Zarif Slams E3 for Failing to Honor JCPOA, Acting As ’Subservient’ To US
By Staff, Agencies
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif once again lashed out at the three European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal for failing to meet their commitments under the agreement, saying that they are just acting as "subservient" to the United States.
In an interview with German weekly news magazine, Der Spiegel, published on Friday, Zarif complained that Britain, France, and Germany - collectively known as the E3 – have failed to protect the Iranian economy in the face of sanctions re-imposed following the unilateral US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] in May 2018.
The Europeans, Zarif added, established the Instrument Support of Trade Exchanges [INSTEX] to enable companies to do business with Iran, but they "haven’t succeeded in carrying out a single transaction" through the payment channel more than a year and a half after the US exit from the JCPOA.
Asked about the Europeans' recent move to trigger a dispute mechanism devised in the JCPOA, Zarif said that it was actually Iran that activated the mechanism back in 2018.
"The Europeans have no legitimate grounds for resorting to this mechanism. They can’t just refer something to the Security Council because they are Europeans and they have blue eyes. And it’s not only us who think this, but also the Russians and the Chinese. The Europeans will be up against a major battle," he said.
"Unfortunately, the Europeans don’t view Iran as a partner. We triggered the dispute resolution back in 2018. As a result of that process, the Europeans, Russia, China and Iran issued a statement in June 2018. Among other things, it was stated that it is essential that Iran benefit economically from the nuclear agreement. But the Europeans didn’t do anything. They have not fulfilled their obligations. The Europeans have to come down from their high horse," Zarif said.
"Let me make it very clear to the Europeans: If they want to implement their obligations, we will be prepared to go back to full compliance immediately. But implementing their obligations is not just about making announcements that they are committed to JCPOA. I could also make the same announcement: We are committed to the agreement, we love the agreement, we want it to stay alive forever. Words are cheap. Europe should show us one single action. But what have they done?"
The top Iranian diplomat further criticized the European parties to the JCPOA for being subservient to Washington concerning the multilateral pact.
"It’s a disaster for Europe to be so subservient to the US. Anybody who accepts unilateralism is helping it. The Europeans call us and say: We’re sorry, we cannot do anything. The Europeans can’t buckle to Trump and then try to act like the strong man against Iran," he emphasized.