Don't misinterpret Iran's restraint, ambassador warns Europe

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
By Duncan Hooper
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Tehran's ambassador to Brussels warns that Trump's bullying could create "uncontrollable conflict"


Europe must stand up to the US and take actions to prevent Donald Trump destroying the nuclear deal which has preserved Middle East stability, Iran's ambassador to the EU has warned.

Writing for Euronews, Peiman Seadat said that “cohesive and timely action” between all the remaining parties to the accord was the only way to keep the agreement together.

“If Europe chooses, during the Trump Administration, to give priority to the transatlantic ties, it risks running against its very own principles and values, and only undermines its sovereignty and credibility,” he added.

Donald Trump announced last month that the US would withdraw from the agreement, despite opposition from the other signatories – China, France, Germany Russia, the UK and the European Union as well as Iran itself.

He also warned that European companies who continued to do business with Iran would be subject to reintroduced US sanctions, prompting major investors such as Peugeot and Total to announce they would abandon projects there.

Seadat criticised leaders who had tried to “manage” or “tame” Trump after visits and personal pleas by French president Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel failed to bring about a change of heart in the White House

The agreement could hold without the US, he wrote, but only if Iran received “deliverable guarantees” of economic gain.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is formally known, lifted sanctions imposed on Iran in return for the ending of the country’s nuclear weapons programme, a condition international monitors agreed was being upheld.

However, Israel said it had evidence that Tehran had never given up its ambitions to develop nuclear arms. Trump agreed with this assessment, adding that the deal had failed to stop Iran fueling conflicts in Yemen and Syria or developing conventional missiles that threatened its neighbours.

Seadat retorted that Trump’s “policies of bullying and intimidation only increase the likelihood of a dangerous countermeasures, with the potential to spiral into uncontrollable conflict.”

“The JCPOA is a strategic stabilizer for regional and international peace. But to rescue and preserve its existence, Europe and the remaining signatories must choose cohesive and timely action,” he concluded.

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