All tagged JCPOA

Europe Failed on Iran, but It’s Not Helpless

◢ Iran’s decision to scale down its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by President Donald Trump signifies a serious foreign policy failure for the EU and its member states. They have acted too meekly and ineffectively in the face of unilateral U.S. sanctions, and this unnecessary softness may well come back to haunt them as the U.S. use of extraterritorial sanctions expands.

The US and the Iran Nuclear Deal: Rejoining Is Wiser than Destroying

◢ In a joint call coordinated by the Istituto Affari Internazionali and the European Leadership Network, Europe’s leading policy experts urge the United States to reenter the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in order to avoid a proliferation crisis in the Middle East, repair the transatlantic relationship, restore respect in international law and multilateral diplomacy, and end the harms being inflicted on the Iranian people.

Putting Iranian People Before Non-Proliferation

◢ Until American policymakers can conceive of relations with Iran as something more than a set of tactical accommodations designed to address threat perceptions, they are unlikely to solve the question of Iranian proliferation decisively. It is discouraging to see Democratic candidates articulate their intentions towards Iran exclusively within the paradigm of the JCPOA and its ability to curtail Iran’s nuclear program.

Why China Isn’t Standing By Iran

◢ Last week, Iran’s economic minister was in Beijing for talks on bilateral trade and investment. An official readout of the discussions from China’s commerce ministry describes China and Iran as “comprehensive strategic partners.” Unfortunately for Iran, the data tells a different story from the official rhetoric.

The United States and Iran are in a Quantum War

◢ It took just under an hour for staff at Israel’s Government Press Office to delete a tweet that suggested that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had finally decided to wage war on Iran. The conflict Iran faces today is neither a hot war nor a cold war. It is a quantum war—a superimposition of two states of conflict. Put another way, depending on when you observe the facts, Iran is both at war and it is not.

Poll Shows Iranian Attitudes Towards Europe Becoming More Negative

◢ A new survey conducted by research firm IranPoll offers the first insights into Iranian public sentiment following the reimposition of US secondary sanctions on Iran. The new wave of polling helps confirm recent reporting from Iran that support for the JCPOA has fallen, with just 51 percent of respondents approving of the deal down from 55 percent in January 2018. For European policymakers, the new polling should offer a stark warning it must refocus its political and economic efforts to save the nuclear deal.

As Sanctions Impede Business, Where Next for Iran-Italy Relations?

◢ Despite strong relations, President Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA and his reimposition of economic sanctions has introduced significant challenges for Italian enterprises active in Iran. As with other European companies, Italian firms are unwilling to jeopardize their presence in the US market for the sake of opportunities in Iran. Yet, Italy and Europe have every interest to see that Iran continues to be an important trading partner and a supplier of energy.

Why The Iran Nuclear Deal Still Matters for Europe

◢ The JCPOA continues to hang together—but only just. There are growing indications of signatory states’ fatigue and frustration in attempting to prevent the collapse of the JCPOA, following the US withdrawal from it last May. In this climate, it is important for the deal’s stakeholders to remember why it remains valuable

The Economic War Iran Faces is Bigger Than it Thinks

◢ On the third anniversary of the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the fortieth anniversary of the Islamic Republic, the era of hope ushered in by the election of Hassan Rouhani and the implementation of the nuclear deal seems a lifetime ago. Iran remains in compliance with the agreement, but begrudgingly. Europe looks impotent in the face of U.S. sanctions. But Iran’s economic war isn't just a fight against sanctions. Iran is the frontline of an intensifying economic war between the US, Europe, China, and Russia.

America’s Latest Wave of Iran Sanctions: An Explainer

◢ On 5 November, the Trump administration’s latest and most significant wave of sanctions against Iran came into effect. The US Treasury has issued a list of more than 700 Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) and Blocked Persons, which includes roughly 300 entities that did not feature in Obama-era sanctions. The new sanctions impact Iran’s oil and transportation industries and banking sector in important ways.

Iran Sanctions Hopes Fly on Possible Delivery of Eight ATR Aircraft

◢ In a recent interview, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire expressed optimism for the delivery of eight ATR turboprops to Iran as part of a contract with Iran Air, the country’s national airline. Le Maire spoke of being “hopeful that the United States will provide authorization to deliver these aircraft.” The ATR deliveries, like the three Airbus deliveries made prior to President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, are highly symbolic of the hope and expectations for increased trade and investment following the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Brexit Britain Must Match EU Efforts to Save Iran Nuclear Deal

◢ With the UK poised to leave the European Union, Brexit Britain can no longer rely on EU economic measures to protect the Iran nuclear deal. The UK government needs to parallelize its efforts with those of the EU, following the example of EU member states such as France and Austria in order to explore the use of state-owned financing entities to open sanctions-compliant investment channels. The Iranian government should insist that the UK shows greater initiative as a party to the JCPOA.

Three Years Later: Europe’s Last Push on the Iran Nuclear Deal

◢ The Iran nuclear agreement marked its third anniversary in a gloomy state. Many hoped that the resolution of the nuclear dispute would result in a new understanding between the West and Iran, opening a pathway for detente rather than confrontation. Relations between Europe and Iran have certainly made gains in this direction, but the Trump administration’s maximalist stance on Tehran has created an extremely hazardous environment for all remaining stakeholders in the nuclear deal.

Could Trump Deliver Iran an Oil Windfall?

◢ The president’s recent statement that OPEC may have something to do with the president’s own decision to create a crisis with Iran. While attention is duly paid to how much Americans have to pay at the pump, a more subtle and complicated story will soon play out with respect to Iran and the reapplication of US sanctions ordered by Trump on May 8, 2018. In fact, unless oil prices are contained, the primary result of the president’s action may be to ensure that Iran profits from the oil market risks that sanctions have created.

Iran Shows New Savvy in Defining Outcome of Key Nuclear Deal Meeting

◢ Iran has finally learned how to use the Joint Commission of the nuclear deal to tackle its economic challenges. Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif got what he needed from the ministerial meeting. Two months following Trump’s abrogation of the nuclear deal, the remaining parties to the agreement proved able to present a consensus position on the need to protect Iran’s economic interests in direct contravention of the declared US policy. On practical implementation, bilateral exchanges are the preferred route forward.

New US Sanctions Target Operator of Iran's Presidential Aircraft

◢ The US Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control on Thursday announced a new round of targeted sanctions designations, including sanctions on Dena Airways, the company which operates the Iran’s presidential aircraft used by Hassan Rouhani for official travel. The new sanctions follow the designation of Iran’s central bank governor, Valliollah Seif, and reflect a further targeting of the Rouhani administration.

After Trump’s Iran Decision: Time for Europe to Step Up

◢ The E3 should now acknowledge that its negotiating tactic of accommodation and comprise with Trump has failed. If Europe is to have any influence forthcoming US policy on Iran, European governments should quickly shift tack, unifying behind a more assertive diplomatic strategy aimed at deterring the worst-case scenario of renewed Iranian nuclear program and more instability and violence in a region close to its borders.