British Spy Chief 'Skeptical' About Iran's Desire to Craft Another Nuclear Deal An Iranian flag flies at the Bushehr nuclear power plant (Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)
By Jay Clemons | Friday, 22 July 2022 05:19 PM EDT
The head of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service has reservations about Iran's desire to revisit or even redefine the terms of the so-called Iran Nuclear Deal from 2015, even though Iranian officials have yet to publicly declare their intentions.
On Thursday, Richard Moore, chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) known as MI6, had this to say about Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the country's ever-expanding nuclear capabilities.
"I don't think the Supreme Leader of Iran wants to cut a deal," Moore told CNN at the Aspen Security Forum, while adding he's "skeptical" of Iran's true nuclear ambitions.
"I think the deal absolutely is on the table, and the European powers, and the administration here, are very, very clear on that; and I don't think that the Chinese and Russians on this issue would block it. But I don't think the Iranians want it," said Moore.
In 2015, the Obama administration endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action pact (JCPOA), in which Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium and cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98% — for a reported payment of $150 billion from superpower nations, such as the U.S., France, Russia, China, Germany, and United Kingdom.
Also, as part of its participation in limiting its nuclear resources, Iran would have garnered relief from certain economic sanctions worldwide.
However, a few years later, then-President Donald Trump withdrew from what he called the"disastrous" JCPOA, after U.S. officials reportedly tried to certify Iran's compliance on multiple occasions.
Moore doesn't envision Iran volunteering its nuclear progress with other countries.
"I'm not convinced we're going to get there," said Moore, before adding, "The Iranians won't want to end the talks either, so they could run on for a bit."
Another reason for the increased Western skepticism: As Newsmax reported last month, Iran has already begun removing "essentially all the International Atomic Energy Agency monitoring equipment installed under the deal," according to IAEA chief Rafael Grossi.
In recent weeks, President Joe Biden has publicly condemned the notion of Iran expanding its nuclear capabilities.
At the same time, no one within the White House has outlined any show-of-force responses, if Iran should complete its work on a nuclear bomb.
Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said Iran stands to benefit from a reduction in its nuclear work.
"It would get their oil back on the market. It would get them some relief from some of the sanctions that have come on. But for so far, they haven't chosen to go in that route," Nuland told CNN.
As for reports of the U.S. already extending an offer to Iran, in terms of limiting its nuclear capabilities, Nuland said if Iran "doesn't take the deal, we're going have to increase the pressure, of course."