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    Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has begun a diplomatic tour to China, Russia and the European Union. The trip is aimed at bolstering Iran’s stance amid Washington’s withdrawal from the Iran deal and re-imposing sanctions. Sputnik discussed this with Rasool Nafisi from Strayer University in Virginia.

    Sputnik: What do you expect from Mohammand Javad Zarif's diplomatic tour? Do you he will be able to change Washington's stance on Iran?

    Rasool Nafisi: Well, Washington's stance is clear. The president is going to give another 6 month to re-impose all of these sanctions. And in the meantime, Iran will have time to renegotiate. And Europeans, of course, want to keep the agreement. The problem is — the Iranian leadership seems to be totally adamant about not changing its position or giving an inch. Of course the Europeans are willing to keep it. So Mr. Zarif is not really having much of a tough time convincing the convinced.

    READ MORE: US, EU on Verge of Breakup as Macron and Merkel Vow to Counter Anti-Iran Move

    But the trouble is if the agreement between Iran and the US fell apart and the US started to re-impose all of those sanctions, European banks would certainly not cooperate. I mean, they won't cooperate with the Iranians. That alone would cause tremendous problems such as lack of long-term credits, the ability to transfer funds; all of the factors that existed before the agreement.

    Frankly, I think that it will be very difficult task to keep Europeans, not only European government, but European banks, to cooperate and help out. Otherwise, as we noticed, for example, the foreign minister of France and many other countries are basically saying we have to keep our independence, we have to do this, we have to do that. They are willing to keep agreement alive, but as I said, trouble is, under those circumstances that US imposes sanctions, it would be very hard for Europeans to maintain the agreement, especially for the banking and transfer of funds and that sort of thing.

    READ MORE: Greece Already Paying for US Withdrawal From Iran Nuclear Deal… Literally

    So to me, unless Iran cooperates a little bit with the president of the United States, unless they agree with one of the four points that the president has, the agreement will be in serious trouble.

    Sputnik: Returning to what you earlier said that Mr. Trump's advisers told him not to walk away from the deal, and we have seen the German Chancellor Angela Merkel urging him not to do that, we have seen French President Emmanuel Macron talking to him. Do you think Mr. Trump is really concerned with the deal itself or maybe there is some hidden agenda? What's your take?

    Rasool Nafisi: Well, US Presidents have always certain secret agendas, you're absolutely right. In the case of Iran, of course, he needs to, number one, to show that he is sticking to his old campaign promises. Number two, in the middle of the chaos around him, especially in what Mr. Mueller is doing to implicate him in the case of Russian interference in the US election and all that. Of course, it is very useful for him to create another environment and adapt tensions to it.

    READ MORE: Iran Deal: Trump's Pullout May Result in Three Scenarios, Benefits for Russia

    Lastly, I must say the US president is tightly related to the Israeli lobby. There is no secret that his son-in-law is an extreme supporter of the right-wing, of the Likud party, of Israel. And it is no secret that Netanyahu is very close to this administration.

    So, I would say yes, it helped the president to divert attention from all the scandals, problems that he is facing at home. But in the meantime, there is some genuine interest in some members of the family and the cabinet to stop Iran and, basically, push back Iran's special interests in Syria.

    The views and opinions expressed are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    Tags:
    Sanctions, Iran deal, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Javad Zarif, Donald Trump, European Union, Iran, Israel, United States
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