Unity of remaining signatories of JCPOA falling apart?
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 10
By Azer Ahmadbayli – Trend:
Among other things, the administration of President Donald Trump is trying to solve two major problems related to the Middle East. First is to decrease the US dependence on Middle Eastern oil as much as possible. Second - to ensure maximum supremacy of Israel in the region.
Washington seems to be successfully coping with the first task: thanks to shale oil, the US has become the world’s top oil producer, ahead of both Russia and Saudi Arabia.
The second goal, perhaps, has noble, in the view of the White house, motives – in the end, to show the Arab world an example of how to live and prosper under a functional democracy rather than authoritarianism and/or domination of radical religious ideas.
Today, the main obstacle to achieving this goal is Iran, which Washington considers as the main irritant in the region.
Historically, the US has a bone to pick with the revolutionary regime. The White house also believes that by ending the reign of it they will be able to put end to the so-called axis of resistance, and the Middle East, which Trump once described as “one big, fat quagmire”, will turn into a safe heaven.
The US doesn't need a big war because its plan to bring Iran's economy to its knees and complete paralysis is working. This looks obvious, despite the optimistic statements coming from Tehran.
Tehran decided, quite reasonably, that it would not sit and watch how the 40-year-old Islamic Revolution dies a slow death.
That is why, fearing that cornered Iran could provoke armed clashes in the areas of American troops’ deployment or against American allies in the region, the United States sent a strike force to the shores of Iran.
But Iran too, despite its economic plight, seeks to avoid direct armed confrontation with the United States as much as possible. Tehran’s decision to suspend some parts of JCPOA commitments is an expected response to the recent actions of Washington and idleness of the EU on the issue of protection of Iran's interests, including banking and oil sector, enshrined by JCPOA.
Now, we are observing how the unity of the remaining signatories of the Iranian nuclear deal is falling apart.
Iran continues to operate in the legal fold, and its decision does not contradict the terms of the nuclear agreement, Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov believes.
Lavrov made a statement on March 8: “Today, we were informed about the steps that the Iranian leadership made public yesterday. These steps were taken on the basis of the provisions contained in the JCPOA as approved by the UN Security Council.”
In the meantime, in its joint statement, the EU said that it “rejects any ultimatums” and “strongly urge Iran to continue to implement its commitments under the JCPOA in full and to refrain from any escalatory steps.”
The EU reminds Iran of its commitments having done nothing so far from its own promises made under the deal, and contenting itself merely with new ones: “We are determined to continue pursuing efforts to enable the continuation of legitimate trade with Iran, including through the operationalisation of the special purpose vehicle INSTEX” (Joint statement by High Representative of the EU and the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the UK).
“Continued efforts” have been lasting for almost a year, but Iran, observing terms of the nuclear deal, has never seen preferences promised by the EU.
Brussels does not keep its word, and therefore should bear full responsibility for what is happening. Lavrov did not fail to remind: “We hope that our colleagues, primarily the Europeans, who volunteered to find a solution to the problem created by the Americans, will deliver on their promises.”
Now, where the scales will swing depends on Brussels and the European Troika. But from their first statement it becomes clear what stand they are going to take, to the great satisfaction of Mr. Trump.