EghtesadOnline: Europeans share the same views as the United States about the extension of Iran’s arms embargo, despite their claim of remaining fully committed to the agreement, an analyst said.
“The western bloc generally has a negative view of Iran and is not happy with the existence of the Islamic Republic,” Reza Mirtaher, an international affairs expert, told ISNA.
The United Nations arms ban is set to expire in October as per the terms of the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorsed the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The US, which has already quit the deal and reimposed tough sanctions on Tehran for two years, is now pushing for the indefinite extension of the embargo through a draft resolution it intends to put to a vote at the security council.
It has threatened to trigger the snapback of all UN sanctions, if the resolution fails to win enough votes.
Russia and China, veto-yielding members of the council, have expressed strong opposition, calling for the full implementation of JCPOA terms.
France, Britain and Germany, however, have expressed concern about the lifting of restrictions, saying it would have major implications for regional security and stability, which should be discussed among UNSC members and other key stakeholders.
Mirtaher described Europe’s approach as “double-edged”.
“On the one hand, [European Union foreign policy chief] Josep Borrell implicitly says the US cannot trigger the snapback mechanism and return sanctions against Iran since it has exited JCPOA, but on the other, they are seeking the retention of the arms ban and have called for its extension until 2023,” he told the news agency.
He said no hope can be placed on the EU to support the legal expiration of the sanctions, because they are expressing the same concerns as the US about the alleged negative consequences of removing the restrictions.
Mirtaher pointed to two theories about Europe’s current attitude to JCPOA, saying both have the same consequences for Iran.
“Some experts believe Europe has become more dependent on the US after World War II and the Cold War, and is not capable of acting independent of the US when there is a conflict of interest,” he said.
The other group, according to the analyst, believes European countries’ pledges to reduce the negative impacts of US sanctions on Iran are not sincere.
They are intentionally impeding efforts to support Iran’s JCPOA benefits, he explained, or refuse to take practical measures so that the US so-called “maximum pressure” campaign works and Iran is forced to give in to American demands.
“These two [the US and Europe] have adopted different policies, but both eventually want Iran to stop its nuclear program and revise its regional policies,” he said.
The European powers vowed to protect Iran’s interests and took several half-hearted steps in this regard, but none has practically addressed Iran’s economic woes arising from US sanctions.
Iran waited for a year for their measures to bear fruit before scaling back its JCPOA commitments as reciprocal measures.
“Europe has stayed in JCPOA out of its own political and security interests, and they have neither empathy for the diplomatic efforts made, nor for the Iranian nation,” Mirtaher said.