Former US Diplomat: Europe Unlikely to Resist Washington on Exit From JCPOA

© AP Photo / Virginia MayoThe US and EU flags, top left and right, fly in separate directions at the European Council building in Brussels
The US and EU flags, top left and right, fly in separate directions at the European Council building in Brussels - Sputnik International
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - European leaders are unlikely to stand up for their own national interests and defy US pressures to cut ties and trade with Iran, former US Foreign Service Officer and adviser to Senate Republican leaders, Jim Jatras, told Sputnik.

"Suppose the Europeans actually… stand up for themselves. They could tell Washington that they stand in solidarity with Russia and China and will remain within the deal. Any US sanctions against European firms will be met with countermeasures," Jatras said on Tuesday. "The question is, do the Europeans have the stomach for it? The human material in charge of the relevant capitals is no basis for confidence."

If the Europeans took such a path it could have historic consequences with respect to the "unipolar" order, Jatras added.

The European partners will likely fold under Trump administration pressure which will now threaten London, Paris, Berlin, and Brussels with sanctions too, Jatras explained.

"The hope [in Washington] is that they will be so terrified they will throw in the towel and decide they have to agree to US demands for renegotiating the JCPOA in order to get the US back in," he said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during the release of the 2014 International Religious Freedom Report at the US State Department in Washington, DC, on October 14, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Trump and his advisers also believed that the Europeans had demonized Russia to such an extreme that they could not conceive of making constructive common cause with Moscow even to defuse a potential major crisis, Jatras observed.

"It would be a huge mistake to see the JCPOA withdrawal in isolation from the rest of US policy. The Trump team is dedicated to regime change in Tehran, maybe even to breaking Iran up by stimulating revolt among minority nationalities," he said. "The replacement regime in the form of the MEK [People’s Mujahedeen of Iran] is already in place."

Getting the United States out of the nuclear deal with Iran dovetailed with Washington stepping up its efforts in Syria to create a Sunni Muslim mini-state under a de facto partition of the country, Jatras explained.

Russia's Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, told Sputnik after Trump’s announcement that the US decision to withdraw from the JCPOA is a major setback to nuclear nonproliferation efforts.

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump announced his decision to pull the United States out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — signed by Iran, the P5+1 and EU — which requires Tehran to maintain a peaceful nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

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