Plan of U.S. and Europe for JCPOA

Tehran Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Mo­ham­mad Ghaderi Tehran Times edi­tor-in-chief @ghaderi62

Ev­i­dences sug­gest that the United States is likely to with­draw from the nu­clear deal with Iran. The ap­point­ment of “John Bolton” as the U.S. Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vi­sor and “Mike Pom­peo” as Trump’s Sec­re­tary of State, have sent cer­tain sig­nals to those fol­low­ing the JCPOA news.

The two Amer­i­can of­fi­cials share kid of in­trin­sic and fun­da­men­tal op­po­si­tion to the nu­clear deal. Many of the news sources in the West men­tion that Trump in­tends to with­draw from the agree­ment by re-claim­ing the in­ef­fi­ciency of the Joint Com­pre­hen­sive Plan of Ac­tion (JCPOA).

For ex­am­ple, the Guardian has re­cently quoted a Euro­pean diplo­mat and wrote that the EU has no hope for Trump’s gov­ern­ment to re­main in the nu­clear deal with Iran. How­ever, the main ques­tion is, what is the fi­nal plan of the United States and Europe for the JCPOA?

On the other hand, what kind of ap­proach and strat­egy should be taken by our coun­try against Wash­ing­ton’s pos­si­ble with­drawal from the nu­clear deal?

Trump’s plan for JCPOA

With­out a doubt, the U.S. Pres­i­dent isn’t go­ing to put away his neg­a­tive at­ti­tude to­wards the nu­clear deal. Trump is still call­ing the nu­clear deal as the worst deal ever. That was why he re­placed his for­mer Sec­re­tary of State “Rex Tiller­son” with Mike Pom­peo. Some of the West­ern an­a­lysts be­lieve that Trump is af­ter “win­ning more ad­van­tages over the JCPOA” through im­pos­ing pres­sure.

The ap­point­ment of John Bolton and Pom­peo should also be re­garded in the same vein. On the other hand, Trump plans to make the least pos­si­ble costs in case of his pos­si­ble with­drawal from the nu­clear ac­cord. It should be noted that John Bolton, be­fore be­ing ap­pointed as the U.S. Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vi­sor, in­sisted on Wash­ing­ton with­drawal from the JCPOA.

He also said that in this re­gard, it is nec­es­sary for the U.S. Euro­pean part­ners to join Wash­ing­ton, and that there should be diplo­matic con­sul­ta­tions be­tween the White House and the Euro­pean Union in this re­gard.

This is while some news sources and anal­y­sis have a dif­fer­ent opin­ion. They be­lieve it is pos­si­ble that Trump doesn’t an­nounce the U.S. with­drawal from the nu­clear deal, but keeps to im­pose sanc­tions on Iran! Un­doubt­edly, this uni­lat­eral and so­phis­ti­cated game will mean noth­ing but the U.S. breach of the nu­clear deal.

Of course the pres­i­dent of the United States seems in­ca­pable of play­ing this dual game. The fact is that in case of the United States with­drawal from the JCPOA, Wash­ing­ton can no longer man­age this equa­tion.

Europe is still con­fused

De­spite the fact that the U.S. seems to have made its fi­nal de­ci­sion on the nu­clear deal with Iran, Europe is still con­fused about this. The Chan­cel­lor of Ger­many and the French Pres­i­dent are sched­uled to meet with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on two sep­a­rate vis­its to the United States, and will con­sult with him over the JCPOA and main­tain­ing the nu­clear deal.

This is while many in­ter­na­tional af­fairs an­a­lysts have ar­gued that John Bolton’s ap­point­ment as the U.S. na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser means a de­fin­i­tive de­ci­sion by Trump to quit the nu­clear ac­cord. On the other hand, Trump con­tin­ues to in­sist on is­sues such as the “in­clu­sion of Iran’s mis­sile power” in the nu­clear deal, as well as the “in­spec­tion of Ira­nian mil­i­tary sites” and “putting per­ma­nent re­stric­tions on Iran’s nu­clear pro­gram”. The Euro­pean Troika has re­cently told Trump that there is no pos­si­bil­ity of chang­ing the JCPOA based on the terms he has an­nounced.

Macron and Merkel are separately go­ing to visit Trump be­fore the dead­line set by the Pres­i­dent of the United States. These vis­its take place while there are dif­fer­ences be­tween Euro­pean play­ers on how to deal with the JCPOA. Re­cently and dur­ing the Brus­sels Sum­mit, we wit­nessed ma­jor dis­putes among Euro­pean lead­ers re­gard­ing the im­po­si­tion of rocket and re­gional sanc­tions against the Is­lamic Repub­lic of Iran.

The Euro­pean troika in­sists on im­pos­ing new sanc­tions on Iran to pre­vent Trump from can­celling the nu­clear deal! This is while some Euro­pean coun­tries such as Italy, Spain and Aus­tria be­lieve that this will only dis­credit the EU in the in­ter­na­tional sys­tem, since Trump has made his fi­nal de­ci­sion on with­drawal from the JCPOA re­gard­less of im­pos­ing such sanc­tions by the Euro­pean Union.

The fact is that the Euro­pean’s para­dox­i­cal game has cost the Euro­pean Troika a lot dur­ing the last year. “Re­strain­ing the U.S.” has been the very duty that the Euro­pean Troika has failed to ful­fil.

Iran’s strat­egy in case of the can­cel­la­tion of the JCPOA

It’s is clear that Trump’s main goal of his threats, and the pres­sure on the Euro­pean Troika dur­ing the last year has been to win more ben­e­fits over the JCPOA, and this is what the U.S. pres­i­dent is still pur­su­ing. Ob­vi­ously, “the in­sis­tence on the red lines of our for­eign pol­icy,” “the em­pha­sis on our coun­try’s de­fense ca­pa­bil­i­ties,” “the em­pha­sis on Amer­i­can lack of com­mit­ment at the diplo­matic level”, “the use of pub­lic diplo­macy ca­pac­i­ties in re­sponse to U.S. ac­tions” and “The in­ten­sive diplo­matic con­sul­ta­tion with other in­ter­na­tional play­ers “are among the most im­por­tant steps that our coun­try’s diplo­macy and for­eign pol­icy should take to con­front Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion. On the other hand, the Is­lamic Repub­lic of Iran should have a firm, de­ter­mined and in­tel­li­gent re­sponse to the pos­si­ble with­drawal of the United States from the nu­clear deal. In re­cent days, the Ira­nian au­thor­i­ties have clearly stated that Iran’s re­ac­tion to the can­cel­la­tion of the nu­clear deal will be re­gret­table for the United States. Ob­vi­ously, Trump’s gov­ern­ment will have to pay big tech­ni­cal, le­gal, po­lit­i­cal and in­ter­na­tional costs in case of walk­ing away from the nu­clear deal.

Fur­ther­more, the U.S.’s op­po­si­tion to Rus­sia and China seems to be wors­en­ing over the com­ing weeks. On the other hand, the Euro­pean Troika has no choice but to take more trans­par­ent po­si­tions on the nu­clear deal with Iran. The main ques­tion is, “Are we go­ing to see a more ob­vi­ous alliance be­tween the other mem­bers of P5+1 against Trump and the U.S. gov­ern­ment in near fu­ture”? Or be­cause of the con­tin­u­a­tion of the Euro­pean troika’s dual game, this “alliance” is not go­ing to be formed?

In any case, Bei­jing and Moscow, besides be­ing mem­bers of P5+1, have an ef­fec­tive ma­neu­ver­abil­ity in the in­ter­na­tional sys­tem. Under such cir­cum­stances, the di­a­logue be­tween the five play­ers, namely Bei­jing, Moscow, Ber­lin, Paris and Lon­don, will be promi­nent in the near fu­ture.

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