11 Europeans’ JCPOA commitments that were reneged on

December 16, 2020 - 10:55

TEHRAN – As the European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal move to turn the heat on Iran by trying to widen the scope of the nuclear deal, a publication close to the office of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution put the spotlight on the Leader’s remarks on the European non-compliance with the nuclear deal.

The publication, Khatt-e Hezbollah (the Hezbollah Line), said Europe has effectively withdrawn from the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
First of all, the publications quoted the Leader as questioning European compliance with the JCPOA.

“Do you notice Europe? And how did they act on the issue of the JCPOA and their commitments? Now, it’s interesting that they reiterate all the time that ‘we are committed to the JCPOA.’ What is the compliance of Germany, France and Britain? Someone should ask that how are you committed [to the JCPOA]? What kind of commitment do you have to the JCPOA? Which commitment did you comply with?” Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said in a mid-May, 2019 speech, according to Khatt-e Hezbollah.

Nearly two months after that speech, the Leader once again castigated the Europeans for their non-compliance with the JCPOA, saying that the Europeans have reneged on 11 commitments under the nuclear deal.

The Leader said in mid-July 2019, “According to our honorable foreign minister, Europe had 11 commitments under the JCPOA none of which were implemented by Europe…. What about us? We have implemented our JCPOA commitments and beyond. But now that we started to reduce our commitments in response to them, they say from a bullying position that ‘Wow, why do you reduce your commitments?’ O, insolent guys, you had 11 commitments but you complied with none of them. So why do you ask us to comply with our commitments? Now we have just started to reduce our commitments and this process will certainly continue.”

The European signatories to the JCPOA – France, Germany and the UK (E3) – have ramped up pressure on Iran in recent weeks in an attempt to renegotiate the nuclear deal and address other issues such as Iran’s defensive missile program and the country’s influence in the region. The European coordination in this regard has substantially intensified after Joe Biden won the U.S. presidential election in early November. The E3 foreign ministers held a meeting in Germany to coordinate their positions on Iran. Following this meeting, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas made remarks that were indicative of a possibly new European policy toward Iran. One that seeks to achieve what Trump failed to achieve through the so-called “maximum pressure” campaign.

“A return to the previous agreement will not suffice anyway. There will have to be a kind of ‘nuclear agreement plus,’ which is also in our interest. We have clear expectations of Iran: no nuclear weapons, but also no ballistic missile program that threatens the entire region. Iran also needs to play a different role in the region,” Maas said in an interview with the German magazine, Der Spiegel. He added, “We need this agreement precisely because we distrust Iran. I have already coordinated with my French and British counterparts on this.”

Before Maas, the French presidency also had said that Iran’s missile issue should be addressed in future talks.

Iranian officials, including Ayatollah Khamenei, have strongly responded to the new European demands, underling that the E3 had no rights to discuss Iran’s missiles and its regional influence. During his latest meeting with the heads of the three branches of the government, Ayatollah Khamenei called on the E3 to stop demanding negotiations on Iran’s defensive missiles and its influence in the region.

“The Europeans are constantly taking stances against Iran. While they are making the most improper interferences in the region’s issues, they tell us not to interfere in the region. And while France and Britain possess destructive nuclear missiles and Germany is moving in this direction, they tell us not to possess missiles,” the Leader pointed out.

Directly addressing the Europeans, Ayatollah Khamenei added, “What business is it of yours. Correct yourself first and then make remarks.”

Although Iran’s criticism of Europe intensified after the E3 called for missile negotiations, tensions in Iran-Europe relations have never subsided in the years after U.S. President’s Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA on May 8, 2018. Iran has always called on the E3 to compensate it for the damage Trump caused to its economy. But the Europeans did nothing for Iran, according to the Leader.

Ayatollah Khamenei said in July 2020 that Iran has told the Europeans to do this and that after Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA but the Europeans did nothing for Iran.

“The Europeans did nothing. And their last initiative was a nonsense plaything called INSTEX, which of course did not bear fruit. In a nutshell, the INSTEX means that Iran gives its money [blocked] in other places to so-and-so Europeans – France and Britain for instance - and they buy the goods they see appropriate and then send the goods to Iran. This is the meaning of INSTEX, which is in itself a wrong and detrimental thing. But they fell short of even launching this mechanism,” the Leader said.

Some Iranian officials have strongly criticized the European inaction on the JCPOA during the Trump administration and even called for Europe to compensate Iran for the losses that were caused by the Trump sanctions while ruling out any prospect of broader negotiations with the incoming U.S. administration of Joe Biden.

Alireza Salimi, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s presiding board, has urged the United States and Europe to compensate Iran for the losses it incurred following Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal and the Europeans’ failure to honor their commitments as well.

“The withdrawal of the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the non-fulfillment of JCPOA commitments by the Europeans have caused damage of between 150 and 200 billion dollars to our country,” the lawmaker said.

Meanwhile, other lawmakers have said that Iran’s missile program is not negotiable.

“Iran’s missile and defense capability are not negotiable at all,” Mahmoud Abbaszadeh Meshkini, a member of the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, has said.

Iran-Europe tensions have even worsened in recent days after the E3 denounced the execution of Rouhollah Zam, the operator of the Amad News website and the eponymous channel on the Telegram messaging app.

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