0720 GMT September 18, 2018
Last week, despite the existing realities, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian aimed the arrowhead of his verbal attacks at Tehran regarding Yemen’s crisis by reiterating the Saudi leaders’ false claim against Iran.
This came as even most Western nations have acknowledged that the move by the French foreign minister was made within the framework of a policy to satisfy the US desire with regard to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Paris’ move to side with Saudi Arabia on the issue of Yemen came at a time when related international organizations have repeatedly convicted the Saudi leaders for the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen.
Le Drian has accused Iran of supplying missiles to Yemen’s Houthis while, due to being under prolonged siege by Saudi Arabia’s Army and those of its allies, it is currently impossible to transfer foodstuffs and medicines to the West Asian state, let alone weapons. At present, Yemen is suffering from severe famine and facing a dire shortage of medications.
In addition, apparently, the trio of France, Germany and the UK are insistent on preserving the JCPOA while they are under intense pressure by Donald Trump, who demands changes in the agreement such as the inclusion of a number of articles and clauses to curb Iran’s regional and missile defense activities.
Nevertheless, one must not fail to notice that European signatories to the the nuclear agreement will most likely be the main countries to be affected by the shrapnel of Trump’s threats against and ultimatum on the JCPOA, forcing these states to “fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal” by May 12 or face the consequences of his refusal to extend US sanctions relief on Iran.
The responsibility of preserving and protecting the JCPOA currently neither falls on Tehran nor on Washington, as the former has completely fulfilled its commitments on the nuclear agreement as confirmed by the 10 reports issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the latter, to scupper the deal, has used the most infamous political figures and formed a coalition with the most notorious governments of the region.
In fact, the European signatories to the nuclear deal have to shoulder this responsibility as the multilateral agreement has been their effort to revive the traditional role they used to play in international relations and minimize their dependence on the US after several decades.
Europe’s international prestige has been tied to the preservation and success of the JCPOA. Thus, they are attempting and struggling to preserve the deal at any cost and wrongly assume that Iran must pay the price for maintaining their international status and credit.
However, in case the European states, which have derived enormous international prestige from signing the historic nuclear deal with Iran and, thus, taken huge steps towards challenging Washington’s authority and being free from its domination, give an inch to the US in this arena, they will have to give in to the White House’s desire with regard to all important international issues, such as the topic of trade tariffs being imposed by Trump on Europe.
Among the direct consequences of the JCPOA, signed between Iran and P5+1, is that the deal has become a criterion in international relations, particularly in the field of nuclear activities. Many in the US warn Trump that in case of Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Tehran, other countries would no longer trust American and European governments and would refrain from signing any deals with them.
Thanks to the JCPOA and the prestige it has given them, the Europeans have managed to broaden their participation in resolving important international issues. The collapse of the deal would risk the international status they have acquired. Thus, at present, the preservation of the deal is mainly their concern as the US seeks to pull out of it and Iran has other alternatives to choose from in the absence of the JCPOA.
Le Drian should know that using and imitating Saudi leaders’ language and tone would hardly help him achieve favorable results.
*The above article by Mohammad-Ali Heidarhaei, an Iranian journalist, was first published in Persian by IRNA.