ROME, May 15 (Xinhua) — Europe should save the Iran nuclear deal as it is a “key instance for multilateralism”, an Italian expert has said.

International Affairs Institute (IAI) director Nathalie Tocci made the remarks Tuesday during a conference on Europe-Iran cooperation after U.S. nuclear deal withdrawal.

According to Tocci, saving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the deal is known, is “not just about Iran, but about multilateralism”, and it means safeguarding multilateralism and international law, without which “Europe could not survive”.

If the deal blows up, Iran would resume its nuclear program, presumably triggering U.S.-led coalition airstrikes in a bid to curb Iran’s nuclear capabilities, leading to the destabilization of the Middle East, said the expert in a recent article co-signed with her IAI colleague Riccardo Alcaro.

The effects of further destabilization in the world’s most conflict-prone region on Europe would be disastrous, with a surge in migrant flows, energy prices, terrorism and illicit trafficking. This is the reason why European leaders opposed Trump’s decision on the deal, according to the expert.

For the Iranian part, “Trump’s decision is dangerous, with negative implications for everybody,” said Iran’s Sayed Kazem Sadjapour, president of the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), a Tehran-based think-tank.

“The JCPOA has to be saved, with the EU and Italy playing a significant role in it,” added the Iranian expert, eyeing possible extended cooperation with the EU in the future.

Europe has the “strategic imperative” to keep the deal alive, while Iran is mulling to remain in the deal if the E3 — France, Germany and UK — plus EU, Russia and China make up for the benefits gone after U.S. withdrawal, according to the IAI expert.

Europe should also shield its companies doing legitimate business with Iran from U.S. sanctions, while offering Tehran terms that partially offset benefits lost after U.S. withdrawal.

Furthermore, Europe should use the JCPOA as a way to build a more constructive dialogue with Iran. At the same time, Europe should ask the U.S. to grant special concessions for European companies, and be ready to take proportionate retaliation if denied.

“Europeans should have the courage to be true to their words, while Iranians should have the courage not to resume their nuclear program,” said Tocci.