TEHRAN (Press Shia) – A Canadian political expert described Iran’s third step to suspend more of its nuclear commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers as a “perfectly appropriate” response to the breaches of the deal by all other parties.

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“Such a response (Iran’s third nuclear step) seems perfectly appropriate, especially when considered in the light of Iran’s undisputed commitment to not developing nuclear weapons,” Barry Grossman, who is based on the Indonesian island of Bali, told Press Shia in an interview.

Barry Grossman is a political analyst specializing in Public International Law, who has resided in Indonesia for more than 20 years, frequently commenting on current affairs and geopolitics. He graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1984 and from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto in 1987, after which he worked as a commercial litigator with a large Toronto law firm before moving to Australia to take up an academic position with the University of Melbourne Law School and, after that a lectureship at Monash University Law school. In addition, he worked for a number of years as a senior litigation consultant to a large, national law firm in Australia and is widely published by refereed Academic journals and as a writer of reference works for the legal profession.

Following is the full text of the interview:

Press Shia: A year after the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the European Union’s continued failure to ensure Iran’s economic rights under the deal, Tehran stopped honoring certain commitments in accordance with the text of the international accord. This week, the Islamic Republic plans to take “the third step” in reducing its obligations under the JCPOA. It seems that these steps have had some good results as the European side is endeavoring to save the deal. What is your assessment of the outcomes of Iran’s nuclear steps?

Grossman: Well as I understand it, the “3rd step” now being foreshadowed involves the suspension of Iran’s commitments under the JCPOA, which means that instead of retracting its commitments as the US has done, Iran will only suspend them as a result of comprehension breaches of the JCPOA by all other signatories. Such a response seems perfectly appropriate, especially when considered in the light of Iran’s undisputed commitment to not developing nuclear weapons.

That said, it should be clear to anyone who is paying attention, that the US obsession with forcing Iran to accept the JCPOA was in fact never motivated by any genuine concerns about nuclear proliferation. Indeed, even as the JCPOA was being negotiated, all 17 agencies comprising the US intelligence apparatus had, for roughly a decade, consistently been unanimous in advising Congress that throughout that period Iran had no nuclear weapons program or any plans to develop such a program.

It follows that whatever measure of commitment the EU may have to engaging Iran on fair terms, Hawks in the US and its closest allies will settle for nothing less than fully achieving their primary aims in Iran. Those aims, it should be clear, involve compelling Iran to:

1. recognize the legitimacy of Israel and abandon all support for Hamas, Hezbollah and any other groups committed to supporting Palestine;

2. suspend the development of missile technology and wind back its current arsenal of defensive missiles; and

3. fully submit to the US dominated, Eurocentric international system which, of course, the US and its key allies do not consider themselves bound by.  

Clearly, those aims are not going to be achieved so it remains to be seen just how much of what the EU and its key member nations’ public position on the JCPOA is in reality just rhetoric. Personally, I am anything but optimistic that the EU will resist US pressure and take real steps to facilitate trade with Iran until such time as a new administration changes the US policy position on Iran that has come to dominate with the election of Trump. The fact that Democrat contenders for the 2020 nomination, like the Democrat Party establishment itself, have been largely silent on the issue does not, in my opinion, bode well for a return of the already oppressive and unjust status quo that led to the JCPOA itself.    


Press Shia: As you know, Iran’s policy of “active resistance” against US bullying and unilateralism has borne good results. In the latest instance, Iran’s supertanker Adrian Darya, formerly known as Grace-1, was recently released by the government of Gibraltar despite a US request to continue its detention. In another development, the US recently announced plans to create a new security initiative in the Persian Gulf by forming a coalition against what it calls an Iranian threat. The US has asked its allies, including Germany, Japan, and France, to join the coalition but the call has not been warmly welcomed by them. What do you think about Iran’s policy and the concept of resistance?

Grossman: In a nutshell, the US policy is absurd. The very same ‘international system’ which the US-led Atlantic World wants to force on Iran makes it very clear that the US position is itself a violation of what passes as International Law. Moreover, the US itself has long rejected the territorial claims made by the two nations separated by the Strait of Hormuz – that is Iran and Oman – preferring instead to unilaterally impose a self-serving policy which is a clear violation of long standing laws, conventions and treaties governing national boundaries and international shipping.

Indeed, nothing could be more absurd than the current US notion that, together with a few allies, it can somehow deny Iran’s right to shipping, not only in international waters around the globe, but also within its own territorial waters, while at once compelling Iran to extend unimpeded passage to any and all foreign vessels in its own waters, including ships of war, all while the US claims that it wants to avoid a military confrontation.

Needless to say, if the US and UK continue to ramp up this policy of provocation, it will not end well for anyone.


Press Shia: Despite Washington’s policy of “maximum pressure” and its most severe sanctions against Tehran, the Islamic Republic has been able to control prices and inflation in the country through adopting certain financial strategies which are in line with the policy of “resistance economy”. What is your take on that? Do you think that the resistance will work in the future? 

Grossman: Under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Khamenei, the Islamic Republic of Iran fully embraced the imperative of striving for full self-sufficiency. Recent events and the oppressive, extra-legal policies being promoted by the USA make it clear this decision was far-sighted and, as recently noted by President Rouhani along with several other key ministers in Iran’s government, have only served to motivate Iranians to pull out stops in pursuit of that noble aim.