Will JCPOA Endure?
The 2015 nuclear deal has constantly seen its fortunes ebb and flow. During the two-year tough negotiations leading to the landmark accord, there were moments when everybody thought a deal is out of reach. All parties, however, overcame hurdles until they finally signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
In fact, JCPOA would not have materialized if its participants had been careless about their own interests. As a result, Iran repeatedly emphasizes that the deal has emerged through a win-win scenario, the advantages of which will be guaranteed by sticking to this scenario. If the new administration in Washington does not see the deal's "win" perspective, it will not see the benefits and interests of Iran's commitments for the region and the world.
The deal's interests, however, are crystal clear. Iran has never intended to seek nuclear weapons but the West was suspicious. The deal ensures all that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful. Does Trump really wish to deny this achievement to US allies?
On the other hand, there is no doubt that Iran can no longer tolerate any limitations on the benefits of sanctions relief. Iran's growth rate was 7.2% in the first half of the current Iranian year (ends March 20), according to the central bank, and a 6% rate is forecast for the whole year. The consequences of growth are becoming more tangible for Iranians, as they find more job opportunities compared to the past years. One year after the implementation of the deal, Iran has approved foreign direct investment worth $12 billion, which is a record for more than a decade. Moreover, positive changes can be seen in all aspects of the domestic economy from agriculture to zero inflation.
Iran will continue to implement the deal unless US attempts to constrain Iran's economy with non-nuclear accusations. However, any serious attempt to limit Iran's benefits from the deal could derail it and undermine the benefits of JCPOA for all sides.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani chose the constructive option by agreeing to ease tensions with world powers and signed the historic nuclear deal. Iranians are confident that the government has done its best to secure national interests. Thus, they would strongly support the government even if the deal falters. Besides, a more united nation has emerged in Iran since the new US President Donald Trump signed the racial executive order to ban all Iranians from traveling to the US.
Now the question is: What is the purpose of pressuring Iran through non-nuclear sanctions? If these sanctions succeed in constraining the economy, a united Iran will restore its nuclear activities to pre-deal levels. It could also trigger tensions and conflict that are not beneficial to any country.
Iran has shown that it is eager to foster regional and international security and peace through dialogue and mutual respect. We hope others will also embrace the same ideals to have a better future for the region and the world.