EU accused of appeasing Trump with May 12 nuclear waiver looming for Iran


Iranian and French FMs Zarif and Le DrianThe EU should be pushing the US to abide by the terms of the nuclear agreement it struck with Iran along with other members of the UN Security Council three years ago instead of trying to appease President Trump by repeating his extraneous demands, the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said earlier this week.
In a interview in Etamaad published on the eve of his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian’s visit to Tehran this week, Zarif turned on EU member states for bowing to pressure from Washington and said concerns about Iran’s missile programme or its role in the Middle East were hypocritical and dangerous. The interview appeared a day after Le Drian gave an interview to a French weekly in which he said Tehran risked “exposing itself to new sanctions” if it remained reluctant to discuss its missile programme.
In July 2015, in what Trump has repeatedly decried as “the worst and most one-sided transaction Washington has ever entered into” – his predecessor in the White House Barack Obama put his name to the UIN Security Council’s Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) under the terms of which Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran. The agreement was also signed by the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany and its implementation began the following January.
Almost two years to the day, and against his better judgment the new President bowed to his constitutional obligations and and the will of the US Congress and reluctantly waived a raft of sanctions against Iran. As these need to be renewed every 120 days, this effectively signalled u a four-month countdown before the question of new waiver arises again on May 12. In the meantime, Trump has been laying down conditions for the waiver that that former diplomats involved negotiating the deal claim are all all but impossible to meet; he is now  vowing not to waive the sanctions again unless Europeans managed to make radical changes to the nuclear deal, including curbs on Iran’s missile development.
Iran Nuclear missilesFor its part, Tehran is arguing that the missile programme is not covered by the deal, and Tehran says it will not bow to pressure to halt it. 
“Seven countries reached an agreement, which was also endorsed by the Security Council,” Presiden Hassan Rouhani said this week. “Iran has completely fulfilled its commitments, but unfortunately the US has constantly created obstacles in the way of implementation of the JCPOA.”
A principle cause of Rouhani’s frustration has been the reluctance of European banks to do business with Iran for fear of falling foul of Washington. This reluctance has prevented Iran from capitalising of growing interest among the international investment community for business opportunities in several sectors of the Iranian economy including its energy and automotive industries, and even the Iranian embassy in London has faced obstacles in opening a bank account in the UK.
A poll conducted by IranPoll in collaboration with the University of Maryland, published last month, showed 92% of Iranian respondents believed the US was trying to preventing Iran from normalising its trade and economic relations, with 58% saying Iran should retaliate by restarting the aspects of its nuclear programme it agreed to suspend under the deal.

Source: TREND