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    A Ghadr-H missile, center, a solid-fuel surface-to-surface Sejjil missile and a portrait of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are displayed at Baharestan Square in Tehran, Iran

    Why European Signatories Are Not Ready to Exit From Iran Deal

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    Addressing Tehran's calls to the European signatories to save the Iran nuclear deal after Washington's withdrawal from the agreement, Iranian political analyst Abdullah Mehraban has told Sputnik that all this will most likely be a tough nut to crack.

    Abdullah Mehraban, an expert on European countries at the Faratab think tank in Iran, said that even though relations between Europe and the US have shifted to "a very difficult stage" due to the Iran nuclear deal, one should not expect Europeans to easily turn their backs on the US right now.

    "The key point is that Europe, in particular three countries, including Britain, France and Germany, will act and make decisions depending on whether the US will impose sanctions against their companies in the context of their cooperation with Iran," Mehraban pointed out, citing "strong cross-Atlantic ties" between Europe and the US.

    READ MORE: Merkel on Iran Deal: We Experienced Setback in EU Relations With US

    He noted that on the other hand, the Europeans have three "important economic aspects" that draw them closer to Iran, namely, the oil and gas sector, machine building and the sale of airliners.

    "The Iranian market is of great significance to them, and they are not ready to easily quit it. That's why Europe will try its best to preserve economic relations with Iran, although when it comes to the Iranian missile program, Europe may support the US stance on the matter," Mehraban said.

    He did not rule out that this factor may prompt Iran to rethink the Europeans' dual position which could in turn result in Tehran's exit from the Iran nuclear deal.

    READ MORE: US Iran Deal Exit 'Chance for Europe to Once & For All Pursue Own Policy' – Prof

    The US administration's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal will bring about more benefits than if Washington had remained committed to the JCPOA, according to Mehraban.

    "The US exit gives the Europeans an opportunity to independently get closer to Russia and China on an important international aspect," he concluded.

    Last week, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said that European companies have up to 60 days to guarantee that business ties with Tehran will continue following Washington's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

    READ MORE: IRGC Commander Slams US as 'Untrustworthy' Amid Withdrawal From Iran Deal

    US National Security Advisor John Bolton, for his part, said that after its exit from the agreement, the US would not exclude sanctions against EU companies cooperating with Tehran.

    On May 8, US President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). He also promised to reinstate the sanctions against Iran that were lifted as a result of the agreement.

    The European Union and the P5+1 group of countries, including China, Germany, France, Russia, the UK and the US, signed the JCPOA with Iran on June 14, 2015. The agreement stipulates a step-by-step lifting of anti-Iranian economic sanctions in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear program and allowing inspections to ensure that the nature of the program is purely peaceful.

    The views and opinions expressed by Abdullah Mehraban are those of the analyst and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    missile, cooperation, sanctions, decisions, relations, Iran nuclear deal, Iran
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