By Javad Heirannia

EU help to Iran is not serious: Hunter

September 4, 2018

TEHRAN - Shireen Tahmaasb Hunter, a professor of political science at Georgetown University, tells the Tehran Times that that “Europe wants to keep Iran committed to JCPOA, and thus makes some vague promises, but it is not willing to give Iran serious help.”

“It was recently reported that the EU will offer 18million euros for some projects in Iran. This is not serious,” Hunter tells the Tehran Times.
She adds the Europe does not want to escalate confrontation with America for the sake of Iran.

Following is the text the interview:

Q: Some argue that the European Union laws does not have an effect to protect Iran against the impact of U.S. sanctions. In other words, the law is a new version of the "Blocking Statute" that the European Union approved in 1996 to protect Cuba against U.S. sanctions. In your opinion, how much this law is effectiveness to protect Iran against U.S. sanctions?

A: The current laws are not very effective in countering American sanctions. Moreover, the real issue is that Europe does not want to escalate confrontation with America for the sake of Iran. Economic relations between U.S. and Europe are very extensive and any gain with Iran cannot compensate for the loss of U.S. markets. I believe Europe is using the Iran issue to discredit Trump and increase its own bargaining power in matters more important for Europe. Iran is becoming a tool inn Europe's hands in confrontation with Trump.

Q: Previously, in 1996, without the Europe support, America put sanction on Cuba, and Europe did not accept these sanctions. Nowadays Is Europe still able to resist U.S. sanctions against Iran?

A: Iran issue is more complicated than Cuba because it is linked to other Middle East -related issues. Europe has very little economic relations with Cuba. Moreover, America was not so keen in getting European cooperation regarding Cuba than it has been vis a vis Iran. The main issue is that Europe does not want to endanger its economic interests in America for Iran's sake.

Q: In Europe, economic companies have the right to choose and freedom, and the EU also does not want to restrict this freedom. Does the EU can push the companies to work with Iran? How the EU can force the companies to cooperate with Iran?

A: European countries can encourage their companies to invest in some countries, but they cannot force them. Moreover, given the current conditions, European governments are not themselves interested in seriously helping Iran. It was recently reported that the EU will offer 18million euros for some projects in Iran. This is not serious. Europe wants to keep Iran committed to JCPOA, and thus makes some vague promises, but it is not willing to give Iran serious help. This is because Europe, too, is unhappy with many aspects of Iran's foreign policy behavior. The fact is that Iran's options are very limited. If it exits JCPOA, it could face military attack or more severe sanctions and other economic pressures.
 

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