It is now Europe’s turn to fulfill commitments: Iran envoy

IRNA – Terming US sanctions against Iran as ‘unfair’, Iranian Ambassador to Italy Hamid Bayat said ‘The US intends to target our country’s dignity. We have fulfilled out commitments and now it is Europe’s turn (to do so).’

In an interview to Italian newspaper ‘Il Messaggero’, Bayat in response to a question if the sanctions would affect Iran’s international relations particularly its ties with the European Union, said that would depend on EU’s performance.

‘The EU has played a prominent role in shaping the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) and Iran has been fully compliant with its commitments under the deal as verified in 13 reports of the International Atomic Energy Organization,’ he said.

Unfortunately, he said, the United States (even before Donald Trump announced his country’s withdrawal from the JCPoA) and European states failed to fully comply with their commitments under the deal.

Now Iran expects European states, the EU in particular, to fulfill their obligations in the wake of the US exit from the multilateral international deal which is part of the UN Security Council resolution 2231, the ambassador said.

‘We are aware that the EU is working on a mechanism in order to continue its trade and commercial ties with Iran. The stands taken by Ms Mogherini (EU foreign policy chief) in support of the JCPoA are good and we appreciate it. But we are still awaiting to see these statements translated into deeds,’ Bayat said.

To another question on the impacts of US sanctions, the ambassador replied ‘The US action in exerting extra pressure (on Iran) has actually targeted people’s livelihood and the country’s economy and is quite in contradiction with its claim of support for (Iranian) people.

‘ By exerting pressure on people’s life, a country that claims to be an advocate of human rights, has actually ignored the Iranian people’s right and that is an inhuman act. The US secretary of state (Mike Pompeo) has said that if Iran wants to feed its people it should listen to what the US says. So, it is quite clear that the goal of the United States is not merely to defeat Iran economically rather attack the Iranians’ dignity and honor,’ the ambassador said.

Referring to numerous agreements signed by Italy and Iran in recent years, Bayat said that Tehran-Rome economic and cultural ties dated back to centuries ago.

In the post JCPoA era, the volume of Iran-Italy trade exchanges increased 4.5 folds in less than three years, he said, adding that in 2017, mutual trade between Iran and Italy amounted to 5.1 billion dollars annually, causing Italy to be Iran’s fist trade partners among European states.

‘Following the signing of the JCPoA, President Hassan Rouhani embarked on his first European tour by paying an official visit to Italy during which memoranda of understanding and agreements worth 27 billion Euros were inked by the two countries for economic and commercial cooperation. In January 20-18, an agreement on a 5-billion -euro credit line was signed in Rome which we hope both countries can make it operational under the new situation,’ the Iranian envoy said.

Replying to another question, the Iranian ambassador said the US exit from the nuclear deal would undoubtedly affect international political equilibriums.

‘By imposing the secondary sanctions, the United States are practically breaching the sovereignty of other countries including its allies. The world is familiar with the US language of threat. Should a country that hosts the UN headquarters trample upon international norms and UN resolutions this way? Will the world sit idle and tolerate such behaviors?’ he questioned.

‘The conflict is not over Iran. This is a test for the world in general and EU member states in particular to choose between unilateralism and multilateralism, between the language of threat and language of interaction, between imposition of American laws on their own countries and protection of their national sovereignty and finally between global peace and stability and chaos and instability of the world,’ Bayat said.

Asked about the reasons behind tensions in the Middle East region or whether there are some solutions through which peace can be established in the region, Bayat replied ‘Over years some factors have contributed to intensifying conflicts, wars and unrests in the Middle East the most important of which are intervention of extra-territorial forces, ignoring nations’ rights, rejection of dialogue and negotiations and attempts to impose will and demands on them by means of threats and intimidation.

‘To this end, the United States’ wrong policies have served to intensify these conflicts and violence through supporting terrorist groups such as Al-Qaida and Daesh. No doubt that establishing security and stability in the region requires that such policies be changed and priority be given to the fight against terrorism.

‘During these years, Iran stood by the people of Syria and Iraq fighting a fierce battle against Daesh which led to the defeat of the dangerous group in both countries. Under present circumstances we believe that holding negotiations with participation of all groups and allowing regional nations to take part in running the affairs without any foreign interference is the only way to reduce conflicts and establish stability in the entire Middle East region ranging from Syria and Yemen to Bahrain,’ the Iranian envoy said.