EghtesadOnline: The launch of the nuclear deal’s dispute resolution mechanism by France, Germany and Britain is the European way of keeping tabs on both Iran and the US, responding to Tehran’s reduction of nuclear commitments while stalling until the 2020 US presidential vote before deciding to reimpose global sanctions on Iran, a former diplomat said.
The European signatories to the nuclear deal—formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—triggered the mechanism as a “diplomatic ploy” to curb Tehran’s nuclear activities until the next US presidential election before referring its case to the United Nations Security Council, which can potentially spell the end of JCPOA, Abdolreza Farajirad also told Iranian Diplomacy in a recent talk.
“Europe’s current vulnerability in economy, trade, politics and security has prompted them to launch the mechanism to appease the US and restrain Iran without revoking the nuclear deal to avoid a major security challenge,” Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
Tehran has said it would consider withdrawing from the Non-Proliferation Treaty if its nuclear file is sent to the UN Security Council, and US President Donald Trump has threatened Europe with a 25% auto tariff if they fail to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
Any upheaval in the next US presidential poll, due in November 2020, could reshape Washington’s foreign policy for the next four years.
Iran’s countermeasures in response to the US leaving the accord and imposing sweeping sanctions involved scaling back nuclear commitments in five reversible phases.
Following Iran’s fifth and final step earlier this month, the three European powers set in motion the dispute resolution mechanism, an intricate process than can culminate in the return of global sanctions on Iran.
Farajirad, who is a former envoy to Norway, believes that even if Trump were to impose tariffs on Europe’s auto industry, the EU will refuse to refer Iran’s file to the UN Security Council to avoid an escalation of tensions.
Iran has said it could consider the options of reducing cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and withdrawing from the NPT, if international sanctions are reimposed.
He added that the prospects of JCPOA’s collapse are too high a price for Europe to ignore.
“Handling Iran is not the only challenge faced by Europe. The Europeans are also concerned about the war in Libya, along with a raft of political, diplomatic and security problems.”
Farajirad noted that under the current circumstances, Europe is determined to address the US overreaching demands with political maneuvering to sidestep another crisis in the Middle East.
In a move that indicates Europe’s preference for a diplomatic settlement, EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, recently extended the timeline for discussions on saving the nuclear agreement “due to the complexity of the issues involved”.
The next JCPOA meeting will take place in February.