Zarif: Europe succumbed to 'bully' Trump

Iranian Foreign Minister says European states yielded to pressure from Trump when they triggered dispute mechanism in 2015 deal.

Elad Benari ,

Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran on Thursday accused three European states of succumbing to “high school bully” Donald Trump when they triggered a dispute mechanism in the 2015 nuclear deal that could eventually lead to reimposing UN sanctions, Reuters reports.

Britain, France and Germany triggered the accord’s dispute mechanism this week in response to Iran’s repeated breaches of the conditions of the agreement in response to US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Washington had threatened to impose a 25% tariff on European automobile imports if the three European capitals did not formally accuse Iran of breaking the nuclear agreement.

“Appeasement confirmed. E3 sold out remnants of #JCPOA to avoid new Trump tariffs. It won’t work my friends. You only whet his appetite. Remember your high school bully?” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

Two European diplomats confirmed that Washington had threatened tariffs but said leaders of the three European states had already decided to trigger the mechanism before that.

Another diplomat quoted by Reuters said a suggestion that the Europeans were acting in response to Trump’s threat risked “discrediting the Europeans, but then Trump doesn’t really care about that”.

Earlier this week, Iran responded to the European countries’ move by warning of a “serious and strong response” if sanctions are reimposed.