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27 Dec, 2019 07:42

Europe must wean itself off US ‘dictate’ or it will ‘lose’, Iran supreme leader’s adviser tells RT

Europe must wean itself off US ‘dictate’ or it will ‘lose’, Iran supreme leader’s adviser tells RT

Europe’s total dependence on Washington would lead it nowhere other than to its own demise, a senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has alleged, calling on Europeans to break free from America’s grip.

Europe is a major political force on the international arena, yet it prefers to “quietly follow the policy imposed” by Washington, Ali Akbar Velayati told RT Arabic.

Velayati, a former Iranian foreign minister, suggested that if Europe truly wishes to distinguish itself as a major player in world politics and improve its relations with the Islamic Republic and its allies, it should pursue an independent policy.

If Europe decides to follow America’s lead, then it will undoubtedly lose.

For more than a year, European nations have been desperately trying to keep the nuclear deal struck in 2015 between Iran, France, Germany, the UK and the US, as well as Russia and China. The agreement envisaged the lifting of sanctions in exchange for Tehran accepting certain limitations to its nuclear program and allowing regular inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Also on rt.com Time for Iran to ‘give up hope’ on Europe defying US sanctions – Supreme Leader Khamenei

US President Donald Trump made dismantling the landmark agreement, known as JCPOA, its policy, and unilaterally withdrew from it in May 2018, citing alleged violations by Tehran. Europe, in turn, sought to preserve the deal, while also trying not to tremendously upset their American partners.

Such a situation did not sit well with Iran, which repeatedly criticized Europe for failing to fulfil its commitments under the accord. Velayati said that the European nations made empty promises to Iran, while ultimately “no practical steps to fulfill their obligations followed.”

“They only made statements and wasted time, but they haven’t actually done anything, except express their solidarity with Iran.”

The former foreign minister particularly criticized INSTEX, short for the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges, a European special-purpose vehicle that is supposed to help European companies trade with Iran without fear of sanctions repercussions from across the Atlantic. “INSTEX is the proposed mechanism for financial transactions. However, no practical steps have been made to implement it. And nothing is being done at this time.”

Its functions were apparently limited to what the European nations called high-priority “humanitarian goods,” such as food and medical supplies. Meanwhile, European companies are still not rushing to trade with Iran, out of fear of losing the American market as a result of possible sanctions.

Following JCPOA’s pullback, the US slapped Iran with several rounds of ever-stricter sanctions, and particularly sought to disrupt the Islamic Republic’s oil trade by bringing its exports down to “zero.” In particular, it relentlessly pressures both European and Asian nations to stop purchasing Iran's oil.

Also on rt.com US envoy spews vitriol as 6 more EU nations defy sanctions, join bypass device INSTEX & urge saving Iran nuclear deal

Velayati, however, maintains that no American sanctions could force Tehran to bow to the US' will. After all, Iran has been living under some sort of a sanction regime for some 40 years – since its 1979 Islamic Revolution, and has since got used to them.

“Iran has learned to adapt, to get around the sanctions. You will need more than just sanctions to subdue such a ... nation as Iran.,” he said. So far, Iran does not see any positive changes in the position of the US and its allies and plans to further cut back its commitments under the deal, Velayati warned.

“If our European counterparts don’t honor their obligations under the nuclear deal, we will have no reason to honor ours.”

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