Following US unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) now the international community, Europe and Iran know more clearly what to do about the deal in the future and can decide about its fate independently.
The JCPOA was signed between Iran and P5+1 in July 2015 and went into effect in January 2016.
The US was the country that reneged on its pledges. Trump’s move, although combined with miscalculation about Iran’s reaction and even that of the rest of the signatories to the JCPOA, was aimed at pursuing the policy of placing Tehran under pressure.
The move, however, dealt a serious blow to US international credibility and trustworthiness. From now on, it would be difficult to trust Washington in international system and the law of treaties.
The stance adopted by the EU toward US move, shows that Washington’s exit from the Iran nuclear deal cannot mark an end to the implementation of the JCPOA. Although at time, Europeans make paradoxical remarks concerning the deal, it is crystal clear that they are seeking solutions to not only preserve the JCPOA, but to use it as an opportunity in talks on other areas of conflict. In addition to this, by staying in the Iran nuclear deal the EU is protecting its reputation and identity which have been overlooked by Trump.
In response to Trump’s move, Iran’s hasty exit from the deal could lead to a condition for the country similar to the circumstance during the pre-JCPOA era and deprive Tehran of Europe’s present support. Currently, efforts have been made by Europeans to figure out a way or ways to continue their transactions with Iran which is a positive point for Iran’s foreign policy. Although most of the major European firms have American partners and even are independent of their governments, some medium-sized and small European companies that have not set up partnership with Americans can replace these corporations.
In addition, latest news confirm that Europeans are studying the possibility of direct money transfer to and from Iran in their transactions with the Middle Eastern state. All these developments can help minimize the adverse impacts of US unilateral sanctions on Iran.
The JCPOA was an opportunity Iran used appropriately and successfully to halt the spread of Iranophobia. The international public opinion will no longer be deceived by the accusations the US levels against Iran.
Although without the US, Iran, Europe and the rest of the world apparently have to go a long distance to minimize the negative impacts of Washington’s exit from the JCPOA, their success in devising a new way of cooperation can open a new route to a world without the US. In such a circumstances, Iran staying in the JCPOA will be a confirmation of the fact that, in their transactions with the world, Iranians are accustomed to applying logic and believe that holding dialogue is the sole way to solve problems and challenges between countries.
Following the World War II, Washington’s exit from the JCPOA has more than any other issue created such a wide gap between attitudes of the US and Europe and led to a serious friction between the two sides in term of their interests.
Seemingly, in addition to taking into account Europe’s JCPOA-related considerations, Brussels, on the pretext of preserving the Iran nuclear deal, tries to display its integrity and independence from the US to the international public opinion and benefit from the show.
Perhaps, this could mark a new beginning for foiling US plan of creating a unipolar world order.
* Bahman Hosseinpour is an Iranian diplomat.