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The European package for Tehran: Not a very fruitful dream

Javad Zarif, the foreign minister of the Iranian regime
Javad Zarif, the foreign minister of the Iranian regime

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

 

Nov. 1, 2018 - Javad Zarif, the foreign minister of the Iranian regime, recently expressed doubts and concerns about the European Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), an EU initiative aimed at circumventing the U.S. sanctions, especially on Iran’s energy sector, that will go into effect on November 5.

Speaking on the sidelines of a trilateral summit in Istanbul, where he met with his counterparts from Turkey and the Republic of Azerbaijan, Zarif told Iranian state-run media on Monday, “I doubt that on November 4, when these new sanctions become effective, anything new happens. Although the mechanisms that EU had in mind will become operational in the next few days maybe it takes some time until you can use these mechanisms.”

From Zarif’s remarks, one can’t possibly fathom why he doubts that “anything new happens” on November 4 when the Iranian government is actively lobbying internationally to circumvent the new sanctions, or why it even negotiated the JCPOA with the former U.S. administration for that matter.

Furthermore, it’s not clear why while “the [EU] mechanisms will become operational in the next few days”, it takes “some time until you can use” them? It’s like “operational” but not usable!

“Because of the pressure and obstructionism the U.S. made in all the phases of this, some things have taken more time,” he reasons.

He then continues to reassure his forces in Iran saying: “With these mechanisms and considering the fact [sic] that the U.S. is isolated in the international community, and that no country except for some regional regimes supports the U.S. measures, the possibility of the U.S. achieving its economic goals with these sanctions is very low, and there is no chance that they achieve their political goals.”

Now, if you are familiar with Iranian officials’ general propaganda culture you can clearly sense the sheer fear Javad Zarif feels throughout these sentences. In fact, Iranian media and lobbies have tried in recent weeks to downplay any effects the new sanctions could possibly have, mainly because of two things: First, the international community sees the effects of the sanctions and comes to the conclusion that sanctions and resolution are working policy toward the Iranian regime, and second, the Iranian population itself feels encouraged to rise up for their rights in the face of a weakened regime and an international community that is supportive of their cause for freedom.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports that according to diplomatic sources, EU member states are reluctant to host the new SPV out of fear that they will become a target of U.S. sanctions themselves.

“No EU government wants to cross the U.S. by having the SPV,” FT quotes one European official.

Media sources close to the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, blame the Foreign Ministry. Fars News Agency published a report on October 29 titled “Europe kicking the can down the road to get more concessions, the grave price of silence in face of symbolic implementation of the SPV” writing: “Recently, Reuters has quoted four European diplomats that this mechanism will start working symbolically on November 4 and won’t be operational before early 2019.”

“In Fact, the symbolic implementation of EU’s mechanism, which has been raised by European diplomats and Zarif has implicitly confirmed it, means that this mechanism will be useless when the sanctions go into effect… and won’t have an impact in neutralizing the sanctions,” Fars adds.

Javan newspaper, the mouthpiece of the regime’s paramilitary Basij force, writes on October 28: “An important issue that shows the EU has no intention to execute their obligations toward the Islamic Republic is that in the last 6 months they haven’t presented any package to solve Iran’s banking and trading problems and now on the eve of the U.S. sanctions on November 4, they suggest a new mechanism (SPV) to facilitate trading with Iran.

“Some people believe that the European measure is [just] a political gesture to keep Iran in JCPOA and will only lead to a continuation of our nuclear industry being shut down and the unilateral commitment to JCPOA obligations by our country.”

Meanwhile, the Iranian regime’s latest terrorist adventures have lead the ruling mullahs to Denmark where the Iranian intelligence ministry was plotting to assassinate an Iranian dissident.

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