By Hanif Ghaffari

Europe’s support of Iran’s JCPOA: Actions speak louder than words

September 23, 2018

TEHRAN - Iran is calling for keeping the European countries in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action formally known as JCPOA, including Germany, to save it, without the participation of the United States. But the Germans are reluctant to continue to cooperate with Iran due to U.S. secondary sanctions.

After the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the Europeans have expressed their regret and announced their support for keeping JCPOA without the U.S. 

Maya Kuchianchik, the spokesperson for the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, said recently that Europe should work with other international powers to keep the deal. However, some European companies, including German companies, have left Iran, which shows the lack of resolve some people in Europe.

The double standards of Europeans and their lack of trustworthiness were concerns that was posed by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution in the very early days after the announcement of the departure of America from the JCPOA. “I do not trust these three (European) countries. If you want to sign an agreement, you first need to obtain a practical guarantee, otherwise they will do the same as the U.S. did,” he said.

German officials promised to cooperate with Iran following the withdrawal of U.S. from JCPOA. In this regard, German Ambassador to Tehran Michael Klor-Berchtold, said: “German officials have always focused on the consolidation and strengthening of relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in various fields.”  

Germany’s economy minister Peter Altmaier also said: “We will not let Washington dictate our trade relations with other countries and that’s why we stand by the Vienna nuclear agreement to prevent Iran from producing atomic weapons. German companies should be allowed to continue to invest in Iran as much as they want and the German government is looking for ways together with its European allies to ensure that financial transactions can still take place.”

Despite the fact that the Germans have seemed supportive in their talks and statements, in practice such support has not been observed. For instance, Altmaier noted that Germany has no legal means of protecting German companies that do business in the United States. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also considered her secretary's statement calling for a review of German-U.S. relations as his personal viewpoint. 

Such contradictory positions of the German authorities have caused many European companies to unilaterally withdraw from the contracts and leave Iran after the start of the new round of U.S. sanctions against Iran. However, the justification of European governments was the privatization of these companies. But the departure of the German railways company proves that Europeans, and in particular the Germans, have no intention of protecting the interests of Iran.

Evidence suggests that the Germans are an unreliable partner in keeping up a firm commitment to the JCPOA. They have complied with U.S. sanctions policies against Iran in their relationship with Iran because of their dependence on the U.S. dollar. 

Iranian ambassador to Berlin Ali Majidi has noted: “The head of the central bank of Germany or Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) are actually afraid of having a financial relationship with Iran. The dollar's share in the banks will not allow them to cooperate with Iran.”

In this way, there cannot be any hope for economic openings from trust in Germany and other European countries because Europe cannot or will not continue its own banking relations with Iran. Although the Europeans have raised the issue of enforcing the 1996 blocking law, this claim is merely word-of-fact and in practice cannot be effective.

The root of all these problems comes from the role of the dollar in advancing U.S. goals and surrendering other countries to the demands of the U.S.

Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary to the U.S. Treasury has highlighted the dollar’s role in U.S. policy and said: “The only thing that has made the United States so powerful is the surrender and stupidity of other countries to the imperialist mechanisms of the U.S. dollar.”

The existence of such mechanisms has prevented U.S. officials from reacting to the European blocking law because they know that it is essentially impossible to enforce such a law. A senior U.S. administration official said the United States is “not particularly concerned by EU efforts to protect European firms from re-imposed sanctions against Iran.”

On this basis, instead of hoping for Germany and other European countries to do the right things, it is better for Iran to pursue more operational solutions. A foreign policy orientation toward non-European countries as well as neighbors are required at this time.

Leave a Comment

6 + 0 =