A former Iranian ambassador says not all of the country’s problems will be resolved through diplomacy.
“Because of our current circumstances, there’s this need to increase interactions with other countries, including the small European countries,” said Alireza Farajirad, who has served as ambassador to Norway as well as to Hungary, on Tuesday. “Of course we must bear in mind that with increasing activities in the field of diplomacy, no all of our problems will be resolved,” he said.
The former envoy also pointed out that European countries have taken positive steps in the aftermath of Iran’s reduction of its commitments to the 2015 nuclear agreement. “This matter has created hopes about the future,” he stated.
Farajirad said it is still early to judge the performance of the European side, adding, “We know that taking positive steps by Europe does not guarantee that Iran’s rightful requests and demands under JCPOA (nuclear deal) are met.”
U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the nuclear deal, also referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018 and returned the previous sanctions and imposed new ones.
So far, Iran has taken two steps in reducing its nuclear commitments: increasing its stockpile of enriched uranium beyond the 300 kilograms allowed under the JCPOA and enriching nuclear fuel to the purity level of 4.5 percent.
Under the agreement, Iran was allowed to enrich uranium to 3.67 percent. Pointing to Europe’s trade mechanism, Farajirad said INSTEX is being implemented. INSTEX – the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges – is a European special purpose vehicle aimed at facilitating legitimate trade between Europe and Iran.
The European Union announced on June 28 that INSTEX has gone into effect. “The Iranian side has announced that if INSTEX does not work and the performance of the European sides to JCPOA does not satisfy Iran, we will take the third step” in reducing commitments to the deal, Farajirad said.
In an interview published on Sunday, the former ambassador said the implementation of INSTEX is under U.S. pressure. “So the more the European countries invest on INSTEX, the more difficult for the U.S. to sanction countries.” He also said talks with the European countries to preserve the JCPOA are proceeding positively.