This footage underlines the emptiness of the Iranian leadership’s promises before the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] nuclear deal with the P5+1 group compared to the subsequent reality, with the regime’s promises that the lifting of Western sanctions as part of the deal would end Iran’s problems turning out to be wishful thinking as the domestic situation for Iranians continues to worsen rather than improve.
In the first clip shown, from an interview with President Rouhani broadcast on Iranian state TV on Sunday June 7, 2015, in Conference on the Environment, Rouhani says, “Cruel sanctions must be removed so that investment will come, so that the environmental issues will be resolved, so that employment issues will be resolved, so that community and industry issues will be resolved, so that the issue of drinking water for the people can be resolved and water resources can be increased.”
In the second clip, an interview with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif conducted by the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations [CFR] from Saturday, September 24, 2016, the interviewer asks Zarif, “Let me ask you this; from what I’ve read and heard from people I’ve talked with, the [nuclear] deal is not particularly popular in Iran, and Rouhani and you are not as popular as you were immediately after the deal because there was a sense then that it would bring a change and improve the lives of the people. According to some people, the problem is that, as your critics say, you’ve promised the people that their lives would be transformed and this didn’t happen, and there are problems with everything going slowly.”
The third clip in the series once again shows Rouhani, this time delivering a speech on March 6, 2016, in a press conference about the JCPOA deal, in which he responded sarcastically to critics who condemned his failure to keep his promises on the deal, saying, “At first the JCPOA is like the sun shining. However, if somebody closes his eyes and says, ‘Now it is night’, as long as your eyes are open you will see, there’s the sun.”
The fourth part of the clip shows Zarif’s response to the question in the CFR interview, with the minister saying, “We never promised the sun and the moon and everything else [ironically juxtaposed with Rouhani’s words about the sun in the previous clip]. We told them that these will be removed, the obstacles to Iran doing business with the rest of the world. We never said that it would remove the primary sanctions that the United States of American has imposed against Iran.”
The fifth clip in this montage directly contradicts that statement, showing part of a speech delivered by Zarif on Sunday, September 13, 2015, at the Commission of the Islamic Council, in which he said, “All sanctions such as the European Union’s economic, financial and monetary sanctions will be cancelled from the day of the deal’s implementation. The entirety of the sanctions imposed by the United States of America will be canceled from the first day of implementation of the deal; as was confirmed and declared by the Supreme Leader, all the American sanctions will be removed after the nuclear agreement.”
The sixth and final clip in this series shows a speech delivered by the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, on Monday, August 1, 2016, in which he said, “Six months have passed since the signing of the JCPOA and there is no tangible and concrete effect brought about in the living conditions of the Iranian people. Well, the JCPOA was basically done in order to get the sanctions lifted, or was it for something else? On that day, the officials told us and told the nation that in these negotiations it was supposed to be that when Iran complied with its obligations then all the sanctions would be removed; well now six months have passed since this deadline, but the sanctions have still not been lifted. So is the passage of six months for a nation with a population of 80 million considered a short period of time?