Europe Intent on Protecting Nuclear Deal Against Trump

Europe Intent on Protecting Nuclear Deal Against TrumpEurope Intent on Protecting Nuclear Deal Against Trump

European parties to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal will block any US attempt to breach it, as they are wary of the hefty costs of the pact's collapse, a lawmaker said.

France, Britain and Germany, as well as Russia and China joined the United States during the tenure of former US president, Barack Obama, to broker the historic Iran pact, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.  

"The violation of JCPOA would have heavy consequences for P5+1 [the group of Iran's counterparties], particularly the Europeans. So it appears that the European Union and countries like France and Germany will not allow the US to violate the action plan," Ardeshir Nourian also told ICANA on Wednesday.

"America cannot afford to take such action unilaterally without incurring costs," he added.

US President Donald Trump has railed against the accord and has been seeking ways to kill it.

He sent the US envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, late last month on a trip to Vienna, where the International Atomic Energy Agency is based, to call for stricter treatment of the Islamic Republic regarding JCPOA.

IAEA is charged with verifying the nuclear commitments Iran undertook under the pact in return for relief from international sanctions.

Haley called on the IAEA to consider the inspection of Iran's military sites as part of its task to ensure no undeclared nuclear activity is underway.

Iran denies having ever sought to make a nuclear bomb, insisting that its nuclear program is meant for exclusively civilian purposes.    

The UN nuclear watchdog has confirmed Iran's compliance with the accord in all of its quarterly reports so far, a fact that Washington's European allies have cited while refusing to go along with Trump's hawkish stance toward the deal.

  EU Favors Constructive Dialogue With Iran

Contrary to the US approach, they are keen to expand Iran ties after the removal of sanctions in January 2016.

EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, has frequently defended the deal and stressed the need to uphold it.

"This was not an agreement between the two countries; I have repeated it time and again and I have the impression that we will need to repeat it time and again in the months to come," she said in a speech to the opening session of the 2017 EU ambassadors last month.

"It was a commitment undertaken by the entire international community on one side and Iran on the other, supported by a resolution of the UN Security Council and certified regularly by the IAEA."

French President Emmanuel Macron has also said there is no alternative to the action plan.

"There is no alternative to the regime on nuclear non-proliferation," he said. "In the context of what we are living through, the 2015 agreement is what allows us to establish a constructive and demanding dialogue with Iran."

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has not ruled out the possibility of the deal holding in the event of the US pullout.

"This is not impossible, but we do not prefer this and we want this cooperation to continue based on the agreement. However, all options are on the table and we are not limited to a single option," Zarif said in an interview with the Lebanese Al Mayadeen TV on Tuesday.  


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints