The three European countries, Britain, France and Germany, are racing to reassure Iran that they are committed to the nuclear agreement and to offer guarantees that the deal will remain in place because, as they put it, it is important for their “shared security.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron have announced that they agreed to resume implementing their countries’ obligations as per the nuclear agreement with Iran.
According to the Russia Today, the three leaders said in a joint statement: “France, Germany and UK voice their concern and regret of the US decision to withdraw from the joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA) for settling the Iranian nuclear program.”
The statement also emphasized their continued commitment to JCPOA as it remains important for their “shared security.”
The British, German and French leaders also said that the world has become a “safer place” as a result of JCPOA and called on the US avoid taking action that might prevent other parties involved in the deal from implementing it.
There are some exaggerations in the declared reasons, like the concern about shared security, just like the case is with exaggerations pertaining to freedom and human rights that determine European political positions. Iran is on top of the list of countries that violate human rights, yet Europe overlooks all reports that convict Iran of such violations, if, for example, the company Total wants to make a deal!
Commercial deals with Tehran are on top of the priorities behind the decision to join or withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran. These commercial interests are thus prioritized over any other interest, whether it’s related to security or to human rights. If they really care about their security, then they must realize it’s actually threatened by Iran, even when they don’t do anything and when they don’t link their commercial interests to that shared security. We must, at least, make them worry about their commercial interests with us and link them to their position from imposing sanctions on Iran!
If the nuclear agreement with Iran did not deter it from spreading terrorism and chaos and from entering Arab lands and supplying militias with weapons and ballistic missiles and if Iran does not trust Europe, then what is the point of this deal?Sawsan Al Shaer
Gulf countries, which were harmed by this nuclear deal, believe that the latter allowed Iran to expand in our region, and it’s thus a must to find a way to deter it and force it to return to its borders and to convince Europe that they (Gulf states) also need guarantees for their security and stability.
Europe, which is stuck between two fires, does not know where to set its foot as one day after the joint statement was issued, British ambassador to Kuwait Michael Davenport asserted that the nuclear agreement with Iran is “a great necessity” adding that it needs “to be amended and not cancelled.”
Davenport said on Thursday that the region needs stability and the deal with Iran aimed to fulfill this goal, thus the British government believes that it is necessary to remain committed to the agreement even though it does not resolve all the problems related to Iran, adding it is important to keep the deal and strengthen it with other issues despite the fact that this is not an easy mission. He noted that without the agreement, things will not be better.
The envoy added that the British government’s position is clear regarding the necessity to stop Iranian interferences in the internal affairs of the region’s countries, such as Syria and Yemen.
As British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson has asked Trump to provide alternatives to modify the agreement rather than canceling it to ensure that there are no nuclear weapons, we must ask Johnson for alternatives – other than words and statements – that can stop Iran’s interferences in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen!
Preserving our security
We too must be ready to abandon some of our commercial interests in exchange of preserving our security and stability. We should declare that we are committed to the sanctions that are going to be imposed on the European companies cooperating with Iran, so that there will be a choice between favoring us or Iran. This way, European companies that will keep dealing with Iran, will not feel that our doors will remain open for them. Just like Iran is asking for guarantees, we too must ask for guarantees.
Iran has actually announced that it is waiting for guarantees from Europe for its trade deals.
Ali Khamenei bluntly said that he does not trust Europe at all, and said while addressing Iranian officials: “You should not trust them (France, Britain, and Germany).”
“If you really want to make an agreement, then we should have practical guarantees or else they will all do like the US did. If you can get guarantees this would be good, but I actually think this is unlikely. If you can’t get a definite guarantee, then the nuclear deal cannot be continued,” he added.
Meanwhile, Rouhani gave orders to the Atomic Energy Organization to prepare for the next steps, if necessary, to begin industrial enrichment without restriction.
The commander of the IRGC said that European countries cannot be trusted because they are followers and not independent.
Tehran said it is too early to voice an opinion regarding the European companies’ contracts in Iran such as those of Total and Renault, considering the six-month deadline which the US president talked about.
If the nuclear agreement with Iran did not deter it from spreading terrorism and chaos and from entering Arab lands and supplying militias with weapons and ballistic missiles and if Iran does not trust Europe, then what is the point of this deal?
This article is also available in Arabic.
Sawsan Al Shaer is a Bahraini writer and journalist. She tweets under the handle @sawsanalshaer.