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Europe’s Credibility on the Line

Europe’s Credibility on the Line Europe’s Credibility on the Line

Proposals from Europe so far do little to convince Iran to stay in the 2015 nuclear deal, says a lawmaker, who believes that failure to save the agreement will undermine confidence in the European Union.  

"Haggling by Europe and the proposals it has made thus far are not enough to save the JCPOA," Kazem Jalali, head of the Iran-Europe Parliamentary Group, told Euronews during a visit to Brussels, Mehr News Agency reported.

Following US President Donald Trump's exit from the nuclear accord, technically called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, European powers are ostensibly trying to ensure Iran continues to get the economic benefits of the landmark deal.

But so far the EU has done nothing of substance.  Tehran has made little secret of the fact that it cannot and must not rely on the Europeans when it comes to the economic future of the country.

  Question of Credibility

Jalali called the nuclear agreement the EU's "greatest foreign policy achievement", saying that the bloc's credibility will indeed suffer if it does not give the necessary guarantees to safeguard Iranian interests.  

"If the European Union fails to ensure that European banks and companies can do business with Iran, confidence in the EU will be lost and no one will have trust in negotiations with the Europeans in the future," the Tehran lawmaker said. He was of the opinion that the process to keep the nuclear deal alive is a "litmus test" for Europe and will determine how much "economic and political weight" it carries in the international arena.

As US sanctions on Tehran take effect, the few European firms and banks that had working relations with Iran, walked away in fear of falling foul of the US restrictions.

Jalali, who is head of the Majlis Research Center, said the United States and Israel, along with some regional Arab countries, have launched a psychological campaign to strangle the Iranian economy.

  Presence in Syria

Asked about Iran's role in war-ravaged Syria, the MP  said the Islamic Republic's advisory presence in the Arab country is at the request of the Damascus government.

Almost half a million people have been killed in the protracted conflict and some six million have been displaced since the civil war began in Syria in 2011.

Iranians are fighting and dying in Syria to, among other things, save Europe from potential attackers, he said. "Every single one of the terrorists in the region is like a time bomb waiting to explode when they return to their own countries. So far, we have witnessed some of the consequences," said Jalali. "We are the ones who are paying the price for the protection of Europe."

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