Achieving a Tangible Outcome; Benchmark on Europe’s Commitment to JCPOA

2020/01/16 | interview, political, top news

Strategic Council Online: Former Iranian ambassador to Romania and Hungary, stressing that Europe's alleged commitment to the Iran Nuclear Agreement (known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) must be accompanied by tangible results, said: Unfortunately, to date we have seen no positive move, other than speech therapy, from the EU in preserving the JCPOA.

In an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations commenting on a joint statement released by France, Germany and the United Kingdom on the final step in reducing Iran’s nuclear obligations and their emphasis that they are committed to this agreement, Ali Akbar Farazi noted: Iran’s key slogan from the beginning of the negotiations has been that the JCPOA is a win-win game for all parties, and in that case the agreement can play a significant role in developing relations between the member states.

Former Vice President of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce for International Affairs said after US unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA the European Union announced that not only it adheres to the Iran Nuclear Agreement but would take measures that Iran would benefit from the deal. “Exercising tolerance, Iran gave the EU a chance to take necessary measures in this respect but the passage of time proved that either part of the EU did not have the will or that the EU did not have the means to make a decision outside the will of the United States.”

Europe Cannot Fulfill Obligations

He emphasized: This is not as a humiliating or offensive matter to the European Union, but a fact in the field of action that has led international observers to conclude that the EU cannot fulfill its obligations even if it wants to.

He said one year has passed but INSTEX (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges) has remained a deal on the paper. “If there was serious will and capability among the EU member states, especially key states like Germany, Britain and France, they could certainly have taken steps,” he said. Over time, Iran has realized that the only country that does not benefit from the JCPOA is Iran.

We Have Not Seen Any Positive Move from EU to Keep JCPOA

The international affairs analyst, referring to the circumstances that led Iran to take steps to reduce its commitment and at the same time allow restoration of the former condition at any stage, said: “Unfortunately, to date we have taken five steps, and no positive results have been achieved.” Apart from speech therapy from the European Union, we have not seen any other attempt to keep the JCPOA. The effect of speech therapy is short-lived and the process (INSTEX) took so long that the Iranian government and foreign policy officials were subjected to criticisms for continuing to pin hope on the Europeans.

“Now it is time for Europe to make a decision: Either to explicitly admit that it is unable to take effective action or if it has the resolve and capability to take positive and executive steps so that Iranian officials can revise their decisions on JCPOA,” Farazi said.

Europe Has Openly Sided with US against Iran

The former Iranian ambassador to Romania, referring to a warning to Iran from the European Trio following Iran’s steps to reduce its nuclear commitments, added: What is unfortunate is that the European Union is gradually exiting the position of a partner who could make the most benefits from the JCPOA, that too political and security advantages and the EU Trio have openly sided with the United States and against Iran.

He said: Although France, Britain and Germany have recently announced that they have rejected a call from Trump to quit the Iran Nuclear Agreement but unfortunately in their position taking against the Islamic Republic of Iran they use the same literature Trump uses against Tehran. This compels the Iranian public opinion to put pressure on political decision makers to deal with the Europeans more cautiously.

We Still Believe Europe Can Be a Good Partner

Farazi explained: More caution does not mean Iran wants to take diplomatic backward steps in relations with Europe because we still believe that the European Union can be a good partner for us and Iran still believes in expanding relations, but on the other hand if these negative stances are taken by European officials it will naturally put domestic opinion-makers in the political arena under pressure.

There Is Still Hope for JCPOA

“There is still hope for the Iran Nuclear Agreement,” said the former Vice President of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce for International Affairs.” I think the JCPOA can still come out of CCU and stand on his own feet provided that we see concrete action by the EU and both sides try to develop their political relations based on cooperation and friendship and that the European parties are not influenced by third parties in declaring their positions.

Compliance with JCPOA Should Generate Tangible Results

Referring to the French President’s statement that they are committed to the Iran Nuclear Agreement, Farazi stated: We have repeatedly heard from EU member states that they are committed to the JCPOA, while this commitment must have tangible results. Iran is also committed to the deal and has never stated that it will quit, but while respecting its obligations under the agreement, the European side has taken no positive steps. If it is a matter of diplomatic stance, simply saying that we believe in the JCPOA is sufficient, but it is decided that both sides will benefit from the JCPOA.

Buying Time Is Not in Europe’s Favor

Commenting on some analyses that Europe seeks to buy time so that US pressures on Iran will affect Tehran’s stances, he said: “The European Union, and in particular the EU Trio must come to the conclusion that the time for speech therapy has come to an end and buying time will not benefit them. If Iran concludes that the European Union aims to further coordinate its positions with the Americans against Iran the latter will naturally respond appropriately to actions against their interests and they should all know that ‘it is a mistake to try the tried one.’

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