MNA – Shireen Tahmaasb Hunter, a professor of political science at Georgetown University, told MNA that that “Europe wants to keep Iran committed to JCPOA, and thus makes some vague promises, but it is not willing to give Iran serious help.”
“It was recently reported that the EU will offer 18 million euros for some projects in Iran. This is not serious,” Hunter told Mehr News in an interview. She added the Europe does not want to escalate confrontation with America for the sake of Iran.
Following is the text the interview:
Some argue that the European Union law cannot protect Iran against the impact of US sanctions. In other words, the law is a new version of the “Blocking Statute” that the European Union approved in 1996 to protect Cuba against US sanctions. In your opinion, how effective is this law in protecting Iran against US sanctions?
The current laws are not very effective in countering American sanctions. Moreover, the real issue is that Europe does not want to escalate confrontation with America for the sake of Iran. Economic relations between U.S. and Europe are very extensive and any gain with Iran cannot compensate for the loss of US markets. I believe Europe is using the Iran issue to discredit Trump and increase its own bargaining power in matters more important for Europe. Iran is becoming a tool inn Europe’s hands in confrontation with Trump.
Back in 1996, without the Europe support, US imposed sanctions on Cuba, and Europe did not accept these sanctions. Is Europe now able to resist US sanctions against Iran?
Iran issue is more complicated than Cuba because it is linked to other Middle East -related issues. Europe has very little economic relations with Cuba. Moreover, America was not so keen in getting European cooperation regarding Cuba than it has been vis a vis Iran. The main issue is that Europe does not want to endanger its economic interests in America for Iran’s sake.
In Europe, economic companies have the right and freedom to choose, and the EU also does not want to restrict this freedom. Can the EU push the companies to work with Iran?
European countries can encourage their companies to invest in some countries, but they cannot force them. Moreover, given the current conditions, European governments are not themselves interested in seriously helping Iran. It was recently reported that the EU will offer 18million euros for some projects in Iran. This is not serious. Europe wants to keep Iran committed to JCPOA, and thus makes some vague promises, but it is not willing to give Iran serious help. This is because Europe, too, is unhappy with many aspects of Iran’s foreign policy behavior. The fact is that Iran’s options are very limited. If it exits JCPOA, it could face military attack or more severe sanctions and other economic pressures.