EghtesadOnline: Iran cannot rely only on its nuclear technology capabilities to persuade Europe to change its nuclear deal stance, says a political analyst, who believes that a stronger economy and an intensive public diplomacy campaign can help increase the country's bargaining power.
"It is good to increase our nuclear technology capabilities, but this alone is not sufficient. In addition to such measures, we have to increase our economic power," Hassan Beheshtipour also told ISNA in a recent interview.
In early May, Tehran announced the decision to reduce compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement in response to the US exit last year, saying that it will stop selling unspent enriched uranium and heavy water—which is used in nuclear reactors—to other nations.
In addition, it announced on July 7 that it had decided to start enriching uranium at higher levels due to the European signatories’ failure to do their share of saving the agreement by protecting the Iranian economy from renewed US sanctions, Financial Tribune reported.
Iran has set another 60-day deadline (due early September) before it takes more steps to further downgrade its commitments under the deal.
Over the past year, the Europeans have shown that they are unable to counter the US hegemony and unwilling to accept the risk of cooperating with Iran, as they cannot stand up to the United States and fulfill Iran's demands, Beheshtipour, an expert on international affairs, commented.
That is why Iran will not be successful if it wants to convince European governments to change their approach merely by enhancing its capabilities in the field of nuclear technology, he added, noting that the launch of the European Union's mechanism for trade with Iran is a "limited" move.
France, Britain and Germany have set up a special trade channel known as the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), which aims to avoid direct financial transfers by offsetting balances between importers and exporters on the European side.
INSTEX initially will only deal in products such as pharmaceuticals and foods, which are not subject to US sanctions.
Iranian officials have repeatedly said the arrangement must include oil sales or provide substantial credit facilities for it to be beneficial.
Beheshtipour maintains that Iran should increase its diplomatic efforts, particularly in the area of public diplomacy, to secure its rights and interests.
"We should use the power of public diplomacy to show the world that the Americans are to blame for all the problems that have been created, because they abandoned the nuclear deal and imposed bans on the sale of Iran's enriched uranium or its exchange with natural uranium," he said.
In May, the US administration decided not to renew two waivers concerning Iran—one that allowed the country to store excess heavy water produced in the uranium enrichment process in Oman, and another that allowed it to swap enriched uranium for yellowcake with Russia.
Washington says the decision is aimed at forcing Iran to stop enriching uranium, something it is allowed to do up to limits agreed under the nuclear deal.
Beheshtipour noted that the world should know Tehran has a right to uranium enrichment under the nuclear accord it signed with world powers.