EghtesadOnline: European powers should not ignore the contribution of Iran's nuclear deal to their national security while making decisions that could shape the fate of the agreement undermined by the US exit, a political analyst said.
“The Europeans should ultimately make up their mind on the agreement and realize that maintaining relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran is not only about financial and economic interests, and that saving JCPOA can benefit Europe from a security perspective,” Sadeq Kharrazi, Iran’s former ambassador to France, told the Persian newspaper Iran in a recent interview.
US President Donald Trump announced in May that the United States was withdrawing from the 2015 multinational accord, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which lifted wide-ranging sanctions on the Iranian economy. In return, Tehran agreed to accept limits on its nuclear program.
The European Union, which opposes Trump’s unilateral withdrawal, is seeking to preserve the accord and protect the continent’s companies from the sanctions, including through the establishment of a special purpose vehicle conceived as a clearinghouse for the OPEC producer’s oil revenue, which the bloc says will come on stream in the near future, Financial Tribune reported.
However, many European firms have cut off ties with Iran rather than risk losing access to the massive US financial and economic systems.
Kharrazi, also an expert on international affairs, said the security aspect is something that the Americans do not care about but should be seriously taken into consideration by European governments.
Many European experts have defended the nuclear deal as a great diplomatic achievement since it helped calm the drums of a US- or Israel-led war against Iran, which could have a significant effect on Europe’s security and economy.
President Hassan Rouhani recently predicted a “deluge” of drugs, refugees and attacks on the West if US sanctions weaken Iran’s ability to contain them.
“I warn those who impose sanctions that if Iran’s ability to fight drugs and terrorism are affected ... you will not be safe from a deluge of drugs, asylum seekers, bombs and terrorism,” Rouhani said in a speech late last year.
Kharrazi noted that Iran’s patience will eventually run out if the EU keeps dragging its feet on fulfilling its pledges to secure Iran’s economic interests under the pact.
“Iran held [nuclear] negotiations based on a win-win principle,” he said, adding that there is no point in Iran remaining in the agreement “forever” if it fails to serve its national interests.
Asked if Iran would be better off quitting the deal, the former diplomat said, “It is not Iran’s intention to get out of JCPOA. However, the continuation of the current situation is not in its favor.”
Kharrazi noted that Iranian officials could come up with effective measures to remind the Europeans that the era of advancing their agendas only through words is over and it is time for them to walk the talk.