Iran Demands More from EU to Save Nuclear Deal, INSTEX ‘Falls Short’
The 2015 Iranian Nuclear Deal is the best that could have been achieved, according to Iran’s top diplomat.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has told the EU it is supposed to more than the barter-type system INSTEX in order to save the 2015 Iranian Nuclear Deal after last year’s unilateral withdrawal of the United States from it.
The 2015 Iranian Nuclear Deal, touted as a legacy achievement of the Obama Administration, granted Iran relief from long-standing international sanctions in exchange for Tehran’s agreement to limit its nuclear program.
In 2018, the Trump Administration, however, quit the deal and re-imposed sanctions on Iran leaving the other international powers involved in it – Britain, France, Germany (and the EU as a whole) as well as China and Russia – trying to save it.
Last month France, Germany, and the UK, with the backing of the EU, set up INSTEX, a limited barter-type system designed to allow companies to avoid US sanctions by doing business with Iran without direct financial transactions.
INSTEX has so far angered the Trump Administration while being slammed by Iran as unsatisfactory for being too limited in scope.
While lambasting the United States as the “biggest source of destabilization” in the Middle East, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif told the Munich Security Conference on Sunday that the Europeans had to do a lot more than INSTEX to save the Iranian Nuclear Deal.
“Many around the world, particularly on this continent, speak eloquently about multilateralism, but they also need to walk the walk,” Zarif said, as cited by AP and France24.
“INSTEX falls short of the commitments by (European countries) to save the nuclear deal. Europe needs to be willing to get wet if it wants to swim against a dangerous tide of U.S. unilateralism,” he added.
“Europe needs to be willing to get wet if it wants to swim against the dangerous tide of U.S. unilateralism,” the Iranian diplomat argued.
His words indicated Tehran’s disgruntlement with INSTEX was caused by the fact that the European powers involved have tried to reassure Washington that the barter-type system could concentrate on products not currently subject to US sanctions, such as medicine, medical supplies and agricultural goods, rather than on broader trade.
Zarif’s speech came after on Saturday, US Vice President Mike Pence lambasted INSTEX and urged America’s “European partners” to do away with the 2015 Iranian Nuclear Deal for good.
“The time has come for our European partners to stop undermining U.S. sanctions against this murderous revolutionary regime. The time has come for our European partners to stand with us and with the Iranian people, our allies and friends in the region. The time has come for our European partners to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal,” Pence said.
Zarif told the Munich Security Conference that Pence had “arrogantly demanded that Europe must join the United States in undermining its own security and breaking its obligations” and urged them to push back against American pressure.
“If the United States were to come, in the course of their fight with China, and tell Europe to stop dealing with China, what would you do? Whatever you want to do then, do now, in order to prevent that eventuality,” Iran’s top diplomat said.
“Nothing can be done that is better than this [2015 nuclear] deal… It’s not all we want and it’s certainly not all the United States wants but it’s the best that can be achieved,” Zarif concluded.
(Banner image: Munich Security Conference on YouTube)