The European and American plan for the JCPOA

Evidences suggest that the United States is likely to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran. The appointment of John Bolton as the U.S. National Security Advisor and Mike Pompeo as Trump’s Secretary of State, have sent certain signals to those following the JCPOA news.

The two American officials share kid of intrinsic and fundamental opposition to the nuclear deal. Many of the news sources in the West mention that Trump intends to withdraw from the agreement by re-claiming the inefficiency of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
For example, the Guardian has recently quoted a European diplomat and wrote that the EU has no hope for Trump’s government to remain in the nuclear deal with Iran. However, the main question is, what is the final plan of the United States and Europe for the JCPOA?
On the other hand, what kind of approach and strategy should be taken by our country against Washington’s possible withdrawal from the nuclear deal?

Trump’s Plan for JCPOA

Without a doubt, the U.S. President isn’t going to put away his negative attitude towards the nuclear deal. Trump is still calling the nuclear deal as the worst deal ever. That was why he replaced his former Secretary of State “Rex Tillerson” with Mike Pompeo. Some of the Western analysts believe that Trump is after “winning more advantages over the JCPOA” through imposing pressure.

The appointment of John Bolton and Pompeo should also be regarded in the same vein. On the other hand, Trump plans to make the least possible costs in case of his possible withdrawal from the nuclear accord. It should be noted that John Bolton, before being appointed as the U.S. National Security Advisor, insisted on Washington withdrawal from the JCPOA.

He also said that in this regard, it is necessary for the U.S. European partners to join Washington, and that there should be diplomatic consultations between the White House and the European Union in this regard.

This is while some news sources and analysis have a different opinion. They believe it is possible that Trump doesn’t announce the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal, but keeps to impose sanctions on Iran! Undoubtedly, this unilateral and sophisticated game will mean nothing but the U.S. breach of the nuclear deal.
Of course the president of the United States seems incapable of playing this dual game. The fact is that in case of the United States withdrawal from the JCPOA, Washington can no longer manage this equation.

Europe is still confused

Despite the fact that the U.S. seems to have made its final decision on the nuclear deal with Iran, Europe is still confused about this. The Chancellor of Germany and the French President are scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump on two separate visits to the United States, and will consult with him over the JCPOA and maintaining the nuclear deal.

This is while many international affairs analysts have argued that John Bolton’s appointment as the U.S. national security adviser means a definitive decision by Trump to quit the nuclear accord. On the other hand, Trump continues to insist on issues such as the “inclusion of Iran’s missile power” in the nuclear deal, as well as the “inspection of Iranian military sites” and “putting permanent restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program”. The European Troika has recently told Trump that there is no possibility of changing the JCPOA based on the terms he has announced.

Macron and Merkel are separately going to visit Trump before the deadline set by the President of the United States. These visits take place while there are differences between European players on how to deal with the JCPOA. Recently and during the Brussels Summit, we witnessed major disputes among European leaders regarding the imposition of rocket and regional sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The European troika insists on imposing new sanctions on Iran to prevent Trump from cancelling the nuclear deal! This is while some European countries such as Italy, Spain and Austria believe that this will only discredit the EU in the international system, since Trump has made his final decision on withdrawal from the JCPOA regardless of imposing such sanctions by the European Union.

The fact is that the European’s paradoxical game has cost the European Troika a lot during the last year. “Restraining the U.S.” has been the very duty that the European Troika has failed to fulfil.

Iran’s strategy in case of the cancellation of the JCPOA

It’s is clear that Trump’s main goal of his threats, and the pressure on the European Troika during the last year has been to win more benefits over the JCPOA, and this is what the U.S. president is still pursuing. Obviously, “the insistence on the red lines of our foreign policy,” “the emphasis on our country’s defense capabilities,” “the emphasis on American lack of commitment at the diplomatic level”, “the use of public diplomacy capacities in response to U.S. actions” and ” The intensive diplomatic consultation with other international players ” are among the most important steps that our country’s diplomacy and foreign policy should take to confront Trump’s administration.

On the other hand, the Islamic Republic of Iran should have a firm, determined and intelligent response to the possible withdrawal of the United States from the nuclear deal. In recent days, the Iranian authorities have clearly stated that Iran’s reaction to the cancellation of the nuclear deal will be regrettable for the United States. Obviously, Trump’s government will have to pay big technical, legal, political and international costs in case of walking away from the nuclear deal.

Furthermore, the U.S.’s opposition to Russia and China seems to be worsening over the coming weeks. On the other hand, the European Troika has no choice but to take more transparent positions on the nuclear deal with Iran. The main question is, “Are we going to see a more obvious alliance between the other members of P5+1 against Trump and the U.S. government in near future”? Or because of the continuation of the European troika’s dual game, this “alliance” is not going to be formed?

In any case, Beijing and Moscow, besides being members of P5+1, have an effective maneuverability in the international system. Under such circumstances, the dialogue between the five players, namely Beijing, Moscow, Berlin, Paris and London, will be prominent in the near future.

First published at our partner Tehran Times