Dec 27, 2020, 1:27 PM
Journalist ID: 1843
News Code: 84163344
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Ex-diplomat: EU just satisfied with US return to JCPOA

Tehran, IRNA – Iran’s former ambassador to Paris emphasized here on Saturday that it seems Europeans are now pleased with US return to this very Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with the same format, but they intend to add protocols to it later on after further negotiations.

Abolqassem Delfi told IRNA that since bilateral negotiations between Iran and the three European countries began in the framework of the nuclear talks and continued with the G5+1 and then with the G4+1 (after the US unilateral withdrawal), the European initial claim was that their major objective was to limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and in other words, to block the path for Iran’s access to nuclear bombs.
JCPOA is the fruit of 12 years of intensive talks which intended to block the path for the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and Europe's objective under the JCPOA was non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, but its incomplete implementation and the US unilateral exit from it based on US President Donald Trump’s order almost ruined the results of all those talks, he said.
The Iranian diplomat said that the US exit was a severe blow against the JCPOA that faced the Europeans with numerous challenges in terms of their ultra Atlantic Ocean cooperation and non-proliferation goals. 
•    EU, the biggest loser of US exist from JCPOA
Delfi said that after the US withdrawal from JCPOA, the Europeans tried to both safeguard the G4+1 and stay in JCPOA.
They initially claimed that they will remunerate for the US exit and even accepting some commitments beyond the JCPOA, but they neither did remain faithful to those new commitments nor did live up to their former commitments to the deal; so their disloyalty led to widening the gap between Iran and EU.
The former diplomat underlined that the US threats against the European countries and companies were so strong that no companies dared to cooperate with Iran, and this led to great losses for the Europeans that had initially assumed they will gain benefits from the large Iranian markets, while after the US exit their access to them got even lesser.
The former IRI ambassador went on to say that before the US elections, the Europeans’ maximum efforts were focused on blocking the path for the full collapse of the JCPOA, but the victory of president-elect Joe Biden in the elections and Trump's historical defeat strengthened hopes for both safeguarding the JCPOA and further expanding it to include other objectives stated by the EU and the US. 
Biden has announced many times his intention to US return to JCPOA, and the Europeans always supported his stance.
•    EU feels its diplomatic influence increased with Biden’s victory
Delfi emphasized that the Europeans consider the US return to JCPOA as an appropriate opportunity to achieve their objective of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
They also believe that after the US withdrawal they missed tools they had already used to put pressure on Iran, the former ambassador announced.
He noted that both the Europeans and the Americans are now after achieving further objectives in new nuclear talks, while Iran and the G5+1 had initially agreed to limit JCPOA talks to the nuclear issue, not to missile and defense capabilities.
The possibility of the US return to the JCPOA has now raised hope for the EU that they can add some regional and missile issues to the deal.
In a related development, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on December 10 that members of the Biden administration know that when they return to the JCPOA, certain issues including Iran's missile program are not negotiable because they have already been discussed.  
The Europeans hope is just thinking, the former diplomat noted adding that Iran is strongly opposed to the issue.
The Iranian analyst expressed certainty that the EU and Biden would closely cooperate on the US return to JCPOA, as 150 representatives at the US Congress have recently stressed in a letter the need to return to the deal.
He underlined that the EU saw hope in the letter that it would increase, from their opinion, the EU and the US influence on JCPOA issues.
Despite the world criticism, the US withdrew unilaterally from the JCPOA in May 2019, and imposed as it claimed the highest level of sanctions against Iran months after the same year.

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