Intensified Diplomacy Essential to Countering Trump

Intensified Diplomacy Essential to Countering TrumpIntensified Diplomacy Essential to Countering Trump

Iran needs to further extend its diplomatic outreach to Europe and other countries in the region and beyond, if the US is to be held accountable for its hostile moves against the 2015 nuclear agreement, a political analyst said.

"We should talk specifically with Europe, Russia and China and maintain our diplomatic contacts with our neighbors," Ahmad Hosseini wrote in a recent article published by the Iranian Diplomacy website.

He was referring to the five powers that participated alongside the United States in nearly two years of EU-coordinated negotiations with Iran to broker the landmark agreement under which international sanctions against Iran were eased in exchange for temporary restrictions on its nuclear program.

But the deal is struggling to survive under harsh attacks from US President Donald Trump, who has blamed his predecessor Barack Obama for failing to drive a harder bargain during the nuclear negotiations and get Tehran to roll back its missile development and regional clout too.

  Strong Fortress

Iran has rejected western calls to curb its non-nuclear activities.

"We should take a firm stance on our military and missile power, as well as our regional [role] and build a strong fortress around them. Meanwhile, we should avoid provocative measures, use appropriate and confidence-building language with others and try to improve the quality of our capabilities," Hosseini said.

Trump agreed on Jan. 12 to waive US nuclear-related sanctions but warned it was the "last chance" to fix the deal, demanding that US lawmakers and European allies draw up a side deal imposing restrictions on Iran's non-nuclear activities.

The EU has said it is "carefully assessing" Trump's statement on the international accord, in which the US leader set a 120-day deadline for fixing the deal's "disastrous flaws".

Trump's deal stance threatens to alienate the European allies that are desperate to protect the UN-endorsed agreement, touting it as a major diplomatic achievement that averted a brewing war.

Hosseini said this has provided an opportunity for Iran to lobby with Europe to push the United States deeper into isolation and put pressure on Trump to abandon his aggressive approach.

"It is essential that we establish mechanisms for dialogue with major European countries to explain our views and logic to them," the analyst added.

While Europeans have expressed openness to taking action to address concerns over Tehran's non-nuclear activities, they stress that the deal is working and oppose Trump's demand to revisit its terms.


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