Iran has gambled on the war in Ukraine, weighing the cost of war for world economy, and decided to make a run for the nuclear threshold level, believing that no-one will know, let alone invest the resources to confront her. One year later Iran faces destabilization, recession and exploitation of resources, yet the West didn’t cave. The months to come might bring further sanctions and more resolve.
The war in Ukraine hits the world economy for the second time in this young decade, closely after COVID-19, with a loss of 1.5 trillion Dollars and growing. One might argue that Russia was led to believe, that following the depression caused by the pandemic, the West will not “invest” funds in Ukraine’s sovereignty, disregarding the fear of “who is next in line”. Whether the West was right or wrong to choose so, only history will tell. In the end, the civilians that have lost their jobs, whose investments and pensions have lost much of their value, who can hardly cope with electricity bills, will not care about the future if they can’t see the light.
With this in mind, Iran has been recalculating her efforts on the nuclear project. There has probably never been a better time to take the step into the so-called threshold. Iran understands that the West is sore, that further economic recession might bring Europe to its knees, at least that’s what they believed. Iran evaluated the situation on an economic level, but didn’t take into account that the West is already invested in the protection of Democracy and human rights.
The current sanctions, the dead-end in negotiations and the complete dependance on China might have led Iran to believe that there is nothing left to lose, and should Europe just look away for enough time, should Iran be able to distract IAEA long enough, then the threshold level will be at hand. If not, there’ll be hardly any more resources left to engage Iran and bear the consequences of oil prices rising, let alone if Iran should hinder oil tankers other than hers leaving the Hormuz straits.
Iran might have thought they can cause the West to doze off, while they go “all in”, accelerating the nuclear program in the shadow of the Ukraine war. Now, it finds itself out in the open and alone.
It is time to put on more pressure on Iran, mostly economic, and bring them back to the negotiating table to achieve a more substantial deal than the JCPOA of 2015, even to a status quo style 2004. Complete sanctions on the oil and gas industry, so-called crippling sanctions, should be implemented without hesitation. No one wants another war zone. China will not back any conflict coming from Iran, not after they have achieved the new deal with Saudi Arabia. Russia is much too involved in the Ukraine and the UN has Iran already in its scope for human rights violation.
Iran may have assessed the situation correctly when starting out, but now they understand that something must have gone wrong. The question remaining is, when will Iran understand that the only ones standing behind her are those who use her as distraction, whose interest is to weaken Iran even more, allowing them to replenish on the remains.