…from Press TV, Tehran
[ Editor’s Note: Josep Borrell, the relatively unknown Spanish diplomat, seems to be moving to correct that issue quickly with a series of major EU policy announcements which seemingly herald a new age in EU diplomacy…leaning forward versus trying to hang on.
He is certainly rattling some cages in Washington with his provocative move toward Iran, when the US and Israel have only their isolation and worn out Iran bogeyman story to offer.
Borrell must have a plan to offer, otherwise he would not be making a big show of putting Iran at the top of his visit to show that, despite Brexit, the EU intends to be a player on the world stage. As Zarif states below, the EU cannot do this by appearing to be under the thumb of the USA and Mr. Trump.
As to the JCPOA fiasco, if Borrell continues the EU worn out line of all talk and no action in terms of holding up its end of the deal, his credibility will be tarnished coming out of the gate.
Improved Russian relations have not made it to Borrell’s list yet, despite the huge $110 billion trade surplus the EU once had with Moscow that it threw away with the Crimea sanctions. The EU now has a flat 1% growth rate projected for 2020, which is propped up by its standing up to the US by going forward with the Nordstream2 pipeline to secure Europe’s vital low cost gas supplies.
We will be watching Mr. Borrell quite closely, and also the Trump regime’s reaction to his initiatives… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … February 02, 2020 –
Iran says EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell will travel to the country on Monday to meet and exchange views with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and other senior officials.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Sunday that the visit to Tehran is the first by the top EU diplomat after taking office.
The visit is significant because it comes at a time when the European signatories to a 2015 nuclear deal — France, Britain and Germany — have failed to meet their commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Last month, the trio gave into Washington’s pressure and triggered a dispute mechanism devised in the accord which amounts to a formal accusation that Tehran had broken the terms of the agreement.
The European measure could lead to the restoration of anti-Iran sanctions, which had been lifted by the JCPOA.
In an interview with German weekly news magazine, Der Spiegel, Zarif said, “It’s a disaster for Europe to be so subservient to the US. Anybody who accepts unilateralism is helping it.”
On January 16, the EU foreign policy chief and Zarif discussed the latest developments around the JCPOA during a meeting on the sidelines of a conference in India.
According to an EU statement, Borrell “underlined the continued interest of the European Union to preserve the agreement, which is now more important than ever, in light of the dangerous escalations in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region.”
The JCPOA was signed between Iran and six world states — namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China — in 2015. It was also ratified in the form of a UN Security Council resolution.
However, Washington’s exit in May 2018 and subsequent reimposition of sanctions against Tehran left the future of the historic deal in limbo.
Tehran remained fully compliant with the JCPOA for an entire year, waiting for the co-signatories to fulfill their end of the bargain by offsetting the impacts of Washington’s bans on the Iranian economy.
As the European parties failed to do so, Iran moved in May 2019 to suspend parts of its commitments under Articles 26 and 36 of the pact covering Tehran’s legal rights.