EghtesadOnline: Considering the growing Iran-US tensions, Tehran needs to refrain from any measure that could lead to greater pressure on the country and could sway the European parties to the 2015 nuclear deal toward the Trump administration, an expert on international relations said.
In a recent interview with ISNA, Nosratollah Tajik added that Tehran should retain ties with European powers so as to avoid international alienation, Financial Tribune reported.
The recent decision by France, Germany and Britain to launch the nuclear agreement's dispute resolution mechanism has been a subject of speculation among experts since the move can culminate in a "snapback" of global sanctions against Iran.
"This mechanism is a short and straightforward way to resolve conflicts on the nuclear deal, and in no way entails an end for the international accord," Tajik said.
“Up to now, we’ve had the upper hand as US President [Donald] Trump has failed to build a consensus against Iran over the nuclear row.”
Tajik, who is also the former ambassador to Jordan, stressed that Iran needs to preserve the current dynamics.
He dismissed the European measure as "nothing new", reminding that Iran had triggered the mechanism earlier and the European move simply intends to convince Iran to return to full compliance with the nuclear pact.
Iran has scaled back adherence to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in response to the European inaction to offset US sanctions that have strangled its economy.
The former diplomat noted that escalating tensions between Tehran and Washington hit a tipping point when US assassinated Major General Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s top military commander, upon the order of Trump, which prompted Iran to mount missile attacks on two Iraqi military bases housing American troops.
On full alert for possible retaliatory attacks on Iranian soil, its air defense force accidently shot down a Ukrainian airliner, killing all passengers on board. Tehran’s belated acknowledgement of the real cause of the incident sparked protests in several cities.
Discord has also emerged between Iran and Britain after the UK envoy in Tehran, Rob Macaire, was briefly detained after attending a vigil held in honor of the victims of the plane crash, three of whom were British citizens.
The British ambassador left after the vigil turned into a protest, but was arrested on his way back to the embassy.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized the brief detention. Iran's Foreign Ministry summoned Macaire to object to his undiplomatic move, while Britain demanded an official apology for the alleged "violation of international law".
Some Iranian parliamentarians also demanded a reduction in the level of bilateral ties and Iran's judiciary called the British ambassador an "undesirable element", IRNA reported.
With regard to the flare-up, Tajik cautioned that now is not the time for a disruption in relations with Britain.
Under the current circumstances, "strained ties" between Tehran and London, a JCPOA signatory, would not be in the best interest of Iran and its foreign policy, he added.