The secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council has urged European powers not to support the Trump administration’s efforts to amend or cancel the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the nuclear deal Tehran signed with world powers in 2015. Ali Shamkhani also stressed that Tehran would not renegotiate the nuclear accord. The top advisor to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei cautioned Europe that a potential collapse of the agreement would harm Europe’s economy and security – without elaborating on it. He argued that the cancellation of the deal would also dissuade other countries from trying to resolve their differences with the West diplomatically.
Comment: Shamkhani’s remarks came as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to Europe to encourage European powers – particularly Germany, France and Britain – to support Washington’s efforts to “fix” the Iran nuclear deal. President Donald Trump has said he will terminate the nuclear accord unless US Congress and Europe take concrete measures to address some of the loopholes of the deal.
On Monday, Tillerson said US and EU3 – the three signatories of the deal – will form a working group to begin discussions about developing supplemental agreements to address Trump’s concerns – primarily Iran’s missile activities and regional roles as well as sunset provisions within the deal according to which certain restrictions on Iran expire in a decade.
Tehran has been counting on Europe to oppose any US unilateral decision to change or cancel the nuclear agreement. But it appears that Iranian leaders are now worried that European powers are starting to cooperate with Washington to address Iran’s ballistic missile program and Iran’s role in the region.
By Ahmad Majidyar | Fellow and Director of IranObserved Project – The Middle East Institute | Jan 26, 2018