Ian J. Stewart referred to heightened tensions between the US and Iran in an article published in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on Monday and mentioned some measures 'to sustain' the Iran-G5+1 nuclear deal.
He wrote, 'First, the Europeans should again explore the possibility of creating a safe financial channel for transactions with Iran. This move would have the dual benefit of encouraging trade with Iran, which has hitherto been slow to pick up, while also making clear to hardliners in the United States that it could not, on its own, undermine the JPCOA by leveraging the international financial system.'
'Second, Europe should be prepared to adopt further sanctions on Iran for any violations of Security Council resolution 2231,' adds Stewart. 'These two actions would make clear that Europe is committed to implementing the JCPOA regardless of the actions of the United States and, at the same time, that the European countries are not willing to accept egregious action by Iran.'
He added that the value of the agreement’s restrictions would reduce over time. He claims, 'By the mid-2020s, Iran will again be scaling up its enrichment effort. Therefore, the EU should begin to search for a longer-term solution both to the Iran nuclear issue and to broader regional tensions.'
'This might best be pursued in the short term through the holding of bilateral dialogues and through civil society discourse on relevant security issues, including the nuclear issue and broader regional security issues.'
Stewards also says, 'Although President Trump might feel he can do without the Obama-era JCPOA, in reality the agreement is the best mechanism for both the Europeans and the United States to ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program—at least for the next decade.'
'It is also in the interest of Iran and its people. As such, it is appropriate for the Europeans to use its position and influence to ensure the sustainability for the JCPOA for as long as the IAEA confirms Iran’s compliance,' he added.
Stewart continues, 'The Trump administration should accept these measures'; 'the alternative would be for the United States to unilaterally weaken is position vis-à-vis Iran and diminish its control over the global financial system, which would be counter to broader US security interests.'
*Ian Stewart heads Project Alpha at King’s College London and directs the European Non-proliferation and Security Initiative at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-proliferation. He was also previously involved in the Iran file when he worked in the British government.