An Iranian lawmaker described as a good start for the continuation of negotiations between Tehran and Europe proposals by French President Emmanuel Macron calling for establishing a $15 billion credit line for Iran in INSTEX trade mechanism and extending oil import waivers for the country’s oil customers.
Speaking to Iran Daily, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a member of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, added these measures, however, fail to be strong enough to be capable of preserving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
This is, particularly, because the US adopts a different stance toward the Iran nuclear deal, he noted.
The JCPOA was signed between Iran and the P5+1 in July 2015. In May 2018, however, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the deal and reimposed Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Tehran. To salvage the JCPOA in the aftermath of US withdrawal, France, Germany and the UK announced the establishment of INSTEX – the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges – to enable trade between Iranian and European companies in the face of Washington’s sanctions.
He noted that as a starting point, these offers can be good measures providing that Europeans do not expect Iran to, in return, reverse the reciprocal steps it has taken toward reducing its commitments under the JCPOA.
In May 2019, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that Tehran was reducing its commitments under the JCPOA. He pointed out that the other signatories, primarily the EU countries, had failed to fulfill their economic obligations under the deal, and that Iran cannot unilaterally remain committed to the JCPOA. Since then, Tehran has rowed back on its nuclear commitments twice in compliance with articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA, but says its reciprocal measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the Iranian economy from unilateral US sanctions.
The lawmaker stressed that Iran will take the third step to reciprocally scale back its commitments under the JCPOA, adding nevertheless, such offers can be of contribution to the process of saving the deal.
Commenting on the French president’s attempts to mediate between Iran and the US, Falahatpisheh said, he is convinced that Macron can play a better and more positive role in helping preserve the JCPOA by leading the EU toward fulfilling its commitments under the deal as its representative.
The MP added if the US returns to the JCPOA and the Europeans honor their obligations under the deal, a large number of the problems currently besetting the implementation of the international agreement will be resolved.
“In this case, Iran will also be able to reverse the steps it has taken toward reducing its commitments.”
He clarified that returning to the nuclear deal means the removal of all the 915 sanctions – lifted after the enforcement of the JCPOA in January 2016, which were reimposed on Iran following US withdrawal, and resumption of cooperation with Tehran as per what stipulated and scheduled within the framework of the JCPOA.
Iran has the capacity to take its third step without violating the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and harming the JCPOA, Falahatpisheh assured.
He stressed that taking this step is not tantamount to pulling out of the JCPOA.