De Facto Departure

De Facto Departure De Facto Departure

On every possible occasion the European Union reminded the world that “We remain committed to the full and effective implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran.”

This promise was made time and again by the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini. Nevertheless, European businesses, banks, insurance companies and others that returned to the Iranian market after the 2015 nuclear deal, are now looking for the exits after the US decided to withdraw from the deal.

It is not clear to what extent the EU stance that it will remain committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is strong and serious.   

Observers not in the business of playing with words, say with Donald Trump out the EU is not far away: a de facto outsider.

Since the US withdrawal Iran has participated in meetings in Brussels to see to what extent the EU can and will help and safeguard Iran’s economic interests enshrined in the JCPOA.  But it seems the Europeans are good more at dragging their feet.

Tehran’s wants are basic: selling oil and buying goods and services via accounts in European banks. On this key issue the EU is unable or unwilling to deliver.

It is rather regrettable that the 28-nation bloc has no tool to protect its own businesses and companies in Iran. All European banks follow the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) orders but not what is in the interest of their the union.

The problem is not restricted to Iran and its nuclear agreement. European governments have no governance on their economic agents to act based on their own norms and rules independently.

European firms usually implement what the US says and wants leaving national governments with little if any clout, especially when it comes to sanctions, restrictions and embargos on other countries.  

Given the ugly state of the affairs of the world, can one really accept that we are living in a place many love to call a free world? What we see in practicality is a dictator (US) telling the world what it can and cannot do.  Sovereignty of states, national honor and dignity, international laws and treaties can fall on the wayside.

The question now is whether nations and governments want to stand up for their value systems and say no to despotism and oppression. Keeping the JCPOA alive would be the first step in this direction. As Iran insists that diplomacy and dialogue is the only way to solve regional and international disputes, we have no qualms about what we want.

Let it be known that no one can or should negotiate with a party that violates international agreements. If the EU believes in diplomacy and peaceful solutions to other major issues, it should create the conditions wherein Iran can have its fair share of economic benefits enshrined in the nuclear deal despite the US sanctions and persuade its banks and companies to conduct normal business in and with Iran.  


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