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EU Unlikely to Help Iran Expand Oil Exports in Defiance of US - Ex-CIA Officer

© AP Photo / Raheb HomavandiA gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields seen alongside an Iranian flag
A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields seen alongside an Iranian flag - Sputnik International
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Iran is halting some Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) activities hoping to push the Europeans to defy US sanctions and expand their oil trade with Tehran, but the major European states are unlikely to do so, retired CIA officer Phil Giraldi told Sputnik.

"I think the Iranians are putting pressure on the Europeans to do something to salvage the JCPOA, which is in their interest to preserve," Giraldi, a former CIA case officer who had served in the Middle East, said on Wednesday. "I do not think they will be successful."

He explained that the Europeans were not united and were nervous about Washington's possible reaction vis-a-vis NATO, support for which would be Trump's quid pro quo, Giraldi, who is also a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

"I don't think the sanctions per se are the issue… [The Iranians] would want the Europeans to push ahead aggressively with their proposed mechanism to work around the Swift dollar denominated system for financial transactions, enabling oil exports/sales to proceed," Giraldi said.

READ MORE: Mike Pompeo Warns "Special Relationship" Hinges On UK Backing US On Iran

Speaking about possibility of the US retaliatory action, Girladi warned that US President Donald Trump would not hesitate to take it if the United States’ main allies in Europe failed to support him wholeheartedly on imposing the intensified oil sanctions against Tehran. He noted that "if the Europeans do not support the White House on Iran the US will cut back on its support of NATO." 

Trump was also prepared to use direct military action against Iran if the Iranians used the US withdrawal from the JCPOA to restart nuclear-weapons grade material, Giraldi added.

"Yes, the United States will bomb Iranian nuclear facilities if they start producing weapons grade uranium," according to Giraldi.

The United States would also be prepared to intervene to paralyze the United Nations to prevent it generating any diplomatic momentum to prevent any such attacks, Giraldi predicted.

"No, the United Nations will do nothing as the United State veto will be used to stop any action," he said.

Pardis petrochemical complex facilities in Assalouyeh on the northern coast of the Persian Gulf, Iran, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday his country will continue exporting crude oil despite U.S. efforts to stop it through sanctions - Sputnik International
France, Germany and the UK Remain 'Fully Committed' to Maintaining the JCPOA
Phil Giraldi's statements come after Iran informed the ambassadors of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China and Russia on Wednesday of its decision to suspend some of its obligations under the JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear agreement. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he gave European countries 60 days to hold negotiations with Iran.

Iranian authorities later said that Wednesday’s measures were taken in response to violations of the JCPOA by the United States, including the revival of sanctions and by the inability of the remaining signatories to the agreement — Germany, France, the United Kingdom, China, Russia and the European Union — to resolve the situation.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of Phil Giraldi and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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