Diplomatic Flexibility With Europe Underlined

Ali BigdeliAli Bigdeli

A political analyst underscored the need to adopt "diplomatic flexibility" with Europe over the missile dispute in the face of a push by the United States and its regional allies to isolate Iran.

Asked by the Iranian Diplomacy website to comment on the main issues discussed in the talks between Iranian officials and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson during his last week visit to Tehran, Ali Bigdeli added that apart from the 2015 nuclear deal, "Iran's missile program is also of vital importance".

"Diplomatic flexibility should be placed on Tehran's agenda … to not only avert the formation of an international coalition against it, but also to expand its foreign relations while reserving the right to defend itself. Otherwise it would again face political isolation," Bigdeli said.

Britain was among the six major powers that negotiated the nuclear pact with Iran in July 2015 to curtail its nuclear program in return for relief from international sanctions.

But the US approach toward Iran and the deal took a hostile turn after US President Donald Trump took office in January this year.

Trump has repeatedly hammered the historic agreement for being too soft on Iran, criticizing the curbs set out in the pact for failing to also target non-nuclear issues such as Iran's missile development activity and regional influence.

In a controversial October statement, he said he no longer certifies Tehran's compliance with the deal terms, despite the repeated reports of the UN nuclear agency, which have all confirmed Tehran's full commitment.

With this announcement, the fate of the action plan now rests with the US Congress that must decide by mid-December whether to restore the anti-Iran sanctions regime.

Iranian authorities argue that negotiations leading to the nuclear deal were never meant to cover matters beyond the nuclear issue and all the participants agreed to limit the scope of talks to resolving the decade-long nuclear dispute.

While European signatories have rebuffed Trump's demand for a renegotiation of the nuclear agreement, they have echoed his concerns over Tehran's missile activities and called for separate talks to curb them.

Bigdeli noted that Johnson's visit should have been used to prevent London and other European nations from joining an anti-Iran alliance formed by the US and Iran's regional foes, namely Israel and Saudi Arabia.

"So the Iranian diplomacy should reach a right understanding of the situation and head off a coalition between Europe and Britain and the US-Israel-Saudi Arabia triangle," he said.


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