Sep 15, 2019, 7:29 PM
Journalist ID: 2382
News Code: 83476588
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What should Europe do to address concerns about Iran's scaling down of commitments?

Tehran, Sept 15, IRNA - The European Union, along with the three European member-states of the JCPOA, in a joint statement has expressed concern over the decline of Iran's obligations, claiming that the move would lead to the collapse of the nuclear deal.

To address this concern, Europeans can live up to their commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the pledges they have made since the US exit from the deal.

The United States unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA one year and four months ago on May 8, 2018, and it gradually imposed tough sanctions on Iran.

A day after the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, the EU in a statement said, "As long as Iran continues to fulfill its nuclear obligations ... the EU will abide by its commitments to fully and effectively implement the nuclear agreement.

The European Union announced at the time that it would create a mechanism for Iran to sell its oil and receive essential supplies despite the US violations of the JCPOA by the United States and severe sanctions imposed against Iran. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini announced before the end of 2018 that the EU's special mechanism to facilitate trade with Iran would be implemented.

However, the specific European mechanism for compensating for the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA is still in doubt. Europe's inaction on the JCPOA commitments and the commitments that have been made since the US withdrawal from the JCPOA have not been operational so far, which led Iran to scale down its obligation on May 8 (the anniversary of the US withdrawal from the JCPOA). Now, following the implementation of the third step and the new report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the European side has expressed concern in a statement on reduction of Iran's obligations.

A joint statement issued by Germany, France, the United Kingdom and EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, released on Friday, emphasized the need for diplomatic efforts to ease tensions and resume talks.

Expressing its deep concern over the recent IAEA report, which confirmed Iran's readiness to install advanced centrifuges, it called on the Islamic Republic to cooperate with the Agency on all relevant matters, including safeguard-related issues.

The statement comes as Iran has repeatedly stated that it does not intend to leave the JCPOA and will only return to its previous commitments if Europe fulfills its obligations. This was mentioned in the form of a commitment to commitment by a government spokesman.

In a speech and question and answer session at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced on August 21 that if the Europeans fulfill their pledges to Iran, the Islamic Republic will also take measures to reduce its adherence to the JCPOA.

Zarif emphasized in Sweden that Iran does not intend to withdraw from the JCPOA, but only has diminished its obligations under the agreement. He said Europe has made eleven commitments, including on purchasing Iranian oil, investing in Iran and conducting financial and banking transactions which were not put into practice.

Not long ago, French President Emmanuel Macron proposed a plan to launch a $15 billion credit line that Iran had not yet reached anywhere. But recently, there has been news of a shift in the US view, and sources have reported that the US’ president is likely to agree to a US $15 billion credit line.

An American news website, Daily Beast, quoted four well-informed sources as saying that President Donald Trump has in recent weeks expressed a desire to Paris’ initiative to launch a $15 billion credit line with guarantee for Iran's oil money back.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also said in a telephone conversation with President Macron that if the agreements with Europe are finalized, "we are ready to return to our obligations" and the Iran-P5+1 meeting will only be possible once sanctions are lifted.

What is clear is that Iran does not intend to withdraw from the JCPOA and is only pursuing its rights and fulfilling the commitments that Europe has promised a year and four months ago. Europe must know that it cannot force Iran to fulfill its obligations to do what it wants it to do, and as Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi says the JCPOA is not a one-way road, it was going to be two-way road, if It is supposed to be a one-way one, and certainly the Islamic Republic of Iran is making the right decisions at the right time, as it did in three steps.

In any case, Europeans' concern about reducing Iran's JCPOA-related obligations is not acceptable. These countries intentionally or unintentionally, could not or did not take advantage of Iran's more than a year of diplomatic opportunity and should not expect Iran to single-handedly assume the responsibility of all parties involved in an international agreement.

This concern was relevant when Europeans were at least partially fulfilling their obligations. Iran has always insisted that it has not closed its doors to diplomacy and that if the parties are ready to fulfill their commitments, Iran will return to the starting point. There is no need to express unnecessary concern. Immediate action can be a more effective solution to this concern.

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