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“The justification for leaving the JCPOA and reinstating severe sanctions is the ‘maximum pressure’ policy of the US vis-à-vis Iran in order to weaken the international posture of Iran,” a Belgian diplomat told ILNA.

The ex-European Union's Special Representative to the Middle East peace process Marc Otte said in an exclusive interview with ILNA news agency that the Trump administration wants to ‘punish’ Tehran for what is viewed in Washington (and not only there) as its negative and subversive role in the region.

“In my view, many conservatives in the US aim at regime change in Tehran, in agreement with Israel and maybe some Arab countries. In that context remember Trump has always said that if elected he would leave the JCPOA because it was a bad agreement in his view,” he added.

Answering to question about what is Europe's role in this regard, the Belgian diplomat confirmed that the question is do they have the tools and the political resolve to be effective, especially in view of possible secondary sanctions by the US against European exporters. That is why they have instituted INSTEX, a mechanism to protect European operators. At the same time, the E3 powers and the EU also try and convince the US to change course.

Referring to China and Russia's roles, he added “Question is what will be their strategy in the current atmosphere of confrontation between the three powers. China and Russia are also in consultations with the Europeans.”

“The AIEA warns that Iran is not sticking to its commitments and during the last year increased its stocks of enriched uranium, raised the level of enrichment from 3.67% to 4.5% and upgraded the capacities of its centrifuges and it also says that the accumulation of uranium is almost 8 times the maximum allowed," the ex-EU diplomat stressed.

He believed “The future of JCPOA will depend on the resolve of the IC to preserve it and the transparency about its nuclear activities by Iran.” Adding that mutual goodwill by all parties as well as confidence-building measures are the only way forward.

Asked about who is expected to win the 2020 election, Marc Otte said “I don’t know if Trump will be re-elected, as it is not clear yet if US policy will change if he isn’t.”


US policy Trump Administration INSTEX JCPOA commitments Marc Otte China and Russia E3 powers level of enrichment the 2020 election
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