Soft Coup in Iran: Western Allies Coerce Iran Into Capitulating Its Nuclear Program

In-depth Report:

As it appears, Washington has succeeded to stage a soft coup in Iran under a carefully planned “Iran Project” initiated in 2001. The project objective was to dismantle Iran’s nuclear infrastructure by installing a puppet government in Tehran. [1] Hassan Rouhani and Mohammad Javad Zarif have been the leading actors of this coup. The nucleus of the coup was a group of former Iranian diplomats at the United Nation, the so-called New York Circle (Halgheh), which included Zarif and Hussein Fereydoun, Rouhani’s brother.

Zarif has had friendly relations with some well known Americans. Over a decade ago, Zarif met then Senator John Kerry first in a party hosted by the Wall Street investor George Soros.[2] Under the Project, helped by the US-financed media outlets and collaboration of compradors in Iran, Hassan Rouhani became president in 2013.[3] The Key figures in his administration happen to be the members of the New York Circle, including his Foreign Minister Zarif. After becoming president, Rouhani in consultation with the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, decided to capitulate to all US demands and dismantle Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, which ultimately led to the Vienna agreement.

The Vienna Agreement

After years of coercive diplomacy, the United States and its European allies finally forced the clerics in Tehran to dismantle the vital parts of Iran’s nuclear program. At the end of a marathon negotiations session in Vienna on July 14, 2015, the Six World Powers, led by the US, imposed on Iran the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The JCPOA or Vienna agreement was unanimously approved by the European Union and by the UN Security Council on July 20. As a result, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the UNSC issued Resolution 2231, making the Vienna agreement a formal international accord binding on Iran. According to the agreement all nuclear related sanctions against Iran will be eventually lifted pending implementation of all steps the agreement requires Iran to take and can snap-back in case of violations.[4]

Propaganda to Fool Iranians

As soon as the deal was agreed on in Vienna, Rouhani began spreading propagandas to fool and mislead Iranians concerning the details of the agreement. His government ordered the media not to criticize the agreement and instead show it as an exceptionally good deal for the country. The university professors were dictated to praise the agreement in classrooms for the students. At the same time, his government put under pressure the critical media outlets; the weekly newspaper Nohome-Dey that had criticized the agreement was banned, and the widely circulated daily Kayhan and the radical website Raja News were given notices for criticizing the agreement.

Surprisingly, Rouhani’s government issued permit for the BBC to operate inside Iran after years of prohibition. Moreover, the US based Iranian NGOs and the US funded Persian Language radio and television programs along with the US fifth column in Tehran began spreading propagandas that the agreement was good for Iran.[5] The factions affiliated with Rouhani’s government preached people to believe that Iran had won. On July 17, in a sermon given at the Friday Prayer, a senior cleric, Mohammad Ali Movahedi said “in the negotiation we forced the West to accept Iran’s rights”; while in reality, it was just the reverse for the reasons explained below.

Dismantling the Nuclear Facilities

The agreement requires Iran to dismantle its main enrichment facility in Fordow, destroying 98% of its enriched uranium stockpile, and not to produce enriched uranium above 3.75% level. Also, Arak Heavy Water Reactor, a domestically designed 40 mega watts nuclear reactor that is 95% complete, must be destroyed (its core has to be filled with concrete), and only about 6000 old centrifuges will stay in Natanz to function, the remaining two-thirds of the centrifuges have to be stored for 15 years at which time they become technically obsolete. Overall what is left is a useless nuclear program that does not produce any benefit to Iran. In brief, the US coerces Iran to destroy its vital nuclear facilities under supervision of the IAEA, wiping out billions of dollars of investment in its nuclear energy industry.

More importantly, the agreement forces Iran to accept the IAEA’s Additional Protocol, which makes the country subjected to the most severe preventive inspections and supervisions that have ever been imposed on any country to date. The IAEA will have access to all phases of Iran’s nuclear program as well as Iran’s military sites to monitor a possible military dimension of Iran’s nuclear activity. Iran has to let the Agency to interview the Iranian nuclear scientists and military men. This agreement is disastrous for the Iranian people as it will pave the way for future military interventions in the country.

Rouhani’s government has already implemented most of the steps JCPOA requires in advance without informing the parliament (Majles). Destruction of Iran’s main nuclear facilities must be verified and confirmed by the IAEA Board of Governors and then be reported by the Agency Director General to the UNSC. Iran will go under IAEA’s supervisions beyond the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) requirements. Under the agreement, Iran must let the IAEA inspectors to access its suspected military sites within 24 days. Therefore, Iran’s military sites will be vulnerable to IAEA inspections and their strategic structures will be identified for possible future military attacks.

Also, Iran has accepted a separate confidential agreement with the IAEA to clarify its past nuclear activity. Critics contend the IAEA and its organs are the tools of the United States to break up the sovereignty of developing countries. The pattern of destroying a resource-rich country by the US is familiar: manufacture a pretext, impose economic sanctions to weaken the country, denuclearize it, eliminate its missiles and other key defense capabilities, and ultimately attack the country. That was the pattern in the invasions and destructions of Iraq and Libya by the US and its European allies.

Restricting Defense Capabilities

The UN restrictions on arms and nuclear-related materials will continue to be imposed on Iran. Moreover, the agreement goes beyond the nuclear program by forcing Iran not to manufacture or test ballistic missiles for 8 years and not to export arms for five years. Ballistic missiles are the most important conventional weapons that Iran manufactures. According to Annex B, item 3 of the UN Resolution, Iran is not permitted to manufacture or test the missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.[6] Yet, Ballistic missiles that carry nuclear warheads do not differ much from those without nuclear warheads. Iran’s ballistic missiles are in the range of 1000 to 3500 kilometers and do not have nuclear warheads. That prevents Iran from sending satellites into space. Therefore, the resolution bars Iran not only from nuclear technological progress but also from advancing in conventional missiles and that significantly weakens Iran’s defense capabilities. Provisions 11 and 12 of the Resolution provides If Iran does not comply with the JCPOA agreement, upon request of any of the Six Powers, the sanctions can snap-back, and even China and Russia are not able to veto re-imposition of the UNSC sanctions.[7]

The Revolutionary Guards oppose the agreement because it endangers Iran’s defense capabilities. However, the government has told the Guards not to intervene in politics. As it appears, behind the scene the top clerics, Ali Khamenei and Hassan Rouhani, have accepted all the US requested demands and now are trying to contain the Guards to prevent a possible revolt.

Ratification of the Agreement

The agreement is currently reviewed by the legislative bodies in the US and Iran. While JCPOA is under scrutiny line by line in the US Congress, in Iran it is just the opposite. Rouhani wants the Majles to give up its authority to review the agreement. He wants the agreement to be approved by the Supreme National Security Council, a non-elected body, and bypass the Majles. This is because the Majles had earlier devised a law which requires the government to preserve Iran’s nuclear rights and achievements. That could cause the Majles to reject the agreement. The head of Atomic organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, wrongly has said JCPOA is not a treaty, so it does not need to go through the Majles. [8] Rouhani’s negotiators have made a legal blunder by letting the agreement first go to the UNSC before the Majles reviews it. According to Articles 77 and 125 of Iran’s constitution, Majles must approve all agreements and treaties negotiated with foreign countries.[9]

Khamenei wants the agreement to be approved by the Majles, using his influence.[10] The Majles’ Head and some of its representatives are sided with Khamenei and want to vote on the overall JCPOA without going through the details of the document. The Iranian parliament is feeble; its bills can be overruled by non-elected councils or by the Supreme Leader. There are 290 representatives in the Majles, forty of whom are clerics and some 25 are close relatives of the Majles Head, Ali Larijani, and some others have close relations with the clerical families. Some Majles’ Representatives do not have good knowledge of the agreement they are reviewing. The agreement has 104 pages of text, including 5 annexes.[11]

It is full of technical details beyond Iran’s nuclear program and gives the powerful countries and IAEA the ability to intervene in Iran’s defense policy. The translation of the agreement by Iran’s Foreign Ministry has been questioned for inaccuracy by some Majles Representatives and has been returned to the Foreign Ministry. No official Farsi version of JCPOA has been prepared. The foreign ministry translation does not have legal basis because it is not a formal document. The Majles intends to delay voting on the agreement until the US congress makes its mind. The Majles representatives are obligated to the Iranian people and not to the top clerics who have sacrificed Iran’s sovereignty to keep their regime. Therefore, the Majles must reject this shameful agreement at this important historical juncture.

Instead of capitulation, Iran has the right to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty under Article X.1 of the Treaty, contending the Treaty has jeopardized its national sovereignty.[12] This option still is open to the country if the Majles rejects the agreement and rules to stop its implementation. Iran has legitimate reasons to withdraw; five of its scientists have been assassinated by foreign backed agents, its nuclear facilities have been sabotaged by computer viruses, and its economy has been illegally sanctioned by the US and its European allies. In case of withdrawal, Iran can have more power to negotiate and can preserve its nuclear rights and achievements. Also it can maintain its nuclear deterrent capability in case of attacks by the US and Israel.

There are now mock fights in the US congress over the agreement. Republicans feel if Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran is approved, it can lead to Democrats’ victory in the 2016 presidential election. For that reason, they are trying to oppose the deal. However, Obama has said he will veto the Congress if the deal is rejected. As of this writing, most members of the US congress have said they do not want to support the deal. There is also a mock fight going on by Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who says the agreement should be rejected. This is despite Obama’s administration consultations with him and Israeli eavesdropping at the negotiations. Israeli nuclear experts had hidden in nearby rooms throughout the negotiations and had been consulted.[13] Iran’s deal benefits Israel because it enables Israel to remain as the sole nuclear power in the region.

The Reminiscence of Capitulation

In March 1962, the US pressured Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi to grant immunity from trial under Iranian laws to all American military advisors and technicians serving in Iran, including those hired by the Iranian government. The Shah pushed Iran’s Senate and the Majles to grant the immunity. The legislative bodies narrowly approved the immunity bill on October 13, 1964. This privilege gave the US exclusive rights and permanent jurisdiction over all American military and civilian employees.[14] On October 26, 1964, Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini denounced the capitulation granted to Americans and used it as a political tool to mobilize the opposition against the Shah. It is now astonishing that Khomeini’s successor, Ali Khamenei, has awarded another capitulation to foreign powers on a much more important issue than the Shah did. The Shah’s capitulation to the United States was the reminiscence of capitulation privileges the Qajar King Fath-Ali Shah granted to Russian military personnel to end the Russo-Persian war of 1826-28. Under the treaty of Turkamanchai, signed on February 21, 1828, Iran recognized capitulation rights for Russians living in Iran, and Russia gained the right to send consulate envoys anywhere in Iran. Also, Russia striped Iran from large parts of its land in the Caucasus and prohibited Iran from navigation on its own shores along the Caspian Sea.[15] The capitulation to Russia was eventually revoked in 1927 by the Shah’s father Reza Shah Pahlavi.

Prime Minster Mohammad Mosaddegh did not want to capitulate, the control of Iran’s oil, to the British government. For that reason, his service to his country was ended by the Anglo-American military coup in 1953. It is regrettable that now a few individuals under the banner of Mosaddegh’s “Jebhe Melli”, have joined the US fifth column to promote another capitulation to foreign powers.

By conceding to the nuclear agreement in Vienna,  Tehran has granted a very shameful capitulation to foreign powers. The clerics have sacrificed Iran’s national security and sovereignty in return for survival of their regime. By imposing the JCPOA, the US has forced the clerical regime to accept the most shameful capitulation in Iran’s contemporary history. Rouhani and his foreign minister Zarif must be ashamed of imposing such a capitulation on the Iranian people.

Akbar E. Torbat teaches economics at California State University, Los Angeles. He received his PhD in political economy from the University of Texas at Dallas. Email: [email protected], Webpage:


[1] The project was partly financed by the Rockefeller Brother Funds, see: Peter Waldman, How Freelance Diplomacy Bankrolled by Rockefellers Has Paved the Way for an Iran Deal, July 2, 2015,

[2]Michele Hickford, You will NOT BELIEVE who was best man at John Kerry’s daughter’s wedding, July 28, 2015,

[3] Television Serial 24, aired between 2002 to 2010, part VIII, according to the this clip Iran’s president name is Hassan, and Iran is permitted to have only 6000 , the same as in in JCPOA.

[4] Resolution 2231 (2015), which includes the text of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Vienna, 14 July 2015,

[5] ,

[6] Resolution 2231 (2015), P. 99,

[7] Ibid p. 4

[8] Reuters, Iran’s parliament has no power over nuclear deal, top negotiator says,

[9]Iran’s Constitution,

[10] Bozorgmehr Sharafedin Nouri, Aug 10, 2015,Cautious Khamenei shares burden of approval on Iran deal.

[11] White House, , see also:New York Times, Deal Reached on Iran Nuclear Program; Limits on Fuel Would Lessen With Time, by Michael R. Gordon And David E. Sanger, JULY 14, 2015

[12] the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty,

[13] Israel spied on US talks with Iran to undercut deal, ,

[14] Fakhreddin Azimi, The Quest for Democracy in Iran, Harvard University Press, 2008, P. 182

[15] Rouhollah Ramazani, the Foreign Policy of Iran, University Press of Virginia, 1966, p. 46.

Articles by: Prof. Akbar E. Torbat

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