The IAEA Director-General announced on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, that the Iranian regime has not allowed inspectors to visit three undisclosed sites so far Mr. Rafael Grossi, the agency’s director-general called on Iran to immediately grant access to suspected nuclear sites.
On the other hand, all provinces of Iran are currently suffering from the Coronavirus disaster, but to the great surprise of everyone and the international community, there is no sign of the government, Rouhani nor Khamenei in management of the situation.
Instead, the regime’s officials flagrantly ask people to pray in order to heal and just through loudspeakers in the order of the streets people to stay home and pray, lest the crisis becomes a popular uprising against their regime. But behind the scenes, these same officials have been seriously and secretly boosting their uranium enrichment activities, reflecting the fact that Khamenei the supreme leader opportunistically is using the current situation to build a nuclear bomb.
On January 5, 2020, Tehran took a fifth step in reducing its nuclear commitments, announcing that it would now abandon its Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action restrictions and that its nuclear program would be based on its technical needs. Former IAEA Director-General Yukio Amano announced on June 10, 2019, that Iran had accelerated its production of enriched uranium. On August 30, 2019, IAEA announced that uranium enrichment in Iran had exceeded the agreed-upon ceiling of 3.76% and continued at a level of 4.5%. Accordingly, Iran’s enriched uranium reserves amounted to 241kg which is higher than 202kg mentioned in the brokered deal.
Tehran, which began taking five steps to reduce its nuclear commitments to blackmail the European Union and the United States, hoped that these threats would force the parties, especially the Europeans, to provide some relief from sanctions. But it didn’t. Neither the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges solution nor the $ 15 A billion loan offer was realized.
Meanwhile, November 2019 uprising in 200 cities in Iran to protest gasoline price hike and subsequent protests in Iraq and Lebanon with the motto of the expulsion of Iran and killing of Qassem Suleimani immersed Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader in a deadly crisis. So, he turned to a policy of contraction, a policy that resulted in augmented suppression of people, and closing the gap within his system.
For this same reason, on February 21, 2020 election window dressing, which faced heavy boycotts from people but with obvious manipulation and fraud, he swept away the so-called reformist gang from parliament and pulled out the names of his own gang members from the ballot box, in order to remove the last hurdles out of his way in parliament.
On the other hand, in the current situation, Tehran’s exporting terrorism channel is blocked, Tehran is isolated and on the edge of economical collapse. The Supreme Leader believes the only way in order to survive is to get the atomic bomb to have leverage internationally. A policy that drew strong international backlash.
The Atomic Agency’s Director-General, Rafael Grossi, said on March 9, 2020, “The Agency has so far sent 3 letters to the Iranian regime requesting access to these sites for its inspectors. But this country has not responded to any of the letters.”
British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said; “London would not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.” Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, commander of Central command said; “The United State’s strategy is to shut down all the channels that enable Iran to reach Atomic bomb and to neutralize Iran’s malign behavior in the region.”
But Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in the turmoil of Coronavirus is trying to follow the North Korean model by building a nuclear bomb as soon as possible and change its balance with respect to the US, forcing the US to lift sanctions or reduce them.
The US research faculty also commented on the regime’s efforts and wrote in a report a few days ago: “Tehran has always tended to build nuclear arsenals as a symbolic sign of deterrent power’s stance against foreign military strikes. These types of regimes believe by having a nuclear bomb they can preserve their system.”
The faculty then warns: “The repetition of the Pakistan and North Korea nuclear bomb scenario that has become a reality and irreversible must be prevented. There are only two ways to stop Iran’s nuclear program, the first is to overthrow The Iranian regime, and the second full-scale war in the region.”
*Perviz S. Khazai: is a law graduate and former Apprentice diplomat in French Ministry of Foreign Affairs- in IIAP(ENA) Paris, in United Nations in Geneva- In Red Cross International- In Council of Europe in Strasbourg and International Court of Justice in The Hague 1969-1971. He served as an international law expert of foreign affairs in Tehran 1976-1979. He served as the head of the mission and acting ambassador in Norway and Sweden in 1979-1982.