Europe Warned Against Following US Path on Iran

Europe Warned Against Following US Path on IranEurope Warned Against Following US Path on Iran

A political analyst warned the Europeans about the consequences of attempts to satisfy the excessive demands of hawkish US President Donald Trump on Iran, describing them as a step toward another diplomatic deadlock.

"The European countries, instead of defending the JCPOA against Trump and trying to prove its effectiveness to Iran and the international community, are toeing Trump's line on the JCPOA and Iran's missile issue," Mahin Siamansouri said in an article carried by the Iranian Diplomacy website on Sunday.

JCPOA stands for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the official title of a landmark accord the six powers brokered with Iran to subject its nuclear program to temporary restrictions in return for giving it relief from international sanctions.

  Ill Will

"These unrealistic demands do not send a positive message to Tehran. A decision by some European countries to rally behind Trump in pushing Tehran to accede to new non-nuclear constraints under the pretext that otherwise Trump would pull out of the action plan is like moving on a dead-end path and signals ill will," Siamansouri said.

 Trump gave the nuclear agreement another reprieve on January 12, saying it is the last chance for European allies and the US Congress to work with him to fix what he says are "disastrous flaws" in the nuclear deal within four months or he would withdraw from it.

Fixing those flaws would include removing the time frames set by the so-called sunset clauses of the deal under which nuclear curbs begin to gradually expire as of 2025.

Trump has also called for a separate side agreement with Europeans to curtail the Islamic Republic's missile development and regional role, neither of which are technically part of the UN-endorsed action plan.

JCPOA's European signatories, namely France, Britain and Germany, have said they share Trump's non-nuclear concerns about Iran and expressed readiness to cooperate with him to address them.

But they have rejected Trump's call for a renegotiation of the deal, arguing that it is working and Tehran's compliance has been fully verified by the UN nuclear agency, the JCPOA's oversight body.

Iran has repeatedly said its missile program is purely defensive and has dismissed accusations that its regional activities are destabilizing.

It has made clear that the deal cannot be revised.

  Eroding Confidence

Siamansouri said Europe's support for Trump's aggressive Iran policy would augur badly for a region already plagued with protracted, complicated conflicts.

"Under the current critical situation of the region, such a move would undermine Iran's confidence in Europe. It would also pose a serious challenge to Iran's relations with some European countries and lead nowhere."  

Berlin, Paris, London, and Washington have set up a working group of experts on amending the deal.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Saturday the group has already begun to meet, trying to determine the scope of what is needed and how much Iran needs to be engaged in it.


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