Sputnik discussed this with Seyed Mostafa Khoshcheshm, a political analyst and professor at the Fars Media Faculty of the Applied Sciences University.
Sputnik: In your view, how can Washington's refusal to grant the EU exemptions for Iranian sanctions impact US-EU relations?
Seyed Mostafa Khoshcheshm: The Europeans, and not just the Europeans, any party that signs a treaty, especially if it's the most important treaty of the century, then it brings you some responsibility. When countries put their signatures down under an agreement, then they need to come comply with their undertakings, otherwise they are perceived as a country that has not known the boundary of its power or it has been dishonest right from the beginning.
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In other words, in 2004 and 2005 Iran signed tripple agreements with three European nations, and after Iran complied fully with those agreements for months, more than a year actually, the Europeans stated that they could not comply with their undertakings because of US opposition, and as with that case over 12 years ago. 13 years ago they came to realize the boundaries of their power, so this is not the case. That's why the second angle, the second possibility could be our response. That is to say that Europeans knew the boundaries of their power, but they very dishonestly started putting their signatures in those agreements, especially under the nuclear agreement between Iran and the six world powers, because they're teaming up with the US for future parts of the scenario. In other words, now the EU is not standing up to the US as it might seem. They are actually playing the bad cop-good cop, and they are the good cop.
The US is pressuring Tehran to comply with 12 demands; that means surrendering to the United States through diplomacy and talks. However, the Europeans are asking Tehran to comply with other demands, with some three or four demands which concern Iran's missile industry, to Iran's regional power, and to the future of Iran's nuclear industries. So that means that they're out playing the good cop and they intend to give Iran as little as possible in order to force Tehran to renegotiate for the same tokens and concessions that Iran was supposed to receive under the deal — the nuclear deal. But this time there are similar deals over its other power components, that include its missile industry and regional influence. So what we see is just a game between the United States and the EU against Iran.
Sputnik: Do you think that we're going to see a complete dissolution of the Iran nuclear treaty?
Seyed Mostafa Khoshcheshm: As a matter of fact, the Europeans have been asked by Tehran to comply with a number of conditions that Tehran has raised. These are the same conditions that've been under the nuclear deal and these conditions are only a small part of the merits that were supposed to be given to Tehran under the nuclear deal. Now these include the insured supply of Iranian energy supplies, as well as transferring of money back to Tehran.
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If they comply with these demands, Tehran will surely continue the deal, otherwise Iran would withdraw from the deal and resume all its halted nuclear activities to [perform] uranium enrichment at a much higher pace, with a new generation centrifuge machine that Iran has developed under the nuclear deal. It was entitled to conduct research for its new generation of centrifuge machines, but it needs the Europeans to comply with Iran's demands.
They have already stated that their large companies are making some investments in Iran. Actually, they have been stating that they could not force their large companies to make these investments in Iran because of US sanctions. Therefore, it is believed that Iran would have no other option but to look to the East for a second time now, this time it needs to expand its corporation and work on joint investments with such countries as China and Russia.
It's widely believed that if Iran succeeds in stopping the United States' hawkish policies it could also be a major win for the Chinese and for the Russians as well. So Iran is faced with this option. It could earn more through working with the Eastern states and other powers like Russia and China through the continuation of this deal with the three European states.
The views and opinions expressed by the contributors do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.