Europe might give up on saving JCPOA, ex-envoy says

June 10, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran’s former ambassador to Norway has warned that Europe might give up on saving the 2015 nuclear pact and the financial mechanism of Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), which was established to do business with Iran.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was in Tehran on Monday for talks on ways to keep the nuclear deal, officially called the JCPOA in English or Barjam in Persian, alive. 

“It is possible that Europe would no more attach any significance to [saving] Barjam,” Mehr on Monday quoted Abdolreza Faraji-Rad as saying.

Faraji-Rad expressed doubt about the future of Iran-Europe relations, especially due to the growth of far-right groups in European countries manifested in the latest European Parliament elections.

He further said the person who will succeed European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini might not share her insistence on cooperating with Iran and salvaging the JCPOA.

Also the person who will succeed British Prime Minister Theresa May can be more of a hardliner compared to May, which could create a gap within Europe, Faraji-Rad remarked.

“This could mean that Europe might no longer place any importance to Barjam,” he said, underlining that such facts must be taken into careful consideration.

The JCPOA was signed between Iran and six international mediators (the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, the United States, and France) in July 2015. Under the deal, Iran undertook to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for termination of the sanctions imposed previously by the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and the United States over its nuclear program.

On May 8, 2018, the United States unilaterally withdrew from the deal despite worldwide objections and followed the move with a “maximum pressure” policy against the Islamic Republic.

MH/PA