By breaching the critical limit on nuclear fuel possession under the 2015 international nuclear pact, Iran has once again sent unequivocal signals that it is a rogue nation that doesn’t really believe in diplomacy, dialogue, or even peace. Why else would any country abandon a deal struck with global powers after years of negotiations and persuasion, something that resulted in the lifting of years of crippling sanctions and was aimed at putting its economy back on track? As per its 2015 long-term deal with P5+1 – the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany – Iran was supposed to restrict its uranium stockpile to 300kg and not exceed that limit until 2031. It just did exactly that, by its own accord.
Such irresponsible behaviour doesn’t just put the Middle East region in peril, but heightened tensions and the prospects of a choked Strait of Hormuz will also lead to an escalation in the price of oil – something that the world and its sluggishly growing economy can ill-afford at this time. Iran is once again behaving like a bully, with the country’s foreign ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi telling the world that it will continue to flout internationally agreed deals and recommence provocations unless its unscrupulous demands are met. The slippery slope on which Iran has chosen to once again embark can only result in disaster for it.
Just last week, the country pooh-poohed the rather generous offer made by European officials to set up a barter system with Iran to compensate for the effects of the US sanctions. The previous sanctions cost it a loss of $160 billion in oil income alone, between 2012 and 2016. In addition, the country had $100 billion worth of its overseas assets frozen, its currency dipped to record lows, the inflation rate surged to all-time highs and investors shunned its markets like the plague. A country that doesn’t mind going back into the same dark age despite its neighbours and the world powers extending a helping hand is looking for trouble. With its latest indiscretion, it may have just found it.