By now, it has escaped few that rather than a new beginning between Iran and the West, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action has become another chapter in a long saga of broken promises. But beyond empty pledges on the part of Europe, and more so the United States — which withdrew from the landmark accord last May — the Iranians have also broken their promises to themselves.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s pledges with reference to the JCPOA are a case in point. Take his notable remarks from June 2016, only five months after the formal implementation date of the deal — and amid Donald Trump’s political ascendancy — in which he famously asserted, “Of course, individuals who have run for the US presidency are constantly threatening that they will tear it up. Well, if they tear it up, we will set it on fire!” He defiantly added, “We do not wish to violate it. However, if they violate it, we will violate it as well.”