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Rest in Peace JCPOA

By Pepe Escobar

The Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is now, for all practical purposes, dead. Just like in the legendary Dead Parrot sketch  by Monty Python, this deal is no more. It has gone to meet its maker. This is a former deal.

The undertaker, significantly, was none other than the senile character currently impersonating the “leader of the free world”.

His name may be Joe Biden, but “Biden” is in fact a combo in the background dictating every line of the script the Crash Test Dummy in question haltingly tries to deliver, either mimicking the words whispered to his earpiece or struggling to read a teleprompter.

A new video, shot in early November, surfaced earlier this week where “Biden” says the JCPOA deal is dead. "But we’re not going to announce it. Long story.”    

The long story it is. When he was relatively less senile, on his campaign trail over two years ago, “Biden” promised that Washington would rejoin the JCPOA, which was unilaterally torn apart by his predecessor Donald Trump in 2018.

After he arrived at the White House, “Biden” – actually his handlers – appointed Robert Malley as special envoy to Iran, tasked to oversee the whole process, including discussions towards a renewed JCPOA.

Malley played the spoiler role to perfection. The sanctions obsession prevailed over any serious attempt to revive the JCPOA. 

In parallel, what former CIA analyst Ray McGovern has memorably defined as MICIMATT – the military-industrial-Congressional-intelligence-media-academia-think tank complex – revved up the blame game on Iran 24/7, now guilty because of a “hardline new president” incapable of “constructive dialogue with the West”. 

The original JCPOA clinched in Vienna in 2015 – I followed most of the process live – was very convenient at the time for the then-Barack Obama administration, the so-called EU3 (France, UK and Germany) and even Russia and China.

Obama believed that a deal would lead Tehran to be more amenable toward Washington.

Now the geopolitical chessboard has completely changed. The European Union plus the Brexiters have been reduced to an outsize satrapy of the American Empire.

The Russia-China strategic partnership is considered by the Americans as an existential threat. And Iran on top of it has been admitted as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). 

So there’s no incentive whatsoever for the Straussians/neo-cons and neoliberalcons who control Washington’s foreign policy to revive the JCPOA.   

The waltz of the EU satraps

The JCPOA was essentially a clone of the Minsk agreement: the Empire just playing for time before coming up with renewed mischief. Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel herself has revealed, on the record, that Minsk was nothing but a gigantic farce. 

Tehran though never fell into the trap. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, a smart geopolitical strategist, saw through it from the start: never trust the Americans.

He intuitively knew that whoever succeeded Obama – Hawkish Hillary or, as it happened, Trump – in the end, would not respect what was signed, and ratified by the United Nations.

As for the European satraps, they didn’t even make an effort to implement sanctions relief towards Iran via the INSTEX mechanism after Trump tore up the deal.

The unspoken mantra was to keep Iran down. It was as if this collective West combo was just waiting for the next color revolution bonanza – which in the end happened, too little, too late, a few months ago.  

If “Biden” handlers were really interested from the start in reviving the JCPOA, the straightforward path would have been to ditch the sanctions and go for it.

Instead, what happened was Malley and others demanding more concessions and turning sanctions relief into a mirage. The negotiations in Vienna this year reached a dead end. 

When the E3 countries came up with a draft agreement presented to the Iranian negotiators in Vienna, they made a few “reasonable” (EU terminology) changes and sent the package back to the Europeans, who submitted it to the Americans.

The changes were deemed “not constructive”. Dead end – all over again.

So “maximum pressure”, that Trump thing, but slightly less blunt, continued to dictate the proceedings under “Biden’s” handlers. Yet Tehran didn’t fold and diplomatically always insisted it was ready for a deal.

Malley himself had already hinted, nearly two months ago, that the revival of the deal was not a priority anymore; a new attempt at color revolution was the new game in town.

Hence the Blame Tehran Game reaching a fever pitch all over again: they are killing protesters in the streets, they are feeding weapons to Russia in Ukraine, and they want to build a nuclear bomb.  

At least now it’s in the open: the only thing that matters for US intel –and for the MICIMATT - is to facilitate attacks on Iranian security by their Kurd and Baloch assets, and to bribe as many “protesters” (read rioters) as possible to go Full-Color Revolution. 

The Empire of No Deals

Everyone analyzing West Asia with an IQ above room temperature knows that Iran’s “nuclear weapon program” is a gigantic farce – a massive propaganda campaign developed for decades by the usual suspects.

What really matters for Tehran is to increase its civilian nuclear capabilities. And that’s what’s already happening.

Iranian capacity for uranium enrichment is now twice as high as the total volume produced since the onset of its nuclear industry. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) just announced it’s enriching uranium at a historic 60 percent rate, using new advanced centrifuges – and will not wait for the resumption of negotiations in Vienna.

The leadership in Tehran has fully grasped the future is in Eurasia – from fully joining the SCO to becoming a member of BRICS+ perhaps as early as next year. Interlocking strategic partnerships with BRICS members Russia, China and India are in progress.

Iran is involved in the drive towards multipolarity across the spectrum. The latest example is Russia’s second-largest bank, VTB – sanctioned by the collective West - launching a new money transfer service to Iranian individuals and businesses, bypassing the US dollar.  

Nobody will miss the JCPOA. What matters in fact in this long-running saga is the valuable lesson learned by the whole Global South: it’s now blatantly clear the decaying Empire is non-agreement capable, and an eminently untrustworthy entity. 


Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst and author.

(The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)

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