MESOPOTAMIA NEWS FOCUS : Iran Uses ‘Maximum Pressure’ On Biden Administration To Have Sanctions Lifted And Be Recognized As Nuclear Threshold State – And Based On This, To Attain Nuclear Balance Of TerrorBy A. Savyon – MEMRI ANALYSIS 1556   5 Febr 2021



In recent weeks, Iran has been implementing a policy of “maximum/wise resistance,” manifested in “maximum pressure” on the U.S. and the international community in a range of arenas. This policy is aimed at causing the Biden administration to lift all sanctions on Iran and compensate it for the damage they caused; leverage Iran’s nuclear accomplishments to date to gain additional ones; and have Iran recognized as a nuclear threshold state with the ability to produce a nuclear bomb within a short time, in order to move towards a nuclear balance of terror in the Middle East, to block European initiatives to include the issue of Iran’s ballistic missile development and its expansion in the region in a new agreement, and to ensure the continued existence of the Iranian regime.

These are the measures taken by the Iranian regime:

In the nuclear arena: Accelerating nuclear development efforts while violating the 2015 JCPOA nuclear agreement: Enriching uranium to a high level – 20%; enriching using advanced-generation centrifuges; the passage, in the Majlis, of legislation for noncooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and expulsion of IAEA inspectors; stating that the (nonexistent) fatwa by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei that (purportedly) bans Iran from using nuclear technology for military purposes can be changed according to circumstances, such that there will be no absolute ban on nuclear weapons.

In the ballistic missile arena: Using the launch of satellites into space, as civilian scientific activity, to demonstrate the Iranian capability to produce very long-range missiles.

In the conventional military arena: Shows of conventional strength – conducting extensive military exercises that include the use of advanced suicide drones.

In the regional arena:

·         Iraq – Attacking U.S. targets using Shi’ite militias.

·         The Gulf – Attacking Saudi and Gulf targets using Yemeni Houthi militia.

·         Afghanistan – Pressuring the Taliban to destroy the peace agreement it arrived at with the help of the Trump administration.

In the political arena: All-out diplomatic pressure – Seizing Western oil tankers and arresting Western nationals in order to pressure the U.S.

It should be emphasized that Iran’s nuclear program is the Iranian regime’s national project, and that all political streams – ideologues, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the government of President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif – are fully on board with it. The 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal, arrived at with the Obama administration, was achieved through full planning, consent, and coordination of the entire Iranian regime elite, with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s consultation and oversight throughout, with the aim of improving revolutionary Iran’s strategic status.

The Iranian regime assesses that it can force the Biden administration to agree to upgrade Iran’s nuclear status. That is to say, the Obama administration recognized Iran’s right to enrich uranium with a full nuclear fuel cycle, and now the Biden administration can be led to consent to a nuclear balance of terror in the Middle East, as part of which Iran will have nuclear weapons for “defensive purposes.” The Iranian regime is striving to force the Biden administration and the international community to agree to upgrade Iran’s nuclear status. It assesses that after the Obama administration recognized, in 2012, three years before the JCPOA, Iran’s right to enrich uranium on its own soil and to have a full nuclear fuel cycle, it would be possible, nine years later, to lead the Biden administration to consent to a nuclear balance of terror in the Middle East in which Iran will have nuclear weapons for defensive purposes.

The first hints of the Iranian regime’s initiative to gain legitimacy for such a nuclear balance of terror in the Middle East based on its progress towards recognition as a nuclear threshold state can be seen in statements by Iranian officials who are members of the regime’s Expediency Council. They are speaking openly about the Iranian regime’s need for a nuclear bomb, and that if circumstances require it, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei can change his (nonexistent) fatwa banning Iranian use of nuclear weapons. These speakers include Mostafa Najafi, secretary of the foreign and international relations working group of the regime’s Expediency Council and political commentator for Middle East affairs who writes for several dailies affiliated with pragmatic regime circles in Iran. In an article published December 13, 2020 in the Iranian Foreign Ministry mouthpiece Irdiplomacy, and another published January 28, 2021 in the pragmatic daily Tabnak, he justified a future demand by Iran for nuclear weapons (see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 9170, Iranian Expediency Council Official In Article In ‘Tabnak’ Daily: ‘Why Iran Is Demanding A Nuclear Bomb,’ February 4, 2021).

Another official, Amir Mousavi, who directs the regime’s Center for Strategic Research and International Relations, an arm of the Expediency Council, and who is a former Iranian ambassador to France, spoke in two interviews in the past week with Arab and Russian media about changing Khamenei’s nuclear fatwa and about obtaining nuclear weapons:

To view MEMRI TV clip “Former Iranian Diplomat Amir Mousavi: Khamenei Might Resort to Changing Fatwa Banning Nuclear Weapons,” February 1, 2021,  click here or below: