Though the nuclear deal was signed in hopes that it would move Iran into a more constructive relationship with the rest of the world, the conviction of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian on espionage charges shows that diplomatic engagement has led to a “stiffening” of Iran’s stance towards the West, Benjamin Weinthal, a research fellow for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote in an analysis published Sunday in The Jerusalem Post.
US President Barack Obama envisioned in a post-nuclear deal that Iran would “take some decisive steps to move toward a more constructive relationship with the world community.”
Iran’s blunt response was to convict the American-Iranian Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian in a Star Chamber setting earlier this month. Rezaian is widely believed to have been framed based on trumped-up espionage charges by Iran’s regime. His only “crime” was journalistic news gathering.
As a result, the expectation that Iran could be housebroken because of the over $100 billion in sanctions relief it will receive due to the nuclear deal is already limping on both legs at this nascent phase of the deal.
Weinthal noted that a European ambassador told The Christian Science Monitor on Friday that “What you have to expect is a stiffening of the Iranian position, a hardening really.” Weinthal added that in addition to showing no inclination to release Rezaian or his fellow hostages, Iran has continued its support of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and the terrorist group Hezbollah.
Since concluding the deal, Iran has test-launched a ballistic missile in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, and has continued to carry out executions with such frequency that it has been criticized by the United Nations.
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