Sputnik: EU officials have vowed to shield their companies that work in Iran from US sanctions. Do you think they will be successful in this?
Dr. Seyed Mohammad Marandi: That’s the question. If they are successful, and if they are serious, then the deal will remain intact; but if they simply just want to give verbal support for the deal, but ultimately bow down to the Americans when they threaten their businesses and companies, businessmen and women, then effectively that would mean that Iran is being sanctioned by Europe; whether they are doing that themselves, or just allowing the Americans to dictate terms.
Under those circumstances, Iran has no option, I assume, and I believe them to exit the agreement, but if things move forward as they seem to be, where Europeans import less and less oil from Iran – what’s happening is basically that the Americans are threatening European companies.
So if a European company does business with Iran, despite the fact that it’s within the framework of international law, EU regulations, Americans, because of their hold over global financial institutions and because of the role that the US dollar plays, they will punish these companies; and some of these companies of course have businesses in the US as well.
These companies are not afraid of their own governments – of the German government, or the French government, or the Italian government, or the British government. They are afraid of the US government. As long as the Americans are allowed to do that, then really the signatures of countries like the British, the French and the Germans as well as EU representatives in the nuclear deal are meaningless.
And it’s not just Iran: the Americans are dictating terms to the Europeans over their gas pipeline, with Russia over the way which the EU trades with the US. Trump right now is behaving like a godfather.
If the Europeans are willing to grow a backbone, and behave like sovereign governments and the EU behave independently, then despite the fact that the Americans have exited the agreement, the Iranians are willing to stick to the agreement. So the Iranians are willing to go that extra mile, but the Europeans have to do something in return.
Sputnik: Does Europe really have any ammunition – financial or political, or otherwise, to take a stand? If you say if they grow a backbone, a backbone has to be supported by something.
Dr. Seyed Mohammad Marandi: Resisting a country like Israel and Netanyahu is not really much, because it’s not an important player. The reason why he has influence is because of the US; otherwise, he has no important role to play. He is despised; if you recall the leaked audio, the hot mic, when Obama and a previous French president were talking about Netanyahu and how much he lies and how much they dislike him. He is very well known to be dishonest; so he is not really important.
The important thing is that Trump has major influence and he is using that influence. He’s broken international law because he’s violated this multilateral agreement, but the irony is that the EU is larger than the US, its economy. It’s more important when you look at the numbers. So, they should be able to protect themselves.
But what we are seeing on the ground is that the EU sees itself as completely incapable of standing up to the United States, except for using angry language or making angry statements. That’s simply not enough for Iran.
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