Whether transatlantic relations will be the same after US unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA or not is discussed in this piece of commentary by Mohammad Ghaderi. Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in his most recent statement, mentioned that the United States’ withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran […]
Whether transatlantic relations will be the same after US unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA or not is discussed in this piece of commentary by Mohammad Ghaderi.
Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in his most recent statement, mentioned that the United States’ withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, has led to the poisoning of transatlantic relations, and damaged the transatlantic relations in the long-term perspective.
“The changes that are taking place in the United States have been affecting the transatlantic relations for a long time … We are ready to talk, hold negotiations, but also stand our ground if needed,” Maas said.
Just hours after the German FM remarks, Angela Merkel, the country’s Chancellor emphasized in a quick response that Trump’s decision to withdraw from the deal was no reason to call into question relationships between Europe and the US.
The remarks came at a time when Angela Merkel, three days earlier, claimed in another statement that Europe could no longer depend on the United States (in the face of international crises).
What exactly happened to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization members? Is Merkel’s, Macron, and Theresa May’s annoyance of the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal a sort of “real conflict?” Or is it just kind of pretension? Here are some points that should be taken into consideration:
Evidences suggest that the European troika has not basically intended to resist against Trump’s decision on withdrawing from the JCPOA. The agreement of the European countries on changing the JCPOA (in accordance with the US President’s demands), and their intensive talks with American diplomats to reach a common approach to include Iran’s nuclear missile capability into the nuclear deal, and inspecting Iran’s military sites well reveals this intention of the European authorities.
On the other hand, the officials of the three European countries of France, Germany and Britain, became aware of the US final decision on withdrawal from the nuclear deal following the appointment of John Bolton and Mike Pompeo at the White House. However, they still urged the President of the United States to stay in Iran’s nuclear deal at the expense of “changing the JCPOA”.
The history of European leader’s actions indicate that they have never intended to oppose Washington in the international system. In the 2017 competitions for the general elections in Germany, Social Democrat MP “Martin Schultz” challenged Chancellor Angela Merkel for her immeasurable obedience to Trump’s administration. The fact is that Trump keeps insisting on spending 2 per cent of NATO’s gross national product to military expenses:
“NATO members must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations, for 23 of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they’re supposed to be paying for their defense.”
Those are the words of the US President addressing NATO members. On the other hand, European officials such as Merkel and Macron are trying to have Trump’s maximum satisfaction. The US recent attack on Syria was directly supported by the French, British and German politicians. This was while the European Troika was aware of Trump’s false claims in this regard. However, the European troika preferred not to leave the United States in this controversy, and thus became Trump’s agent in West Asia.
In October 2003, after talks between the Iranian authorities and European foreign ministers, it has been stated in the “Sad Abad” declaration that Iran had cooperated for the visit to its Atomic Energy sites with the IAEA inspectors. On the other hand, Britain and France (as two permanent members of the Security Council) had been committed to prevent the referral of Iran’s case to the UN Security Council. However, after a while, the European Troika argued that Sad Abad’s declaration wasn’t to their advantage!
In November 2004, the three countries of Germany, Britain and France signed the Paris agreement with Iran. According to this agreement, our country agreed to stop all Uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities, such as the construction, production, installation, testing, assembly and commissioning of gas centrifuges, and plutonium-related activities. Instead, the European troika (and the European Union) promised to “attempt” for Iran’s membership in the World Trade Organization! We are now in 2018: When European leaders are explicitly speaking of their inability to exert economic influence on private companies in order to prevent the reintroduction of American sanctions against Iran.
The fact is that the European troika neither “can” nor “wants” to take action to secure the minimum interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran. At this moment, the main concern of the three countries of Germany, Britain and France is to keep Iran’s commitments to the JCPOA, and to restrict the regional power of our country. Even beyond that, The European troika looks at the JCPOA as a code by which they can get into a bargain with Trump over the tariff on European products (steel and aluminum). In this case, they will stand beside the United States to block Iran’s economy and change the JCPOA to the US advantage.
Today, the American-European joint thesis is “disarming Iran” to stop the crystallization of our country’s power. This is the one goal that both Washington and the European troika believe in and seek to accomplish.