Analysis by PMOI/MEK
March 24, 2019 - In a March 21 speech in Mashhad, northeast Iran, marking the first day of the Persian calendar, the mullahs’ Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei criticized Western countries over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the Europe’s so-called financial channel, known as the INSTEX.
“This financial channel is more like a joke. A bitter joke. Like in the past, Europeans have stabbed [us] in the back,” he said.
Khamenei repeated his previous statements that Europe is not trustworthy, emphasizing “Western politicians” are “in essence barbarians”, despite their “stylish appearance and the use of eau de cologne.”
He further complained about Europe saying that they “have practically left the JCPOA, because they haven’t honored their obligations to the JCPOA.”
Khamenei’s statements follow remarks made by officials inside the government of regime President Hassan Rouhani in recent weeks that Europe is not respecting its commitments to the Iran nuclear deal.
Javad Zarif, the mullahs’ foreign minister, and a close ally of Rouhani, said the following during back at the Munich Security Conference: “Launching INSTEX is far less than the commitments the three European countries had made to rescue the JCPOA.”
Disappointed statements by Iranian officials about Europe’s financial mechanism follow a string of diplomatic offense by Rouhani’s government to win over Europe in the face of the Trump administration abandoning the nuclear deal.
European countries promised Iran to set up a “special purpose vehicle” that will shield Iranian trade from U.S. sanctions and will effectively enable the country to circumvent the maximum pressure campaign that U.S. policy makers had in mind.
But months after, Europe has presented Iran with practically an oil-for-food arrangement and a medicaments mechanism called INSTEX that won’t be implemented if Iran doesn’t abide to the Financial Action Task Force’s money transparency and terrorism-combatting standards.
Keyhan newspaper, the semi-official mouthpiece of Ali Khamenei, published interesting words on February 3.
“A Polish diplomat said this about the EU’s special purpose vehicle for Iran: I believe that this is sort of a symbolic gesture for Europe to save face but in reality, it has no place of importance at all.”
A report published on January 31 in Mashregh News writes: “A European diplomatic source who wished to stay anonymous said about the financial channel and why it will focus on humanitarian issues: ‘First, when the issue of the European financial channel with Iran was raised, the U.S. exercised tremendous pressure on European countries. When the U.S. left the JCPOA we witnessed that European companies left Iran out of fear for U.S. sanctions and were not ready to cooperate with Iran. This was a lesson for the Europeans that they can’t influence their own companies!”
Earlier, Ahmad Tavakkoli, a member of the powerful Expediency Discernment Council where the fate of Iran’s position towards FATF is at review, wrote a letter to the council members.
“This derogatory formula isn’t even ‘oil for food’ that was imposed on Iraq during Saddam Hussein’s era. Since the Europeans don’t buy our oil, as a mediator, they only allow us to buy food and medicaments from them with the oil money that they have allowed us, selling for prices that the monopolizing seller designates, in order to save us from starvation and sickness! And this is not the only belittlement!”
Europeans also “directed Iran to create a transparent company that will become the exchange partner. Now, this mechanism, while still not clear when it will be operational, is conditioned to Iran accepting FATF swiftly,” he adds.
This is while the Islamic Republic’s demand from Europe was to create mechanisms that guarantee free selling of oil, free financial transactions for oil income money, and free maritime shipping.
The still not operational European INSTEX has none of that.
The joint statement on the creation of INSTEX clearly says, “INSTEX will support legitimate European trade with Iran, focusing initially on the sectors most essential to the Iranian population – such as pharmaceutical, medical devices and agri-food goods.”
In addition to Europe’s “bitter joke” of linking the financial mechanism with the FATF, on February 4, the European Council expressed its “grave concern by Iran's ballistic missile activity” and called “upon Iran to refrain from these activities, in particular ballistic missile launches that are inconsistent with UN Security Council Resolution 2231.”
Regarding Tehran’s malicious behavior in the region, the statement said, “The Council expresses concern at the growing tensions in the region and Iran's role in this context, including the provision of military, financial and political support to non-state actors in countries such as Syria and Lebanon.”
Regarding the Iranian mullahs’ recent terrorist plots on European soil, the statement reads: “The Council is deeply concerned by the hostile activities that Iran has conducted on the territory of several Member States and, in this context, decided to list two individuals and one entity. The European Union will continue to demonstrate unity and solidarity in this area and urges Iran to put an immediate end to such unacceptable behavior.”
These statements, and others, sound very much like some of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s 12 demands from the mullahs’ regime that he announced in his speech at the Heritage Foundation in May last year.
That is why Khamenei’s accused the European Union that their behavior “shows that you can expect them to conspire and commit treason, and backstabbing at any minute, but you shouldn’t expect help, honesty and cooperation.”
Backstabbing, conspiring, treason and blatant evil has always been the kingdom of Khamenei and his minions’ rule without the slightest signs of viable competition.
While no party whatsoever has asked Tehran anything unreasonable, even if Europe’s behavior amounted to “treason and backstabbing” as Khamenei puts it, it is not bad to have competition for once. Incumbents never like upstarts although it would benefit the common interest.