Is Europe beginning lose its patience toward Iran? This was certainly the sentiment expressed by Miguel Berger, head of the economic department of the German Foreign Office and Germany’s envoy for INSTEX, in a closed discussion. According to Berger, Iran is not interested in regulating its trade with Europe, rather it is more interested in buying time to allow it to increase its Nuclear activity and its hold over the Middle East.
In a statement made by Berger during his opening statements in a conference titled “8th Banking and business forum Iran Europe” held in late September in the Maritim hotel in Berlin, he criticized Iran’s conduct in the past year. Germany’s envoy to INSTEX further stated that if Iran wished to promote normal and legitimate trade relations in Europe it needed, take some trust building steps rather then provoke armed conflicts in the Middle East. Adding that ‘Germany condemns attacks on Saudi Arabia, clearly there is no justification for the attack’.
Berger also criticized Iran’s financial conduct claiming that as long as Iran continued funding of terrorism and its refusal to properly oversee and regulate its domestic economic activity are major obstacles both for the JCPOA and for INSTEX. Therefore, Berger called upon the Iranian government ‘to return to full compliance’ adding that this would allow Europe to extend Iran meaningful economic benefits.
In closed discussions, Berger has repeatedly made the claim that is increasingly resonated in European financial circles that Iran’s main interest is not to receive economic benefits from Europe. Rather, its main interest is to buy time so that it could further develop its nuclear project, as it has already begun to, and to further enforce its hold over the Middle East, particularly over Syria.
Berger further added that there are indications that prove that Iran has lately begun to increase its daily uranium enrichment efforts as well as build its military operational capabilities in the border areas of Iraq and Syria and Lebanon and Syria.
In the same discussion, Berger warned that Iran is acting vigorously to increase tensions between the USA and Europe and further iterated that Iran is merely using Europe as a pawn for its manipulation and that Iran is the one that is sabotaging INSTEX’s progress. Europe, he concluded, must think very hard if it wants to have its policy taken advantage by Iran to promote terrorism and its WMD project.