FPI Timeline: Iranian Defiance Since the July 14 Nuclear Agreement

By Tzvi Kahn

Foreign Policy Initiative

September 10, 2015

During the two months since Iran and the P5+1 reached the nuclear agreement on July 14, Tehran has reaffirmed that it will remain hostile to the West and continue to destabilize the Middle East. The regime has announced plans to advance its nuclear program, violate or reinterpret key provisions of the deal, and increase its support for terrorism and other rogue nations.
The Foreign Policy Initiative has prepared the following timeline to illustrate Iran’s behavior and statements since July 14 until the present.

July 14: “We’ve said very clearly that our military sites are off limits,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tells CNN. “We are prepared to cooperate with the [International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)] and we have now a program to cooperate and I think if you read the agreement, Annex I of the agreement, it’s clearly written that … the attempts to verify possible undeclared activity are not designed or are not aimed at military or other secrets of Iran or any other country.”
July 15: “The issue of Iranian assistance to Syria must not be criticized,” says Hojjat al Eslam Ali Saidi, the supreme leader’s representative to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), “because the line of resistance in Syria is the front line of resistance against arrogance [the West] and the Zionist regime [Israel]. So, if this line falls, the other lines will fall after it.”
“From now on,” says Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, “Iran’s nuclear activities will continue with a vengeance, particularly in the field of constructing nuclear power plants.”
July 18: In a speech punctuated by chants of “death to America” and “death to Israel,” the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says: “The so-called honest and truthful politicians of America call [Hezbollah] terrorist and call Iran supporter of terrorism due to its support for these [people]! You are supporting terrorism. It is you who create Daesh [i.e., ISIS], it is you who train terrorist(s), [it is] you who keep the evil and terrorist Zionists under your wing; you are [true] supporters of terrorist(s).”
In a separate speech, Khamenei says: “Our policy toward the arrogant government of America will not change a bit. As I have repeated frequently, we have no negotiation with America on different global and regional issues. … America’s policies in the region are 180 degrees different from the policies of the Islamic Republic.”
July 20: “Some of the things that were contained in the draft [of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which followed the nuclear deal] were particularly contrary to and in violation of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s red lines, especially regarding armament capabilities, and we will never accept them,” says IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari.
“#Israel’s security will not be ensured whether there will be an #IranDeal or not,” tweets the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
July 21: “By December 15, at the end of the year, the issue [of possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program] should be determined,” says Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. “The IAEA will submit its report to the board of governors. It will only submit it. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will continue independently of the results of this report” (emphasis added).
“Because Iran is self-sufficient when it comes to armaments and the military,” says Ali Akbar Velayati, the supreme leader’s senior foreign policy advisor, “it makes decisions independently; no one can dictate to Iran what weapons it can and cannot have, whether missiles, fighter aircraft, or tanks.”
July 25: The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, tweets an image of President Obama holding a gun to his own head. “US president has said he could knock out Iran’s military. We welcome no war, nor do we initiate any war, but..,” the tweet states.
“The U.S. was the Great Satan before the nuclear deal, and it will remain the Great Satan after the nuclear deal,” says Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, a key proxy of Iran. He adds: “When we take money from Iran, there is no need to find it on Wikileaks. We say loud and clear that we receive financial and material support from the Islamic Republic. We are proud to accept this kind of support, and the Islamic Republic is also proud to support our resistance movement. There is no room for confusion here.”
July 28: The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, says Tehran plans to build at least four new nuclear power plants over the next decade.
July 29: Ali Akbar Velayati, senior foreign policy advisor to the supreme leader, rejects the U.N. restrictions on Iran’s defensive capabilities, calling them “unacceptable.”
August 3: “The arrival of any foreigner, including inspectors of the IAEA or any other inspector, to our sensitive military sites is forbidden in any situation,” says Ali Akbar Velayati, senior foreign policy advisor of the supreme leader.
Iran dismisses the feasibility of “snapback” sanctions, the core enforcement mechanism of the nuclear agreement. “The structure of the sanctions that the US had built based on the U.N. Security Council’s resolutions was destroyed and like the 1990s when no other country complied with the US sanctions against Iran, no one will accept the return of the sanctions [in the future],” says Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
August 5: The Institute for Science and International Security releases a report indicating that Iran in recent weeks worked to sanitize a site at the Parchin military complex linked to past high explosive work. According to the report, “this renewed activity may be a last ditch effort to try to ensure that no incriminating evidence will be found.”
August 7: An Iranian official states that Qassem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC Qods Force, visited Moscow in July for meetings with Russian leaders. Such a trip violates international sanctions, which target Soleimani for his role in advancing Tehran’s global terror operations.
August 10: An Iranian court held a final hearing for Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, which it has falsely charged with espionage and other crimes. Rezaian now awaits a verdict.
August 18: An Iranian report states that Tehran threatened to personally harm the head of the IAEA, Yukiya Amano, if he discloses the contents of the secret side deals to the nuclear agreement.
Iran announces it will sign a contract with Russia to purchase the S-300 surface-to-air missile system, which would dramatically strengthen Tehran’s ability to defend its nuclear sites.
August 20: The Associated Press releases the text of a secret side deal that would allow Iran to self-inspect the Parchin military complex, where the regime may have tested a nuclear explosive device.
Israel says Iran is trying to move advanced weaponry, including the SA-22 (Pantsir- S1) air defense system and the Yakhont anti-ship cruise missile, from military storehouses in Syria to Hezbollah.
August 21: “Some wrongly think Iran has suspended its ballistic missile programs in the last two years and has made a deal on its missile program ... We will have a new ballistic missile test in the near future that will be a thorn in the eyes of our enemies,” says the commander of the aerospace division of the IRGC, Brig. Gen. Amirali Hajizadeh.
August 22: Iran unveils a new surface-to-surface missile known as the Fateh-313 that it says can strike targets with pin-point accuracy within a range of 310 miles.
“We will buy, sell and develop any weapons we need,” President Hassan Rouhani says at an unveiling ceremony for the Fateh-313, “and we will not ask for permission or abide by any [U.N.] resolution for that.” Should Tehran act on this statement, it may violate binding restrictions in U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 on the acquisition of ballistic missiles and conventional arms.
August 24: Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan announces that Iran’s ground forces plans to stage six war games, including missile drills, before the end of the Iranian calendar year (March 2016).
August 26: IRGC Navy Commander Brig. Gen. Ali Fadavi says the navy will conduct two exercises before the end of the Iranian calendar year.
August 27: According to the IAEA, Iran appears to have built an extension to part of the Parchin military complex.
August 29: The family of Amir Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine currently serving a 10-year sentence in an Iranian jail for espionage, waging war against God and corrupting the earth, marks the fourth anniversary of his imprisonment.
August 31: Ali Akhbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, says Iran plans to implement a 15-year plan to enhance its nuclear capabilities. President Hassan Rouhani says Iran plans to export enriched UF6 and import yellow cake from abroad.
September 1: “The head of the IRGC, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, announced plans to expand the reach of Iran’s missiles and warned that despite the nuclear deal, America was still the ‘same Great Satan,’” The New York Times reports. Mohammad Yazdi, the head of the Assembly of Experts, said, “We should not change our foreign policy of opposition to America, our No. 1 enemy, whose crimes are uncountable.”
September 2: “Enrichment will not stop for even one day; this is while the opposing parties abandoned their own policy of ‘zero enrichment,’” says Abbas Araghchi, deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs, during a meeting of the Assembly of Experts.
“We are committed to our obligations, but we have no plans for the future to allow them access to whatever site they want,” says Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan, Iran’s defense minister.
IRGC Commander Brig. Gen. Mohsen Kazzemeini says Iran would increase its military preparedness until “it overthrows Israel and liberates Palestine.”
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian says Bashar Assad is “part of [the] solution” in Syria.
September 3: The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says Iran would not adhere to the nuclear agreement if the P5+1 fails to lift sanctions rather than suspend them. “If they suspend [the sanctions], we too will suspend [what is incumbent upon us],” he says. “If we are to implement what [is required of us], the sanctions must be [actually] cancelled.” Such a demand would effectively require the parties to renegotiate the agreement.
Khamenei also says that the majlis, or Iranian parliament, would have the final say on the nuclear deal, generating uncertainty about its ultimate fate.
Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the IRGC, says: “Know this: whether or not the deal happens, America is the number one enemy of the Islamic nation of Iran and the Islamic world… whether there will be an agreement or not, we will support the oppressed and Muslim nations against America’s domination.”
September 9: The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, says Tehran will not negotiate with the United States, which he dubs the “Great Satan,” on any issue other than the nuclear program. He also states that Israel will no longer exist in 25 years.