Arabs are growing increasingly concerned about Iran's sinister intentions and deception as the Iranians and representatives of Germany, France, Britain, Russia, and China continue their negotiations in Vienna about reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which the Trump administration abandoned in 2018.The deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is ostensibly aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Under the JCPOA, Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98%, and reduce by about two-thirds the number of uranium gas centrifuges for 13 years. After the deal expires in a few years, however, Iran may build as many nuclear weapons as it wants. In that sense, the JCPOA deal was a runway to a full-blown nuclear weapons program.On May 8, 2019, Trump announced the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, which Iran had been secretly violating, and Iran has been repeatedly violating the terms of the accord ever since.
The Iranians appear optimistic that the talks will bring the US back to the deal, saying a "new understanding" seems to be taking shape.
"We think that the talks have reached a stage where parties are able to begin to work on a joint draft," Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi told Iran's state television. "It seems that a new understanding is taking shape, and now there is agreement over final goals."
Arab columnists and political analysts who have been following the present negotiations in Vienna are convinced that Iran is once again poised to play the international community for fools. They warned the US and the other world powers against repeating the mistake of the past by falling for the Iranian ploy.
"History is repeating itself," wrote Saudi writer and researcher Abdullah bin Bajad Al-Otibi. "Those who commit the same mistakes and expect different results are deceiving themselves."
Al-Otibi described the 2015 Iran nuclear as an utter failure. "Regardless of the results of the Vienna talks, they will repeat the same mistake," he remarked.
"One of the most important reasons for the failure of the previous agreement was that it excluded the Arab Gulf states completely. Today, the same mistake is being repeated. The result will certainly not be different."
The Saudi writer pointed out that the Gulf states' demand to participate in the Vienna talks was ignored by the world powers. "The exclusion of the Gulf states confirms that the talks are aimed at reviving a dead agreement," Otibi argued. "The Western appeasement of Iran has reached new heights and the Iranian regime is exploiting that with some bravado."
According to Otibi, one of the "sins" of the previous nuclear deal was that it did not clearly address two main issues:
"First, the agreement did not address the Iranian regime's ambitions of hegemony and its blatant interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries through direct and semi-direct occupation in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. That is why Iran's evilness increased after that failed agreement, until a US administration that was tougher with Iran arrived.
"Second, the previous nuclear agreement did not address Iran's ballistic missiles that were threatening the Gulf states, and that was a major reason for the failure of that agreement. Iran today is targeting Saudi oil and global energy supplies, as well as civilians, as the world is watching."
Otibi warned that the world will quickly discover that once some sanctions against Iran are lifted, Iranian-sponsored terrorism will continue and "many will pay the price of inaction."