Tasnim – The director of the IAI think tank said submitting a resolution draft at the UN by European nations over Washington’s pullout from JCPOA, as set out by Iran’s Leader as a condition for Tehran to stay in the deal, would “fail” as the US would use its veto power against Europe.
“A UNSC resolution would naturally fail due to a US veto. So such an initiative would have symbolic and no practical value. I see greater promise in undertaking concrete practical measures to ensure that the JCPOA continues to deliver its promised benefits,” Nathalie Tocci told the Tasnim News Agency.
Nathalie Tocci is Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali, Honorary Professor at the University of Tübingen, and Special Adviser to EU HRVP Federica Mogherini, on behalf of whom she wrote the European Global Strategy and is now working on its implementation, notably in the field of security and defense. Previously, she held research positions at the Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels, the Transatlantic Academy, Washington and the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, Florence.
Her research interests include European foreign policy, conflict resolution, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Her major publications include: Framing the EU’s Global Strategy, Springer-Palgrave Macmillan, 2017 (author); The EU, Promoting Regional Integration, and Conflict Resolution, Springer-Palgrave Macmillan, 2017 (co-editor); Turkey and the European Union, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015 (co-author); Multilateralism in the 21st Century, Routledge, 2013 (co-editor), Turkey’s European Future: Behind the Scenes of America’s Influence on EU-Turkey Relations, New York University Press, 2011 (author); and The EU and Conflict Resolution, Routledge, 2007 (author). Nathalie is the 2008 winner of the Anna Lindh award for the study of European Foreign Policy.
The following is the full text of the interview.
Tasnim: As you know, US President Donald Trump on May 8 withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, which is an international agreement and endorsed by a UN Security Council resolution. What is your take on President Trump’s decision?
Tocci: President Trump, strictly speaking, violated an international agreement enshrined in international law. In my view, he did so less because of the presumed flaws of the deal and more because the agreement was cosigned also by Tehran. In so far as Trump is intent in delegitimizing and weakening (and probably, in his dreams, ideally overthrowing) the Iranian regime, any agreement with it is anathema in so far as it confers a degree of recognition to Tehran which President Trump abhors.
Tasnim: UK, France, Germany, Russia and China have expressed their support for the deal, saying that they would stand by it despite the US pullout. Do you think the agreement will stand without the US? Will Europeans, Russia and China continue to honor their commitments under the deal?
Tocci: It depends first and foremost on Tehran. The deal will stand so long as Iran remains in it. Trump would no doubt relish the prospect of Iran leaving the JCPOA. Smart play on Iran’s side would prevent Trump from succeeding in this game. In the short to medium term, the JCPOA can survive with Europeans, Iranians, Russians and Chinese working together to abide by the agreement. Sooner or later, the US will return to the multilateral fold.
Tasnim: As you know, Europeans are trying hard to salvage the deal. What would happen if all their efforts fail? How do you think should Iran react to this after pouring concrete into the core of its nuclear reactor?
Tocci: Europeans are and will do their utmost to ensure their respect for the JCPOA in the light of the US violation. Reviving the blocking regulation, putting in place export credit guarantees and a number of other technical measures are all aimed at this goal. The success or failure of these measures will depend on Tehran’s reaction to them. As said above, I see no interest today for Tehran to play Trump’s game and exiting the deal rather than working with Europeans and the rest of the international community to demonstrate that who is internationally marginalized is not Iran but Trump himself.
Tasnim: Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei recently set out conditions for Tehran to stay in the nuclear deal with world powers and stated, “The Europeans must submit a resolution against the US at the UN Security Council to protest” Washington’s withdrawal from the JCPOA.” What do you think?
Tocci: A UNSC resolution would naturally fail due to a US veto. So such an initiative would have symbolic and no practical value. I see greater promise in undertaking concrete practical measures to ensure that the JCPOA continues to deliver its promised benefits.