Leader: Do not pin hopes on Europe

Leader told Rouhani government in July not to ‘condition’ people to European package 

March 4, 2019

TEHRAN - Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei advised President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet back in July 2018 not to rely on Europeans to protect Iran against U.S. sanctions.

Ayatollah Khamenei said the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), did not resolve economic problems, a Monday video release of the private meeting revealed.

“Don’t wait for this or that,” the Leader suggested.

He said, “One day the resolution of economic problems was tied to BARJAM, (but) BARJAM could not resolve any of the country’s economic problems… and the result was that the people became conditioned to BARJAM… we have become conditional. We have conditioned the people. This time it’s the European package. Don’t make people conditional to the European package.”

BARJAM is the Persian acronym for the JCPOA.

The U.S. imposed new sanctions on the Islamic Republic after President Donald Trump abandoned the JCPOA in May 2018.

The Europeans said they would not follow suit, trying to keep Iran in the agreement by promising incentives.

After spending months discussing possible mechanisms to guarantee continued trade with Tehran, the Europeans last month unveiled the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) with strings attached.

“But of course the Europeans have to. May they go blind! They should tell how they will be able to defend our interests, for which the name is the package. But do not make that a fundamental issue of the country. The European package may make it or not. We have jobs to do in the country,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

He added, “They (Europeans) are bad. They are really bad. I have a breastful of things to say about the Europeans, not because of their current policies, but their mischievous nature in the last few centuries.”

Senior Iranian officials have objected to Europe’s preconditions, which require Iran to join the FATF (the Financial Action Task Force) before INSTEX enters into force.

“But of course I say relations should be preserved. Those who have been with me during these years know that, regarding diplomatic ties, I believe relations should be boosted day by day,” the Leader remarked.

“Stepping aside or severing [ties], these are not my idea, except in rare cases such as America…. Ties with the East should be strengthened. So too with the West.”

SP/PA

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