December 11, 2018 15:56
News ID: 3620

(Persia Digest) – The former Head of the African Desk at the Iranian Foreign Ministry believes: “The global aspects of Middle Eastern issues mean that regional talks between Europe and Iran can be an opportunity for Tehran to stop its dependence on one particular country and explore new avenues to deal with the Yemeni and Syrian issues.”

EU’s top diplomat said yesterday that the full implementation of the JCPOA was the basis of talks with Iran on regional issues, adding that a new round of talks between four European countries (Germany, France, Italy, Britain) and Iran was currently underway. Mogherini’s comments come at a time when EU commitments to the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal have not yet been implemented and the operation of the SPV financial channel between Iran and the EU is repeatedly postponed. The question arises as to why the JCPOA has become that basis of new talks when Iran has not benefited from this and Europe has not reacted to the reinstatement of US sanctions.

The former Head of the African Desk at the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Javid Ghorbanoghli told Persia Digest (PD): “The JCPOA and regional issues are two separate topics. Iran must follow-up the implementation of the JCPOA while negotiating with Europe on regional issues. But the EU must not subject the implementation of the JCPOA to regional talks. Naturally, Iranian authorities will not accept this.”

He stated that talks with the EU on Middle Eastern affairs is a positive for Iran, reiterating: “A number of countries are entangled in regional issues and the Yemeni and Syrian crises have global dimensions. Therefore, since Iran has the upper hand in certain matters, talking with countries of similar interests in countering certain Saudi Arabian and American policies is a good, logical step forward.”

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In answer to the question of whether it would be more beneficial for Iran to complete previous negotiations with Europe prior to starting new ones, Ghorbanoghli answered: “Regional issues which erupted in various sectors following Trump’s election to power are a fact. All countries are now aware of Iran’s role in impacting and determining Middle Eastern events. As such, I believe that under the circumstances it would be best for Iran to interact with other actors instead of depending on a particular country; because, the final objective is to establish peace and stability in Syria and end the Yemen crisis.”

This former Iranian Ambassador to South Africa stressed: “Iran must not limit itself to one country and ignore other events. Talking is not tantamount to accepting all conditions. But talks must not be a precondition to implementing the JCPOA and European obligations. While Iran is involved in a proxy war with Saudi Arabia in Yemen, the Saudis continue to recruit their allies. But Iran is only dependent on internal forces inside Yemen. Global forces can be referred to for solving the crisis. Officials in Tehran have not considered this potential to date. Thus, Europe can be an opportunity to do this.”

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Speaking about probable US sabotages in regional talks between Iran and the EU, he said: “American hegemony and Trump’s approach have shown that this country has a significant impact on Europe. The events surrounding the JCPOA also revealed that Europe is not a force to be reckoned with and the disagreements of its members make it difficult for them to stand up to the US. A crack has now appeared in the political life of the West which is a chance for Iran. Whether regional talks will be fruitful or not can be looked upon from a cost and benefits dimension. Iran will not lose out if the US stops Europe from remaining committed to its obligations following regional talks. We can even say that Iran has been successful in benefiting from EU interest to partake in regional topics to widen the US-EU gap.

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