Europe suffered greatest damage from Trump’s Iran deal exit: ex-envoy
A former Iranian ambassador to France has said the European countries suffered the greatest damage from the United States’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“At first, they said that they would compensate for the U.S. withdrawal from Barjam (JCPOA), and for this purpose, they accepted commitments beyond Barjam, but not only did they not fulfill these new commitments, they also did not fulfill their commitments under Barjam, and that was the beginning of disputes between the sides,” IRNA on Sunday quoted Abolghassem Delfi as saying.
He said the U.S. threatened to sanction the companies that working with Iran after it pulled out of the JCPOA.
“This caused Europe to be greatly damaged from America’s exit from Barjam,” he added.
According to France 24, after Trump pulled out of the deal, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Marie slammed the U.S. decision as “an error”, saying it was “not acceptable” for the U.S. to play “economic policeman of the planet”.
Iran and six world powers, including the U.S., Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, together with the European Union reached a nuclear pact in 2015, under which Iran agreed to put certain restrictions on its nuclear program in exchange for termination of sanctions.
However, despite Iran’s strict compliance with the deal, President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal in May 2018 and imposed harsh economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic to force it to negotiate a new deal.
Iran signed the JCPOA to prove to the world that it does not seek nuclear weapons. Trump has claimed the JCPOA stopped short of curtailing Iran’s aspirations to develop nuclear weapons.
The Islamic Republic, however, has repeatedly said that it has never sought and will never seek to build nuclear weapons. The decision, Tehran says, is based on a fatwa (religious decree) issued by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The fatwa bans the production, possession and stockpiling of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
In addition to the JCPOA, Iran has also signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) — whose aim is to prevent the spread of nuclear arms and weapons technology — in July 1968 and ratified it in February 1970.
After the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran remained fully compliant with its obligations for a year, but as other parties failed to meet their end of the bargain, it decided to gradually reduce its nuclear commitments according to the deal. However, Tehran has voiced readiness to return to complying with the deal as soon as others do.
Meanwhile, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has voiced support for the JCPOA, saying his administration will rejoin the deal. Biden served as vice president in the Barack Obama administration, under which the nuclear deal was reached.
Biden has said he hopes to return the U.S. to the deal, but he has also hinted he would like to expand it.