“The nuclear agreement is a red line that does not lend itself to touching in every way.” That was the conclusion of the Spanish delegation in Iran, led by Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis, after holding several meetings with representatives of Iran’s political, security and religious leaders on Wednesday.
Dastis is the prime minister of a European Union country that visits Tehran after the 120-day ultimatum launched by US President Donald Trump to the EU on January 12 to renegotiate the pact signed in 2015 and that the American considers now insufficient. The EU now wanted to explore whether Iran would be in favor of adding more aspects to that agreement without officially requesting its reopening. Iran does not lend itself.
The EU and Spain do not want to repeal the current agreement but they would see well that Iran agreed to complete it with additional commitments. “It would be necessary to think about the future and whether measures could be taken that would contribute to creating confidence in the interests of peace and stability,” said Dastis at the end of the day.
The minister said that for now “it is not about reopening the nuclear agreement, which is something difficult, but to think about something additional, although the agreements should always be able to be revised, but now it could include elements that were not included in the agreement that are a source of concern, such as the missile program or the situation in the region. ”
Dastis came to Tehran especially with a message of “restraint and restraint” of the European Union towards Iran with the aim of helping in the pressure that is intended for Trump to forget his demand and not leave the pact. The EU maintains that the agreement will remain in force even if the US leaves it in May because, although with problems, it is at least a minimum terrain.
Before traveling to Iran, on a three-day tour that has already been postponed twice due to the internal situation in Catalonia, Dastis first spoke with Federica Mogherini, the EU’s high representative on foreign policy, and with the French Minister of Foreign Affairs. external, Jean-Yves Le Drian, who also has that trip pending and whose country is one of the signatories of the nuclear agreement along with the other four members of the Security Council, Germany and the EU.
More EU ministers will make the same move with the same objective: to convince Iran to open a loophole that would allow the United States to postpone its ultimatum. In the EU they have found that Trump, for now, is not willing to give anything but Dastis proved in person that Tehran does not either.
The Spanish minister was in the early hours of Wednesday with Ali Akbar Velayati, foreign advisor to the supreme leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, then with the president, Hasan Rohani, and later with his counterpart, Javad Zarif, and in the afternoon with a member of the National Security Council.
He repeated the same idea to everyone. In the EU they are fully “aware of the tense situation” that exists throughout the area and would appreciate that Iran “contribute to reducing it with more restraint and restraint.” Dastis accepted that “sometimes with actions and rhetoric there is a risk that the situation will get out of hand”.
Velayati thanked the mediation work that the EU has always maintained, and in particular Spain in this conflict, “and the exchange of opinions among influential countries”, but left several warnings of its frontal opposition to the attitude of the United States of Trump: “Those who do not know well the sensibility of the region do things that only hurt themselves.”
And riveted that the solution to this crisis can only come from political actors and not military and in any case from the area itself: “We must leave the destiny of the peoples of the region within the peoples of this region and not foreigners”. The Spanish minister shared the concept of letting the protagonists of the region work but “without arms races or military solutions.”
When you have a clear idea or such an obvious mandate, Dastis does not allow any improvisation or variation. After the different interviews, he reiterated: “Iran is a key, influential country with a constructive approach that with dialogue will help to stabilize this region that suffers a state of turmoil that does not benefit anyone”.
The minister alluded at all times to give an outlet to the validity of the nuclear agreement but official foreign sources say that he also stressed to his interlocutors that it would be good to favor that stability that Iran was more moderate and generally open in its policies of respect for human rights and humanitarian situations. And they maintain that Dastis talked about it with Rohaní. In the last days, weeks and months there have been arrests,
The response that Spain will now transmit to its partners is not too optimistic. The most relevant Iranian authorities have informed them that they are not in a position to renegotiate a nuclear agreement that has already taken a long time to assume, that a large part of the local population did not accept them because it was considered very negative and because they defend that they have fulfilled their part in that commitment and the other does not. From the Iranian presidency, they were even informed that assuming this assignment would entail electoral costs that they can not and will not digest.
The European signatories of the agreement, the European Union and also Spain defend that the nuclear agreement was a good agreement, which is better than nothing and have expressed their positions to the US administration but also grant that there may be “doubts and fears” in the team of Trump on that the term of validity subscribed of 10 years can be scarce. “And then what?” They ask themselves, among European partners it is also concluded that it will be very difficult for Trump not to fulfill his threat when it arrives on May 12 but reaffirm that the EU will continue in the nuclear agreement whatever the United States .