By Jubin Katiraie
Ever since the US pulled out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018, the European Union, Britain, France, and Germany have been trying to find a way to subvert reimposed US sanctions on Iran, but the EU needs to end this appeasement of Iran and join the US in cracking down on the Regime.
The signing of the JCPOA, more commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, did not stop Iran from completing work on its nuclear programme. Instead, a lack of restrictions on its ballistic missile programme, proper inspections of nuclear and military sites, and restrictions on its civilian nuclear programme allowed the Regime to push the malign parts of its programme underground and continue work on building nuclear weapons.
In response, the US withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018, citing Iran’s many violations. Europe, however, remained a party to the deal citing that international inspectors found no evidence that Iran had violated the deal. (Of course, if a detective weren’t allowed to enter the home of their chief murder suspect, they’d probably never find the bloody sneakers either.) This is despite the fact that we know for a fact that the Iran has tested ballistic missiles in violation of the UN resolution surrounding the deal.
The US is very critical of Iran’s missile programme, citing that they pose a threat to the Middle East and Europe, but although the EU shares “most” of the US’s concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, it doesn’t want to sanction Iran for this.
Instead, it wants to open a dialogue, even calling on Iran to join the Hague Code of Conduct (HCoC), an arrangement aimed at preventing the spread of ballistic missiles by asking member states to voluntarily commit themselves pre-launch notifications. This dialogue is not going well as Iran refuses to negotiate and has publically stated that it will not abandon its ballistic missile programme.
Emma Scott, the Iran Assessor on Transparency International’s Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index, wrote: “The overall position of the EU regarding the ballistic missile program is a non-position. It does not address any of the broader parameters of Iran’s missile program nor paint the path forward. On the whole, it appears that Brussels is not too concerned by, and is not framing a negotiating agenda on, Iran’s ballistic missile program. Although it may be prudent to prioritise tackling Iran’s nuclear program over the ballistic missile threat, the EU seems unwilling to push the ballistic missile issue with Tehran for fear that Tehran will no longer accede to the nuclear-related provisions of the JCPOA.”
The EU must directly address the issue of Iran's ballistic missile programme, as the US has done, and the Regime’s other malign activities. Otherwise, the Regime will be allowed to get away with its crimes.