Gov’t Urged to Join Hands With EU to Counter US Animosity 

Gov’t Urged to Join Hands With EU to Counter US Animosity Gov’t Urged to Join Hands With EU to Counter US Animosity 

The administration of President Hassan Rouhani ought to work toward convincing Europe of the need for adopting a joint stance against the hawkish US President Donald Trump who has vowed to ditch the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement unless Tehran grants new concessions on its nuclear and defense policies, a lawmaker said.

"I'm of the opinion that the US is pressing for renegotiation of JCPOA, which Iran will never accept," Hamidreza Fouladgar also told ICANA in a recent talk, using an abbreviation for the formal name of the 2015 international deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

"Our strategy should be aimed at preventing problems in relations with the EU and tilting it to our side, while taking reciprocal measures against the US."

In a speech on Friday, Trump said his administration will not confirm Tehran's commitment to the deal to the US Congress on Oct. 15, the third deadline for him to assess Iran's compliance, which he is required to do every 90 days under the US law.

Trump made the statement as he laid out the new US strategy on Iran, which was for months in the making.

Since the pact went into effect in January 2016 to curb Iranian nuclear program, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN watchdog tasked with monitoring Iran's nuclear work, has periodically verified the country's compliance with the deal.

All parties to the deal, except the US, are satisfied with the accord that settled a lingering nuclear dispute.

After Trump's decertification, congress should decide within 60 days whether or not to reimpose sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

The US president hopes congress will take legislative actions to address what he calls "flaws" in the deal and act to contain Iran's ballistic missile capabilities. But, if congress and US allies cannot reach an agreement, the Iran deal "will be terminated", Trump threatened.

So far, Trump's record in carrying out similar impulsive threats has been dismal.

  Mixed EU Response

Britain, France and Germany, the three European countries, which joined the United States, Russia and China to negotiate the deal, were quick to protest Trump's Friday remarks.

In a joint statement late on Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May said keeping the deal is "in our shared national security interest".

They warned Trump against reimposing sanctions and other measures that could undermine the international agreement.

"We encourage the US administration and congress to consider the implications to the security of the US and its allies before taking any steps that might undermine the JCPOA, such as reimposing sanctions on Iran lifted under the agreement," they said in the statement. However, the three European leaders said they share the US concerns over Iran's ballistic missile program and regional activities, and were ready to work with Washington to address those concerns.

"We stand ready to take further appropriate measures to address these issues in close cooperation with the US and all relevant partners," they said, Reuters reported.

"We look to Iran to engage in constructive dialogue to stop [the alleged] destabilizing actions and work toward negotiated solutions," the joint statement said.

  Need to Prepare for Economic War  

Irrespective of the US decision regarding the deal, Fouladgar said the Iranian government should further promote Resistance Economy to offset the impact of any possible US economic war.

Resistance Economy is a concept aimed at weaning the Iranian government from heavy dependence on oil revenues and boosting productivity and export. It was first proposed by the Leader of Islamic Revolution in 2011, amid the tightening of international sanctions at the behest of Washington.

Although the deal removed most international sanctions against Iran, the remaining unilateral US sanctions are hampering trade with Europe and Asia.

Trump has also imposed a raft of sanctions on Iran over various pretexts since coming to power in January.

Fouladgar said the government must work harder to attract foreign investment, remove obstacles to domestic production and boost ease of doing business, among other measures.

"Although the vulnerability of the Iranian economy to antagonistic US measures cannot be fully fixed, it can be reduced to an acceptable level," he said.


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