Viennese nuclear deal from Iran’s point of view is nearing its end. “We have given diplomacy plenty of time, but enough is enough,” Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi told the daily Etemad. The recent oil sanctions of the United States and the powerlessness of the other contractors to do something about it have led to hopelessness in Iran. “The nuclear deal is moving quickly toward the endpoint,” says Araghchi. He is one of the architects and supporters of the agreement.
Araghchi criticized not only the United States but also the other five contractors – the UN veto powers Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom and Germany. These would have promised Iran that the agreement – especially its economic part – would be implemented without the United States. “But nothing happens in practice,” says Araghchi.
The Vienna Atomic Energy Agency was closed in July 2015. The agreement seeks to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons through strict international controls. In return, the West promised to reduce sanctions and normalize economic relations. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA, Since January 2016, Iran has adhered to the agreement and has not violated the requirements.
The United States under President Donald Trump However, at the beginning of May 2018, withdrew unilaterally from the agreement. Among other things, US accused Iranian leadership of financing terrorism and destabilizing the Middle East and Gulf region. Another point of criticism: The agreement does not include the Iranian missile program. The US government rejected the accusation that the ultimate goal of the sanctions was a regime change in Iran.
Last November, the United States enacted so far toughest economic sanctions against Iran. These are aimed primarily at the oil industry, the largest source of revenue in the country. So far, the US government has allowed eight states to import Iranian oil with impunity for six months, including Iran’s largest oil buyers China and India. This exemption is now aborted. From this Thursday onwards, anyone who buys oil from Iran can virtually no longer do business with American companies.
Iran has been facing an acute economic crisis for months due to US sanctions. A further limited oil export could not only aggravate the economic crisis, but also lead to political and military tensions. Iran has already threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, the main seaborne route to global oil trade. Through the Strait of Hormuz almost one third of all oil exports are shipped. A blockade would not only be a blow to the international oil trade. It would very likely lead to military conflicts.
Due to the acute economic crisis, Iran is forced to ration fuel. From this Thursday, the Iranians get the previous price of 10,000 Rials (0.22 euros) only 60 liters of gas a month. For the rest, they would then have to pay 25,000 Rials (0.54 €), the news agency Tasnim reported on Wednesday.
Although the new prices are low for European standards, they are high for Iranians with an average monthly income of around 300 euros.
The gasoline was last rationed in 2007 under the then President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The controversial decision led to nationwide protests. After the beginning of Hassan Rouhani’s presidency in 2013, gasoline rationing was gradually phased out.
Now Rouhani has to make the same unpopular decision. Should the crisis worsen further, Rouhani could be forced to resign.