By: Maryam Azish

Europe, US at odds over policies toward Iran

News ID: 3999799 -
Tehran, June 14, (MNA) - In spite of convergent visions and deep-seated agreement which have endured between the US and Europe in devising policies against the Islamic Republic of Iran, they have adopted diverse approaches toward Tehran in periods of times.

Presently, it seems that the convergence between the US and Europe towards Iran has turned into divergence.

According to Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi, the US President Donald Trump administration talks about reviewing the Iran nuclear deal and containing Iran’s role in the region while Europe stresses on its commitments to stick to the agreement and interact with the Islamic Republic in the post JCPOA-era.

This is a real difference though it may not be permanent.

The European Union and the White House are in disagreement about their ties with Iran on some important issues.

The most important and the main issue pertains to the JCPOA. The Trump administration has had no role in signing the nuclear accord. Although his government has remained committed to the deal, it has occasionally called for scrapping or reviewing the agreement, without mulling over the consequences, Iran Daily wrote.

Iran complaint about US

The spokesman said Iran had complained to the JCPOA Joint Commission, which monitors the deal’s implementation, during the panel's latest gathering in Vienna on April 25 about the United States reneging on its commitments.

Since the conclusion of the accord, the US has refused to properly deploy the guarantees required to ensure European and other financial institutions against punitive American measures, should they seek to restore their transactions with Iran to the pre-sanctions level. Washington has just served the institutions with verbal “assurance.”

Ever since his January inauguration, Trump has adopted a harsh position against the deal, at times threatening to “tear up” the accord.

Ghasemi said the Iranian delegation had also told the commission about Trump’s remarks and positions, which had to some extent affected the monetary and financial aspects of post-sanctions transactions, PressTV wrote.

The commission, he said, had thanked Iran for staying true to its obligations under the deal.

Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Helga Schmid noted in the gathering’s final statement that Washington had to honor its contractual commitments, Ghasemi said. All agreed that the agreement has to remain in force, he stated.

However, the European Union considers the JCPOA as its biggest diplomatic achievement in the current century.

The EU regards maintaining the deal in line with its political interests due to the influential and useful steps it has taken to benefit from ties with Iran in the post JCPOA-era.

The bloc has also warned the White House about the necessity to stick to the deal.

Apparent Response

On March 2017,European Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini has strongly defended Iran’s nuclear deal with the P5+1 group of countries, pointing out that the International Atomic Energy Agency has five times confirmed Iran’s compliance with its commitments under the July 2015 agreement.

Speaking at an international conference on nuclear policy in Washington, Mogherini made the remarks in an apparent response to Trump's attacks on the nuclear accord. During his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly vowed to tear up the agreement, and he hardly misses any chance to call it the worst deal ever.

During a meeting with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in the White House, the billionaire-turned-president told an Iraqi delegation that he was wondering why President Barack Obama supported the deal, and that "nobody" knows why. “One of the things I did ask is, 'Why did President Obama sign that agreement with Iran?' because nobody has been able to figure that one out... But maybe someday we'll be able to figure that one out," Trump said.

The second difference between the US and Europe over Iran is about the root causes of terrorism and instability in the region.

The US president in his first foreign trip to Saudi Arabia accused Iran of fueling the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.

Such an unrealistic and wrong stance adopted by Washington, which fuels Iranophobia, has helped in making a huge arms deal with Saudi Arabia, Ghasemi said.

Such a stance is tantamount to plunging the Middle East into growing insecurity, instability and terrorism.

While Trump was engaged in signing a multi-billion dollar arms deal with Riyadh, another terror attack hit Europe which led to the deaths of 22 people in Manchester.

On May 23, 2017, a suicide bombing at a packed Manchester pop concert designed to cause "maximum carnage" killed 22 people including children, in the deadliest terror attack in Britain for more than a decade.

The attack, claimed by the Daesh terror group, was the deadliest in Britain since July 7, 2005 when four suicide bombers inspired by Al-Qaeda attacked London's transport system during rush hour, killing 52 people and wounding 700 more.

Hence, it’s vital for Europe to trace the real roots of terrorism. The European Union – unlike Trump’s stance – cannot trade the security of its citizens for unstable political interests by misrepresenting the root causes of terrorism.

The widespread occurrence of terror attacks in Europe suggests that the perpetrators are the puppets of Wahhabis who train and organize their mercenaries in the region.

This sheds light on the difference between the EU and Washington. When there are differences about root causes of terrorism and instability, there will be differences on how to tackle them. Hence, one can understand why the European Union gives a cold shoulder to anti-Iran propaganda staged by the US and its regional allies, which seek to isolate the Islamic Republic.

In total disregard of such smear campaigns launched against Iran, the EU welcomed the results of Iran’s May 19 presidential elections and called for establishing deep interaction and strong ties with the Islamic Republic to overcome the gloomy phenomenon of terrorism.

Strong Mandate

On May 20, 2017, Mogherini in a message congratulated the incumbent President Rouhani on his re-election.

In her twitter message, Mogherini said “Iranians took passionately part to political life of their country. I congratulate President Hassan Rouhani for strong mandate received.”

In a separate message on the same day, Mogherini expressed the European Union readiness to continue its cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran in all areas, including working for full implementation of the nuclear deal between Tehran and major world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“EU ready to continue work for full JCPOA implementation, bilateral engagement, regional peace, and meet expectations of all people in Iran,” she said.

Earlier, the EU top diplomat had said that “on the elections in Iran, we obviously follow with a lot of attention and respect the last hours before the elections and I would never comment on the possible results.”

“In some cases we have some common ground and good cooperation, for instance on the implementation of the nuclear agreement we have worked well together with the Iranian authorities,” she had also said.

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