ID : N-1872 Date : 2018/05/30 - 15:17
(Persia Digest) – An expert on international relations in Tehran told Persia Digest: “For as long as the EU is unable to guarantee Iran’s interests under the JCPOA deal, Iran can continue its cooperation with the IAEA, but suspend its obligations under the deal.”
The Foreign Ministry’s Political Deputy, Abbad Araghchi, has also said: “Despite all of EU’s efforts to keep the JCPOA alive, Iran cannot be sure if they are able to succeed. If we are unable to reach any conclusions with the EU, we will withdraw from the deal.” The Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, has also called the negotiations with Europe neither black nor white.
The EU, however, is committed to the JCPOA and its external affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, has downplayed opposition to the deal by Poland. Nevertheless, the German paper Handelsblatt Global, has quoted European diplomatic sources as saying European central banks have severe reservations about banking transactions with Iran.
What faith awaits the Iran nuclear deal? Can the EU keep it alive?
The former director of Alalam news network and expert in international relations, Hassan Beheshtipour told Persia Digest: “The EU has three main reasons for wanting to keep the JCPOA alive. First, it holds economic benefits for them. Second, they believe the JCPOA helps secure peace and stability in the world and promote nuclear non-proliferation. Third, the EU believes that if it gives concessions in this regard, it will have to do the same over other issues, such as import tariffs on steel and aluminum, which are being imposed on them by the US as we speak. Thus, they believe they must not retract on this to force the US to back down.”
He added: “But even if we accept that the EU is serious about saving the JCPOA, it is their ability to do so that is of importance here. The fact is that the EU does not have such powers, because large European companies conduct large volumes of trade with the US. The world of investment is a multinational one and global traders with different interests invest in multinational companies, weary of taking any risks. Moreover, these companies are not state controlled.”
He continued: “Presently, the solution has been for Europe to open a particular bank solely for work with Iran, supported by EU governments. This bank will not work with the US and all trade will take place in euros.”
Beheshtipour went on to say: “We have to see if this bank will have the required capital to open L/Cs and sufficient credit to work with Iran. EU must work with China and Russia on this to find a solution.”
He said: “This also requires time. If the EU truly intends to keep the JCPOA, it will need three months to get organized.”
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About Iran putting its trust in the EU, Beheshtipour commented: “Whether Iran can trust the EU or not is not the question here; we conduct negotiations because there is no trust and we negotiate to find a solution.”
He reminded: “Iran does not have to decide on leaving the JCPOA straight away. This can take be a last resort. Iran can continue its cooperation with the IAEA, but suspend its obligations under the deal and take action within its framework to make America re-think.”
In answer to whether large companies can also work with Iran through the special EU bank, Beheshtipour answered: “The bank will be useful for banking facilities and opening L/Cs. But large companies such as Total, the Italian Eni SpA, or the automotive industry must find other solutions which surely exist. If Europe is set on this course of action and is able to withstand sabotages by the US and Israel, it can act in Iran today the same way it did in Cuba in 1996.”
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