Tuesday, February 23, 2021

What are the implications of Khamenei’s announcement that Iran can raise uranium enrichment to 60% at this time?


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Political analysts have discussed the implications of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s announcement of the possibility of Tehran raising uranium enrichment to a purity of up to 60%, which coincides with concerted international efforts to prevent Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Khamenei said in statements, yesterday, Monday: “Iran may enrich uranium by up to 60% if the country needs it,” stressing that Tehran will not yield to US pressure on its nuclear activities.

Lack of assessment of consequences

In this context, Iranian analyst Solmaz Ekder said: “Khamenei is pursuing a method of pressure and gambling in order to obtain nuclear energy in parallel with ensuring the development of the ballistic missile program and Tehran’s regional presence, while the Iranian leader does not seem able to bear the consequences of this matter.”

Ekder added in her article, published today, Tuesday, on the opposition Zaitoun news site, that “Khamenei, during the rounds of negotiations between Iran and the West to formulate the nuclear agreement, was shirking his responsibilities towards these fateful negotiations, and even denied the most important items in this agreement after signing it.”

It saw that the Iranian leader is working by following this policy to satisfy his supporters of the hard-line current controlling the reins of affairs in Tehran, especially those who reject Tehran’s soft power policy regarding its nuclear program.

The awkward position of the guide

The Iranian analyst considered that Khamenei’s position on the nuclear program at the current stage represents an increasingly aggravating dilemma, since the hardliners tightened their grip on the levers of government, and whose reaction would not be mere statements of rejection.

And she continued: “The task of silencing and curbing the hard-liners opposed to the nuclear agreement between Tehran and the West will not be easy, as was the case before they took control of the Iranian parliament, because the hard-line current possesses tools that may have the effect of canceling any nuclear talks, even if these talks are under the supervision of the Supreme Leader. “.

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The Iranian analyst explained that Tehran is currently facing three scenarios regarding the future of the nuclear agreement, the first is the hardliners’ insistence that Iran leave the agreement, and the second is that Hassan Rouhani’s government makes its last efforts to preserve this agreement, or thirdly, that Khamenei continues his recent nuclear approach with the aim of appeasing Hardliners at home, but at the cost of relations with the Americans and Europeans.

An escalating crisis

In turn, Iranian writer and analyst, Ihssan Mehrabi shed light on an escalating crisis between the Iranian parliament, led by militants, and the government of President Hassan Rouhani, about the nature of the relationship between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and Khamenei’s position on this crisis.

In his article published today, Tuesday, on the opposition website Iran Wire, Mehrabi indicated that hard-liners in the Iranian parliament reject the recent agreement between Rouhani’s government and the IAEA, which allows the agency to conduct “necessary” monitoring operations for a period of up to three months.

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Mehrabi pointed out that the Iranian parliament issued a decision that considered the government’s agreement with the IAEA a “violation” and deserves to be investigated by the judicial authority, stressing that the parity between the parliament institution and the government regarding the Iranian nuclear is witnessing a dramatic escalation that forced the Supreme Leader to intervene.

He noted the statements of the Iranian leader, Khamenei, immediately after the parliament announced its rejection of the Rouhani government’s agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, as Khamenei called on the two institutions not to escalate the crisis and the need to unify the voice on the nuclear issue in particular.

Image of the guide in front of the West

The Iranian analyst said, “Khamenei fears that the dispute between the parliament of hardliners and Rouhani’s government will expand in a way that makes him lose influence in the course of affairs in front of the West, especially since he is in their view the first decision maker in Iran.”

And he considered that “just as Khamenei did not accept Iran’s responsibility for formulating and implementing the nuclear agreement, it is also possible that he would disavow Tehran’s agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency regarding the latter’s monitoring of the nature of the Iranian nuclear program.”

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The Iranian guide’s announcement of his country’s intention to increase uranium enrichment by 60% comes in light of international warnings about Tehran getting close to obtaining nuclear weapons, a matter which the US administration stresses the need for the international community to address it.

Earlier, Iran announced its freedom from adhering to a number of terms of the nuclear agreement concluded with the West, as the most prominent Iranian steps in this regard were increasing uranium enrichment with a purity of up to 20% and the use of modern centrifuges in a number of nuclear sites.



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