EU’s top diplomat says Iran needs to see JCPOA economic benefits in return for limiting nuclear work

[ Editor’s Note: I hope Mr. Borrell is sincere in his comments, but in the past, the EU’s promise to resume Iran trade were all hot air. The threat of US sanctions resulted in the EU doing almost nothing. The INSTEX program was a big joke.

Then, to make matters worse, the EU would endlessly crow about how it supported the deal, which was only partially true if you give the EU credit for no imposing sanctions on Iran itself. You could say it did impose them by not following through on the trade agreements, as Iran took a financial hit and has gotten nothing out of the JCPOA.

The timing is better now, with the EU looking for much needed trade with Iran to help pull itself out of the Covid economic decline. But that would require the oil export sanctions to be taken off Iran, as those sales generated the foreign currency Iran needs to pay for EU imports.

We must wait to see if what Biden says and what he does are the same. He is already on the record giving himself wiggle room that he would want some JCPOA changes. The only changes I can see Iran doing is returning to the original nuclear activity and stockpile quotas. And Iran has mentioned it wants to be compensated for all its losses, a dream I am afraid.

And no matter what Iran does, Israel of course will continue to claim Tehran has a secret nuclear program, when Israel has one that everybody knows about, yet tells the world to F–k off. What’s not to love about that? Jim W. Dean ]

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The EU’s Joseph Borrell

First published … November 18, 2020

The European Union foreign policy chief, Joseph Borrell, says Iran should reap the economic benefits of the 2015 nuclear deal in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear work.

“This deal is not only a nuclear deal,” Borrell told Time magazine in an interview on November 16. “It is also an economic deal, and Iran is expecting to have some exchange for stopping its nuclear program,” he added.

He also stressed that there was no alternative to the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying the agreement was the only way of guarantying the peaceful nature of Tehran’s nuclear program.

A year after the US’ unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA in May 2018, Iran began a set of nuclear countermeasures in response to the United States’ departure from the landmark agreement between the Islamic Republic and major world powers.

The measures were also taken in retaliation for the US’ restoration of its sanctions against Iran, and failure by the European signatories to the deal — Britain, France, and Germany — to keep their business interactions with Iran despite the sanctions.

Iran says the measures are reversible if the other signatories to the JCPOA stick to the end of the bargain and guarantee the country’s benefits in the face of US sanctions.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said last week that the future of the nuclear deal depends on the course of action and behavior of the new US administration.

“Individuals are certainly important, but what matters are the behaviors and actions, and the Islamic Republic is waiting to see these actions from the new US administration,” Zarif said.

He made the comment on Tuesday as he was responding to a question on the victory of Democratic candidate Joe Biden in the US election.

The remarks come as Biden has said he will return to the multi-party 2015 deal, which was inked when he was vice president, as long as Iran also returns to strict compliance.

Zarif said on Wednesday that Iran is ready to resume its commitments under the nuclear accord if the US stops violations of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorsed the deal and lifts its sanctions.

If Biden “opts to fulfill commitments under Resolution 2231, we too can fully return to our commitments immediately. This process is not time consuming at all. It can be done by several executive laws by the president of the United States,” Zarif said. “If Biden becomes the US president and settles in the White House, he can lift all of them (sanctions) through three executive orders.”


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  1. Hopefully there will be a lot of pissed off Israeli terrorists and Saudi head choppers. One note to Jim: EU was hot air only because of Trump sanction pressure on everyone. INSTEX will be up and running this time when the sanctions are lifted.

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