U.S. after weakening Iran’s international posture: ex-EU diplomat

July 20, 2020 - 10:53

TEHRAN — A former EU Special Representative to the Middle East peace process bas said the United States’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and its “maximum pressure” policy against Tehran is aimed at weakening the international posture of Iran.

In an interview with ILNA published on Sunday, Marc Otte said the Trump administration wants to punish Tehran for what it calls Iran’s negative role in the region.

“In my view, many conservatives in the U.S. aim at regime change in Tehran, in agreement with Israel and maybe some Arab countries. In that context remember Trump has always said that if elected he would leave the JCPOA because it was a bad agreement in his view,” Otte said.

“In my view, many conservatives in the U.S. aim at regime change in Tehran, in agreement with Israel and maybe some Arab countries.”

Asked about Europe's role in this regard, the Belgian diplomat confirmed that the question is whether they have the tools and the political resolve to be effective, especially in view of possible secondary sanctions by the U.S. against European exporters. 

That is why they have instituted INSTEX, a mechanism to protect European operators, he said, adding that at the same time, the E3 powers and the EU also try and convince the U.S. to change course.

On China and Russia's roles, he said, “The question is what will be their strategy in the current atmosphere of confrontation between the three powers. China and Russia are also in consultations with the Europeans.”

“The IAEA warns that Iran is not sticking to its commitments and during the last year increased its stocks of enriched uranium, raised the level of enrichment from 3.67% to 4.5% and upgraded the capacities of its centrifuges and it also says that the accumulation of uranium is almost 8 times the maximum allowed,” the ex-EU diplomat stressed.

He added that mutual goodwill by all parties as well as confidence-building measures are the only way forward.

Asked about who is expected to win the 2020 election, Otte said, “I don’t know if Trump will be re-elected, as it is not clear yet if the U.S. policy will change if he isn’t.”

MH/PA

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