EghtesadOnline: It is unlikely of Europe to meet a deadline set by Iran to provide alternative ways of trading and shielding themselves from sweeping sanctions threatened by the US after it unilaterally quit a 2015 nuclear deal, lawmakers said.
No "considerable" measure has been taken by the Europeans to help salvage the agreement despite the fact that only a month is left until the deadline, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told ICANA in a recent interview.
In May, Iran stopped complying with some of its nuclear-related commitments and said after 60 days it would resume its uranium enrichment beyond the low fissile purity allowed under the nuclear accord, unless other powers stick to their commitments stipulated in the agreement.
The European parties to the deal have promised to help offset the impact of US sanctions, although with no success so far. All major European companies that had announced plans to invest in Iran have since called them off for fear of US penalties, according to Financial Tribune.
France, Britain and Germany have set up a special-purpose vehicle, called the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges or INSTEX, designed to allow payments to Iran by legally bypassing sanctions. It has yet to be launched.
Miracles Not Expected
Boroujerdi said Iran does not expect a miracle from Europeans regarding JCPOA and only wants them to honor their commitments under the pact, using the abbreviation for the deal's full name—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
His comment came in response to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas who said during a visit to Tehran earlier this month that there are limits to how much help the European countries can provide.
"We want to fulfill our obligations … We cannot work miracles, but we will try to avert a failure" of the nuclear deal, said Maas, who became the most senior western official to visit Iran since a new war of words erupted last month between Washington and Tehran.
"Some steps have been taken by Europe over the past month that can be likened to injecting painkillers but Iran will follow through with its next plans if it comes to the conclusion that these measures do not amount to fulfillment of commitments," the lawmaker said.
Boroujerdi noted that Iran and other countries expect the European Union to make decisions "independently", instead of taking orders from the United States.
Lawmaker Ezzatollah Yousefian maintains that the European signatories of the deal will fail to present Iran with measures that could protect its economy from US sanctions.
"The Islamic Republic should not be very optimistic about the promises made by the European Union," he told ICANA.
Yousefian said EU members claim that they want to do something, but they are in fact afraid of America.
"I believe that even if they want to take action, they will not be able to do so because it cannot pressure European companies who have close commercial links with the United States," he said.
Morteza Saffari Natanzi, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said Europe has so far failed to meet Iran's demands under the nuclear agreement.
"After the US withdrawal, they promised to help keep the nuclear deal alive and meet Iran's demands, but they have not taken any practical measures to help Iran, not only in the past month but over the past year," he said in remarks carried by ICANA.
Saffari said the deadline set by Iran "may be extended" but it is still "unlikely" that the Americans will allow Europe to take any practical measures to secure Iran's economic benefits under the deal.