% to over 90% of the weapons class is said to take a relatively short time, and the US and Europe are most alert to raising the uranium enrichment level.
The reason Iran's measures are said to be restrained is because they have not stepped into it.
Diplomatic negotiations at the last minute
Iran had negotiated diplomatic negotiations with other countries until just before the announcement of countermeasures. The most important partner is France.
Last month, Foreign Minister Zalef made an electric shock visit during the G7 Summit and met with President Macron. On 2nd of this month, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Araguchi visited Paris to discuss with France for 10 hours. is.
As a result of the discussions, France revealed that it had proposed a $ 15 billion loan backed by Iranian crude oil, and Iranian government officials even raised the voice that “it may not take the next step”.
President Rouhani himself also appreciated the French proposal, saying, “We didn't reach the final step, but there were three disagreements that were initially 20”.
I can get $ 15 billion in a little more. We will refrain from stubborn measures to turn the international community into enemies, and continue discussions. There may be such calculation on the Iranian side in this measure that was restrained.
But I can't just be optimistic about French proposals. The United States has imposed sanctions on Iran. Even if a European financial institution lends to Iran in accordance with the French proposal, it will still be subject to American sanctions without the permission of the United States.
It is not clear whether the United States will accept the French proposal, that is, whether it agrees to relax sanctions. On the 4th, the Trump administration sent two conflicting signals to Iran and the international community.
The possibility of dialogue with the United States
President Trump talks about Iran ’s meeting with President Rouhani, saying, “There is a possibility. We will negotiate directly with the Iranian government,” suggesting the idea of exploring the possibility of a summit meeting in conjunction with the United Nations General Assembly in New York this month. It was.
However, on the same day, the US State Department announced to Iran that it would impose additional sanctions, and reemphasized its policy not to ease pressure. Is there a possibility that such a Trump administration and Iran will take a seat of dialogue?
Iran claims that sanctions are lifted first. From Iran, it seems like the United States wants to talk, but it doesn't seem to expose the environment.
Supreme Leader Hamenei said that “negotiation with the United States is poisonous” and refused to talk, and President Rouhani said, “If you just want to fit together in the picture together, that story won't happen.” Negative.
Furthermore, there is a strong sense of caution in Iran as it approaches President Trump, who unilaterally abandoned the nuclear agreement.
Iran defeated the then pro-American government in the revolution 40 years ago, and then severed diplomatic relations with the United States. If the summit between the two countries is realized, it will be the first time since the revolution.
However, at this point, I have to say that there are extremely high barriers to the realization of the summit. In order to overcome this barrier, the future focus will be whether there will be a specific compromise in the past two weeks before the United Nations General Assembly where both leaders attend.