Iran nuclear
Iranian workers in front of Bushehr nuclear power plant Image Credit: Reuters

What remains of the highly vaunted but deeply flawed Iranian nuclear deal is now in tatters with the wilful decision by Tehran to run roughshod over its prohibitions and limits on the enrichment of uranium. For the second time in as many weeks, Iran has breached the deal’s rules by increasing enrichment of uranium first to the 3.6 per cent threshold and now to enrich uranium to 5 per cent.

Why is this step significant? For starters the enrichment of uranium by concentrating its capabilities is a critical step in being able to produce a nuclear warhead. Should Iran continue to enrich its uranium, it is taking steps towards an outcome that simply cannot be allowed. What’s more, the process of enrichment was carefully regulated during the deal, and by gradually announcing the steps to new enriched levels, the regime is being deliberately provocative.

Make no mistake — Iran’s actions are a clear sign that it believes that nuclear deal is null and void. That should come as little surprise: The regime negotiated the deal in bad faith, on one hand trying to portray itself as moderate to the deal’s international signatories; at the same time developing its advanced ballistic missile programme, supplying Al Houthis with sophistical weaponry in Yemen, causing divisions in Iraq, propping up the regime of Bashar Al Assad in Syria, disrupting Lebanon’s civil society, and spreading sedition across the Gulf.

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Maybe now the European signatories of this deal will see that it is not worth it and their efforts to try and work with the regime in Tehran has been an abject waste of time.

Maybe now the Europeans will accept the view from Washington that the only way to contain the insidious and seditious agenda of the regime in Tehran is by a regimen of economic sanctions.

And maybe now the European signatories will realise that while they have been working to try and assist Tehran by coming up with a means to allow it to sell its oil or to trade with the rest of the world, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, through their training, logistics and know-how, was responsible for the attacks on four tankers off the coast of the UAE. That same know-how allows for militias to strike at civilian airports in Saudi Arabia. Or to target tankers in the Arabian Sea.

The only way forward is for the Europeans to return to a regimen of broad sanctions on Tehran — before it’s too late.