EghtesadOnline: Iran should have "realistic" expectations from Europe, says a lawmaker, noting that the Europeans can help prevent the formation of a global alliance against Tehran, but are not able to financially compensate for the US exit from the nuclear deal.
"Iran did its best to save the JCPOA and gave Europe time to fulfill its commitments for over a year after the US withdrawal from the agreement, and the Europeans tried to honor their obligations stipulated in JCPOA," Jalal Mirzaei also told ISNA in a recent interview, using the abbreviation for Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Furious at US President Donald Trump's decision last year to pull out of the nuclear accord and reinstate sweeping sanctions intended to disrupt Iranian oil exports and trade, European leaders have vowed to find a way to enable the Islamic Republic to keep doing business with the rest of the world.
After months of delay, three major European allies who are party to the deal—Britain, Germany and France—finally introduced a financial mechanism to continue trading with Iran without being subject to the sanctions, Financial Tribune reported.
However, the mechanism known as the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges or INSTEX is not up and running yet. Even if it becomes operational, it will only facilitate trade in items not covered by American sanctions, including medical goods and food, although humanitarian aid to help flood victims was also blocked recently by US sanctions on banking transactions with Iran.
Iranian officials have repeatedly said the arrangement must include oil sales or provide substantial credit facilities for it to be beneficial.
Mirzaei said Europeans are capable of preventing the creation of an international coalition against Iran, but it seems a far-fetched prospect that they could offset the impact of Washington's withdrawal, or bypass US sanctions.
"The reality is that the Europeans … are facing restrictions. They can support Iran politically and can encourage other countries to continue their cooperation with Iran but from day one, it was clear to our officials that they cannot honor all their commitments under JCPOA [after the US exit]," he said in an apparent reference to the US economic clout and its grip on the global economy.
The parliamentarian noted that Tehran could respond in two ways to Europe's failure to act on its promises to guarantee Iran's interests.
"Iran can either disregard national interests and turn its back on Europe and follow its own path, or take the realities of the international system into consideration and try to find a way out of the current situation," he said.
"Our expectations from Europe should be based on ground realities in the international arena."
Mirzaei stressed that the country's diplomatic apparatus should not be blamed for everything.
"We should give diplomacy a chance and refuse to immediately point the finger of blame at the Foreign Ministry for every issue that arises," he said.