MP: Europe Not Key Player in JCPOA Conflict
EghtesadOnline: European countries are not a key player in the current conflict concerning the 2015 nuclear deal and their call for Iran's continued compliance is, therefore, of secondary importance, a lawmaker said.
"JCPOA has main players, which include Iran and the United States. Other players are marginal and become more marginal day by day," Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told ISNA, using the abbreviation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to refer to the nuclear agreement.
The deal was signed between Iran and six world powers, but the US unilaterally pulled out of it last year and reimposed sanctions on Tehran. This affected Iran's international trade despite the efforts of European countries to find ways of bypassing sanctions, which have produced no tangible results so far.
Iran in May initiated a reciprocal plan by scaling back its commitments in a gradual manner so as to give Europe time to operationalize its solutions, according to Financial Tribune.
So far, three phases of the plan have been implemented, with the European parties (France, Britain and Germany) urging Iran to refrain from the move each time.
Following the launch of the third stage on Saturday, which included the installation of advanced uranium enrichment machines, the three countries once again called on Iran to reverse the step.
In a recent interview, Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas once again warned against any escalation of the nuclear dispute, saying it would "send a completely wrong signal if Iran halted its compliance" with the agreement.
The top German diplomat stressed that Iran needed to return to full compliance, which Falahatpisheh described as a "marginal" issue.
"JCPOA is a deal violated by the United States and preserved by Iran, although downgraded through various steps. Europeans have had no place in this game," he said.
No European Solution
The lawmaker noted that Europe has not taken any practical measure to salvage the deal.
The three European countries have devised a financial mechanism called INSTEX (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges) to facilitate trade with Iran, but Falahatpisheh said this cannot help preserve JCPOA.
"If Europeans had fulfilled their commitments to JCPOA, $70 billion worth of post-JCPOA agreements would have been naturally implemented and the deal would have been preserved," he said, referring to contracts between Iranian and European companies that were canceled due to American sanctions.
Among European enterprises that left Iran were France's largest energy company, Total, that pulled out of a $4.8 billion contract with Iran, as well as car giants Peugeot and Renault.
Falahatpisheh has also argued that the 60-day timeframe that Iran offers to Europeans before taking each step for exceeding JCPOA limits needs to be reduced to one month.
"JCPOA has no European solution. A solution needs to be adopted by the side that is able to address the problem. Europeans are not in such a position and do not have the capability," he said.