After his recent interview with Iran president Rouhani, Fareed Zakaria described the nuclear deal with Iran as a “train wreck”.
Why? Because Rouhani told Zakaria that Iran would not destroy any of its centrifuges. “Not under any circumstances”, stated Rouhani.
Fareed’s concern is that the view in the West is completely different. In Western capitals as part of a final deal with Iran, at minimum Iran’s enrichment capability should be reduced significantly. Or in simpler terms, Iran will have to destroy a substantial part of its current number of centrifuges. This vast gap in the understanding between the two sides is what seems to have caused Fareed Zakaria to call the latest deal with Iran a “train wreck”.
I think Fareed is jumping the gun here. What the Iranian government, elected by people in limited regime monitored elections and what the un-elected regime headed by the supreme leader say is not always what they will always do.
This is why Iran should be judged by its actions and not its words.
Why am I saying this?
Because I have lost count of the number of times that Iranian regime and Iranian government officials have stated in the past that Iran would never cease enrichment at any level, be it temporary or permanent.
These were all said prior to the 24th of November 2013 Geneva deal.
Yet we saw that as part of that deal, Iran did agree to halt enrichment at 20%. Why? because of the pressure of sanctions (mainly) and also because of Ahmadinejad-enomics which had ruined Iran’s economy for eight years.
So just because Rouhani says that Iran would never destroy its centrifuges in an interview, it does not mean that this is set in stone. We have heard these claims before, and also seen how the Iranian regime allows the government to compromise over the nuclear program. And it could do so again. Because the regime can ultimately live without a nuclear program, but not without its economy.