May 7, 2019, 4:37 AM
News Code: 83305505
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Europeans' play in court of US and Iran's tactical patience

Tehran, May 7, IRNA - With a joint statement by the EU and three European countries in response to US oil and nuclear sanctions against Iran, it was once again revealed that EU and the US are playing in their court, and reliance on EU to play a role independent of US is in vain.

EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini as well as French, German and British foreign ministers in a joint statement on Saturday expressed regret on the US action not to extend sanctions' waivers for Iran's oil exports and not to renew all exemptions for nuclear projects.

While the United States by announcing as 'sanctionable” the cooperation with Iran to remove the surplus of enriched uranium and heavy water, it has virtually made Iran in the position of 'breaching the JCPOA beyond the permitted limit of the nuclear reserves' or realizing the illegal demands of the West to stop the enrichment, the European Union, in its statement, without mentioning the American effort to destroy the JCPOA, called for continued full implementation of Iran's commitments.

Another part of the statement Europeans with repeated promises on trade with Iran referred, that they Europeans are determined to pursue efforts with European partners to allow the legitimate trade with Iran, including through the operationalization of the mechanism of INSTEX.

But the most important part of the statement of the European Union, along with the repetition of the promise of the implementation of INSTEX and the continuation of legitimate trade with Iran, is to reiterate on consideration of regional issues and Iran’s missile programs.

The EU statement referred to Iran's regional role in combating terrorism and supporting the axis of resistance against the Israeli aggression as 'the role of Iran in regional instability', and states that in order to complete the preservation of the JCPOA, the EU supports a comprehensive approach to Iran with a view to address all issues of concern, including Iran's role in regional instability and missile activities of Iran.

The European Union has repeatedly stressed that Iran has the same concerns as the United States. Last week, Jack Bylica, the European Union's representative at the Preparatory Committee of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference (NPT) in New York, while emphasizing the 'continued implementation of all Iran's commitments, timely cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) and the approval of the Additional Protocol noted, 'We want Iran to refrain from any activity related to ballistic missiles, including missile launching that is incompatible with resolution 2231, to play a constructive role in the region, and to respect the all relevant resolutions of the Security Council, in particular resolutions related to the transfer of weapons to state and non-state actors in the region '.

The United States and its European allies based on the traditions of transatlantic cooperation and unions of the twentieth century, and in particular the Cold War military and security cooperation in the form of the NATO organization against the Warsaw Pact, have reached a common understanding on security threats and similar patterns of International attitude which to leave them even in the post-Cold War era is not easy, which some are calling it as the transition period in international relations and the 'post-West world'.

Meanwhile, the withdrawal of the US government from an international and multilateral agreement with Iran (JCPOA) has shocked the European allies, which, of course, from the European perspective this issue can be accessed within the framework of the general approaches of the current US government in the face of international agreements, American nationalism and dealing with the legacy of the former American Democrat government.

What is clear is that European countries and the US have the common view and the same assessment of the developments in the West Asia region and Iran's nuclear and missile programs, and their only difference is in the manner and tactics of addressing this issue. Europeans oppose the intensity of the so-called 'maximum pressure' of the United States against Iran because of its potential consequences for creating controversy and insecurity near the borders of Europe. But in practice it seems that Europe's role can be evaluated as a 'good policeman' to alleviate US pressure in a single anti-Iran plan.

What is certain is that the diplomatic apparatus of the Islamic Republic of Iran is also aware of this issue and is trying to use this hole and little tactical gap between Washington and some European capitals as far as possible to get concessions from the European side.

Therefore, Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in April criticized in his Twitter page the European positions, and wrote that one year after the United States has illegally abolished the JCPOA, Europe has not been able to collect political will to confront American economic terrorism. Even by creating a bank channel for humanitarian assistance. Instead, the three European countries are satisfying Donald Trump by exerting pressure on the United Nations about Iran defensive capabilities.

Zarif also in mid-April, in response to the impudence of the French ambassador to the United States, stressed on 'European sides in JCPOA', “Reminder to our E3 partners in #JCPOA: There is NO prohibition on the enrichment of uranium by Iran under #NPT, #JCPOA or UNSCR 2231. Neither now, nor in 2025 or beyond, Might be useful for European partners to actually read the document they signed on to, and pledged to defend.'

French envoy to US Gerard Araud at the end of his mission had claimed, ' After the expiration of the JCPOA, Iran also will be not allowed to enrich uranium. Under the NPT and its additional protocol, Iran will have to prove that its nuclear activities are civilian.

'As we said in 2002, uranium enrichment under the NPT, without a credible peaceful nuclear program is illegal,' he said.

Under such conditions, the Islamic Republic of Iran, while having a half-look at Europe and the instrument of INSTEX, focuses on working with neighbors and countries outside the orbit of the West, such as China and Russia, and can also respond to European non-commitments in due time as the officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran have repeatedly emphasized that Iran's patience is not unlimited and JCPOA more than an economic deal is a security agreement that is in tune with the whole world. Obviously, any practical blow to JCPOA can have consequences for European security.


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By: Babak Hafari

Translated by: Hamed Shahbazi