Trump’s exit of Iran deal is a blessing in disguise for Tehran

The nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA was signed by Iran, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and the European Union to let Iran rejoin the global economy in exchange for denuclearization. 

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Trump’s exit of Iran deal is a blessing in disguise for Tehran

“Even if a poll is conducted inside the US, public opinion would be in our favor. This means the US government is really sidelined and we are already the victor,” said Hassan Rouhani, Iranian President after US President Donald Trump walked out of the Iranian peace deal and reimposed sanctions on the oil-rich country. One important aspect which Trump clearly seems to have ignored is the global perception about Iran is not the same as it was before 2015 when Obama broke this deal with Tehran. American trade sanctions against Iran have weakened the western alliance and has pushed USA far from her traditional allies.

The nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA was signed by Iran, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and the European Union to let Iran rejoin the global economy in exchange for denuclearization.

The value of trade between the EU and Iran has soared from $9.2bn (£6.8bn) in 2015 to $16.4bn in 2016 after the deal was signed. In 2017, trade reached $25bn. Leaders of the European Union like Donald Tusk have dejected America’s unilateral pullout and have shown commitment to remain sincere to the deal. Britain, France, and Germany have failed to reason with Trump. Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, said, ‘With friends like that, who needs enemies?’” Tusk announced that EU members agreed unanimously to stay in the agreement as long as Iran remains fully committed: “Additionally, the European Commission was given a green light to be ready to act whenever European interests are affected.” EU states are also discussing ways to create a mode of payment which is fully independent of the United States’ reach and could, therefore, withstand any US sanctions, by using EU central banks. French president Emmanuel Macron stressed his willingness “to continue enforcing the Iran nuclear agreement in all respects”.  “The deal is not dead. There is an American withdrawal from the deal but the deal is still there,” Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French foreign minister, said.

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Even China has committed to remain in the deal. Iranian foreign minister visited Beijing and met the Chinese foreign minister where Wang Yi committed to staying in the deal. Iran is also receiving huge assistance and cooperation from Russia and China who are helping Tehran in building their economy.

Experts suggest Trump should not have relied on what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accuses Iran of. Trump nixed the deal in a way which portrayed USA’s arrogance and aggressiveness. With UN inspectors backing Iran, the world won’t believe America blindly. India has strongly rejected to adhere to the US sanctions with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that India will ignore the US trade sanctions against Iran. The European Commission is also planning to propose that EU governments make direct money transfers to Iran’s central bank to avoid US penalties

“India will comply with UN sanctions and not any country-specific sanctions,” Swaraj said, a statement underscoring India’s foreign policy independence and ‘Country-First’ policy. Iran is India’s third-largest oil supplier. New Delhi bought a record 27.2 million tons of oil from Tehran during the last financial year, representing a 114% increase compared to the previous year.

India will also reportedly pay for Iranian oil in rupees to bypass the US sanctions on Tehran. India is also helping Iran in the development of Chabahar port and design cum layout of Chabahar-Zahedan railways. Clearly, the US sanctions on Iran seem to be failing to be a thorn in the New Delhi-Tehran relationship.

Iran has been able to double oil exports in last two years. So with the entire European Union, giants like Russia, China and India standing firmly with Iran, it’s the United States which may lose both the ideological and economic battle.

Article Written by Debdeep Mukherjee