Europe unwilling to pay the price to save JCPOA: MP

May 19, 2019

TEHRAN – Chairman of the Majlis Nuclear Committee Mojtaba Zonnour said on Sunday that while European countries are capable of preserving the Iran nuclear agreement, they are not willing to pay the price for saving it.

Speaking to Mehr, Zonnour said European parties to the 2015 nuclear deal should fulfil their obligations to preserve the deal, officially known as the JCPOA, if they really approve of it.

The top lawmaker maintained that European payment mechanism, known as INSTEX, should be able to facilitate Iran’s economic transactions with all countries in the world, not just with the Europeans.

He said it is against the JCPOA that INSTEX be just restricted to providing humanitarian aid such as medicine.

Zonour said humanitarian aid is for a country which has started a war against a country and then suffered a defeat, citing Iraq as an example that was allowed to sell oil to import food and medicine under the supervision of the United Nations during the Saddam Hussein regime in the 1990s and early 2000s. 

The parliament “will definitely reject this restriction, and our diplomats should beware of Europeans’ empty promises and deceits.”

He added, “The European side has been only killing time and playing ‘good cop/bad cop’ with the U.S.” 

The parliamentarian argued since the introduction of U.S. sanctions against Iran, the Europeans have let Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to take Iran’s share in the oil market.

“Since the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA, Europe has used this opportunity to let Saudi Arabia and the Emirates increase their oil productions so that their oil could replace ours.”

In late January 2018, European signatories of the JCPOA announced the establishment of a special trade mechanism dubbed INSTEX (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges) in a bid to save the JCPOA after the withdrawal of the United States from it.

INSTEX, which has yet to become operational, is registered in Paris and headed by German banker Per Fischer who visited Iran last week and discussed the status of the mechanism with Iranian officials.

MH/PA

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