After years of destructive sanctions which have been imposed on our nation by Western States as a result of the ill-advised policies of the Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Khamenei] and his appointees, on Saturday January 16th 2016 the negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 group were concluded and, after verification by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Iran had fulfilled its commitments, the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the fulfillment of the commitments of other parties to the Plan, began.
In his radio-TV interview, Hassan Rouhani [Iranian President] said: “…today we have reached a turning point… As of today, Iran’s nuclear programme is no longer, under any fictitious pretext, a threat to global and regional peace. Rather, Iran’s nuclear programme will serve modern technology in line with the development of the country, and the stability and security of the region… The Islamic Republic [of Iran], instead of being legally under the pressure of six resolutions of the Security Council of the UN and 12 resolutions of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency up to today, it is now under the obligation of a resolution that is presenting this JCPOA to the world as a resolution ratified by the Security Council of the UN.”
There is no doubt that the implementation of the JCPOA agreement is a significant event that will have substantial impact on political developments in our country. Despite all the propaganda claims of the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) and the assessments of a number of opponents and supporters of the theocratic regime and the efforts of the regime’s leadership to hide almost a decade of destructive policies and the reasons for dragging the IRI to the secret negotiations with the US, which according to the existing records and documents had started two years before Hassan Rouhani’s administration took office, our party has published concrete and detailed analyses and assessments in this regard in the past two years, from which the following points can be highlighted:
First, as far as the regime and the government of Hassan Rouhani is concerned, signing the JCPOA and agreeing to all the conditions limiting Iran’s nuclear industry was inevitable. The regime’s factions collectively supported the JCPOA and interaction with the USA, because the more than eight years of damaging policies of the administration of Ahmadinejad,who was installed by Ali Khamenei, and the devastating sanctions of imperialist states have created immense problems for our nation and country. Inflation, bankruptcy of manufacturing institutions, unemployment, and poverty are skyrocketing and the risk of social implosion is a serious threat to the survival of the theocratic regime of Iran. Despite all the deafening political maneuvers of the “concerned” factions connected to the military-security and their media outlets such as the Kayhan Daily newspaper, the government agreed to the key elements of the US and European countries’ conditions, of course under the supervision and with the full consent of the Supreme Leader, and opened the way for implementation of the JCPOA.
Second, the scope of the negotiations that led to the JCPOA was much broader than just the nuclear industry of Iran and the lifting of economic and financial sanctions, and was directly and closely related to the collaboration of the theocratic regime in Iran with the macro-policies of the US administration in the Middle East region. The concern of the reactionary governments of Israel and Saudi Arabia in respect of the JCPOA agreement and their strong opposition to it, and the tension-building actions of Saudi Arabia in recent weeks in the region, in addition to recent developments in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Syria, are all strong indications confirming this view.
Third, as we had pointed out previously, contrary to the claims of Hassan Rouhani and others, the implementation phase of the JCPOA will not coincide with the lifting of all the sanctions at once. The agreement reached is actually about “gradual lifting of sanctions” parallel to Iran’s execution of plans in line with the demands of the US and the EU. Today it has become clear that the representatives of the theocratic regime of Iran took part in the negotiations from a weak position, and according to the agreements reached they have to obtain the positive endorsement of the US and other parties to the agreement with regards to their good intention in the next 10 to 15 years (according to the official documents of the negotiations in the past year), because according to the agreed terms, if the US is not satisfied with the performance of the IRI it can immediately restore or snap back the “financial” sanctions. In addition, if it is assessed that Iran has violated the terms of the JCPOA, the UN sanctions can be re-imposed without requiring a fresh vote in the Security Council [of the UN].
As we have stated previously, we are pleased that the leaders of Iran’s theocratic regime, under the pressure of public opinion and in response to the dangerous situation that was created as a result of the continuation of the reckless policies of the Supreme Leader and its installed government and which was threatening the survival of their rule, were forced to change their damaging and tension-building policies. We congratulate our people – who have suffered the most in the past ten years from those policies – on the occasion of the cessation of the main elements of the financial and economic sanctions and the easing of international pressure on our country. We hope that by strengthening the people’s pressure [on the government] and the raising of effective challenge to the economic policies that Hassan Rouhani has planned in line with the implementation of the JCPOA to satisfy imperialist bodies, the way for more positive and significant developments can be paved.
Clearly, the regime’s leaders will try to politically exploit the implementation of the JCPOA and the lifting of sanctions to bolster their social base and to overcome the current political crisis in the country. Amongst the consequences of and areas of attention in the implementation of the JCPOA is the regime’s hope to build political stability and to take control over the process and the outcomes of the forthcoming parliamentary elections and the elections of the Assembly of Experts in line with the directions and demands of the Supreme Leader, and to secure the “maximum” votes of the people and even of the “opponents of the regime” in these election spectacles, in which, according to the head of the policy-making council of the reformists, only 30 of the 3000 reformist candidates have not been disqualified.
From the point of view of the theocratic regime in Iran, the post JCPOA era (from the economic perspective) is assessed as the turning point in the attempt to alleviate the social-political crisis and to ease the harsh economic challenges and other problems such as the escalation of joblessness and poverty and the destitution of the people, the society being driven towards social implosion, and a turning point in the efforts of the government to achieve an “accelerating economic growth”. Obviously the macro-economic policies of the theocratic regime of Iran, which are the same neoliberal policies prescribed by the IMF and the World Back, cannot resolve the problems of the ailing economy of our country.
While welcoming the implementation of the JCPOA and the ending of some of the devastating financial and economic sanctions imposed on our nation, the Tudeh Party of Iran believes that it is only through the common struggle of all the freedom-loving forces and those seeking genuine reforms that the road to fundamental and significant change and development in Iran can be paved and the country saved from the current economic-political crisis. The battle against the deeply despotic and anti-people governance practices of the theocratic regime of Iran and the rejection of it as the dominant governance structure in the political regime of Iran is the first step in this difficult and tortuous struggle.
The Central Committee of the Tudeh Part of Iran,
17 January 2016