EghtesadOnline: The nuclear deal between Iran and world powers was hammered out as a result of the "collective will" of the parties involved, so it can be saved only if all the signatories are also determined to do so, says a political observer.
"Determination has always helped expand relations or advance agendas. If the parties negotiating the JCPOA were not determined, talks could have stalled and there would have been no agreement," Ali Mousavi Khalkhali, editor-in-chief of the Iranian Diplomacy website, wrote in a recent article, using the abbreviation for the 2015 deal's formal name—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
So the co-signatories, particularly the Europeans, need to show a strong will once again to help offset renewed US sanctions against Tehran and keep the accord alive following the US unilateral withdrawal, he added.
Washington's major European allies opposed last year's decision by US President Donald Trump to abandon the deal that also includes China and Russia, under which international sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for Tehran accepting curbs on its nuclear program, Financial Tribune reported.
Britain, France and Germany have set up the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges or INSTEX, a new channel for non-dollar trade with Iran to avoid US sanctions. But it does not initially allow the big transactions that Tehran says it needs to keep the nuclear accord afloat.
Khalkhali maintains that Europe has not done enough over the past year to ensure Tehran receives the economic benefits of the agreement.
"This is while Iran and some of its other partners have managed to find solutions to help reduce US pressure and cushion the impact of sanctions."
Iraq's Exemplary Efforts
For example, the Iraqis were determined to maintain their economic relations with Iran and their efforts have paid off so far, the expert said, adding that the pressure exerted by the US on Baghdad to reduce its ties with the Islamic Republic is as great as the pressure facing Europe and other nations in this regard.
“Iraqi officials made efforts to receive waivers from the United States and remove banking obstacles between the two countries despite the existing difficulties,” he said.
In March, the United States granted Iraq a 90-day waiver exempting Iraq from sanctions to buy energy from Iran, the latest extension allowing Baghdad to keep purchasing electricity from its neighbor, Reuters reported.
In addition, Iranian and Iraqi central bank governors signed an accord in February to make oil and gas payments through non-US dollar bank accounts.
"But it seems that there has been no such will on the European side," Khalkhali said, adding that their half-hearted attempts to preserve economic ties with Iran may be rooted in political considerations and their expressed concerns over Iran's regional policies and missile program.
He added that European governments should convert their stated political will into concrete action and, as Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif once said, be willing to "get wet" if they want to swim against the tide of US unilateralism and rescue the nuclear deal.