Iran received two international rebukes this week, one by G7 countries meeting in Japan and another by the Arab League summit held in Saudi Arabia.
The G7 summit strongly criticized Iran’s nuclear, human rights and regional policies in its final communiqué in direct and no uncertain terms.
The main trust of the G7 statement was Iran’s nuclear program, which is advancing by more uranium enrichment, without much international monitoring or the prospect of an agreement to limit its scope.
“We reiterate our clear determination that Iran must never develop a nuclear weapon. We remain deeply concerned about Iran’s unabated escalation of its nuclear program, which has no credible civilian justification and brings it dangerously close to actual weapon-related activities,” the final communiqué said.
However, the G7 also reiterated that a diplomatic solution “remains the best way to resolve this issue.”
Talks lasting 18 months form April 2021 to August 2022 between the signatories of the 2015 JCPOA nuclear accord reached a deadlock last September, and the United States pulled back from the process, saying that Iran destroyed the chances for a deal in the 11th hour.
The Arab League meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia did not mention Iran in its final declaration, but one particular clause was clearly aimed at Tehran’s regional activities aimed at building armed proxy groups in Arab countries.
“We call for stopping foreign interference in the domestic affairs of Arab countries and categorically reject all support for the formation of armed groups and militias outside the scope of state institutions,” the statement said.
However, it was reported that two other sections in the draft document were deleted from the final declaration. One reiterated Arab support for territorial claims by the United Arab Emirates from Iran, and the other a positive remark about restoration of ties between Riyadh and Tehran.
The UAE has periodically raised the issue of three small islands in the Persian Gulf that the former Iranian imperial government took over in 1971 as British forces guarding the littoral Arab sheikdoms withdrew from the region.
Iranian media reported Sunday that the two sections were deleted from the final declaration apparently as a result of a compromise.
G7 leaders attend a working lunch meeting at G7 leaders' summit in Hiroshima, western Japan May 19, 2023.
Which Arab League states objected to the inclusion of the territorial claim remains unclear, but the presence of Iran’s ally, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad at the summit could have played a role. It would have been extremely embarrassing for Assad to put his name on a statement that would include such a demand while he still depends on the Iranian regime both militarily and economically.
Iran is still unhappy with the Arab summit despite this victory. Foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani Sunday criticized the language in the final communique, saying Iran expected the meeting to forego “repetitive and tiresome claims” against Iran.
However, the more serious rebuke Iran received was undoubtedly the G7 declaration, which also slammed Tehran’s human rights record, its regional policies, and its military support to Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.
“We express our grave concern regarding Iran’s continued destabilizing activities, including the transfer of missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and related technologies to state and non-state actors and proxy groups, in breach of UNSCRs including 2231 and 2216.”
The president of the United States, Joe Biden, after a meeting with his counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky at the G7 meeting in Hiroshima, Japan
The tone of the G7 statement about violations of UN resolutions is ominous for the Islamic Republic.
The accumulation of its unabated uranium enrichment, regional interventions that fueled recent Israeli Palestinian fighting, and its provision of weapons for Russia can all add up and lead to an effort by the West to revive international sanctions against Tehran.