Europe Should Pay the Price for Saving Nuclear Deal

Europe Should Pay the Price for Saving Nuclear Deal Europe Should Pay the Price for Saving Nuclear Deal

Europe should be ready to pay the price of defying Washington, if it wants to salvage the 2015 nuclear agreement, a senior official said, while calling on the Netherlands to help facilitate bilateral trade. 
"If Europe wants to save the JCPOA, it should pay the cost of doing so," Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi told his Dutch counterpart, Andre Haspels, in The Hague, using the abbreviation for the agreement's formal name—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, ISNA reported on Tuesday. 
Araqchi had traveled to the Netherlands to attend the third round of political consultations between the two sides. 
Europe has been struggling to come up with a mechanism to persuade Iran to stay within the limits of the nuclear deal, as Tehran argues that it no longer sees the economic benefit of the accord after the US administration pulled out and reimposed sanctions on the nation.
The European parties to the deal have designed a financial arrangement known as INSTEX to shield trade with Iran from US sanctions. It will initially focus on essential goods not subject to the sanctions, such as humanitarian, medical and agricultural products. 
Iranian officials have repeatedly said the vehicle must include oil sales or provide substantial credit facilities for it to be beneficial.



Europe’s ‘Inaction’

Araqchi criticized Europe's "inaction" and its failure to fulfill the obligations stipulated in the nuclear agreement. 
He also defended Iran's decision to reduce compliance with the pact in response to US sanctions and failed European efforts. 
"Iran's right to halt the implementation of all or part of its commitments has been recognized in the JCPOA, and the steps taken so far do not constitute a violation of the agreement," he said. 
Iran has so far exceeded the deal's limits on nuclear enrichment purity and stockpiles of enriched uranium as well as research and development, including on the advancement of centrifuges used to enrich uranium. In the latest move, it resumed uranium enrichment at its underground Fordow nuclear plant. 
It has promised more cuts in its commitments unless Europe acts, but says its measures are "reversible".



Bilateral Ties

In the meeting, Araqchi said there is huge potential for cooperation between companies in Iran and the Netherlands, and asked the Dutch government to help remove obstacles to bilateral trade. 
On regional issues, he said Persian Gulf countries should cooperate with each other to maintain peace and security instead of relying on foreign forces. 
Haspels said his country is seeking to help reduce tensions in the region and emphasized Iran's role in promoting regional peace and security. 
Araqchi also held talks with Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok, during which they underlined the importance of keeping the nuclear deal alive. 

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints