President Donland Trump has made the decision to withdraw from the pivotal nuclear deal struck with Iran under the Obama administration. As we explore below in this article, Russia, China, and the EU, including Germany and France, stand by the Iran deal, in opposition to Trump’s decision.
This should come as no surprise, not simply due to Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric towards Iran, but because he has long criticized the deal, and recent reports indicated he had all but decided already. RT is at this exact moment, live streaming Trump, as he announces the official end of the US-Iran deal, and this RT article contains a great overview.
US President Donald Trump is planning to impose old sanctions on Iran and add new ones, the New York Times reported citing sources. Trump is expected to announce his decision on the nuclear deal on Tuesday.
Trump told French President Emmanuel Macron his intention to pull out from the deal during a phone call between the two leaders on Tuesday morning, the Times reports. However, Macron’s office denied the report after Reuters reached out for comment.
A source who was briefed on the conversation told the Times that Trump plans to reinstate all sanctions the United States had waived as part of the 2015 nuclear accord. New economic sanctions will also be imposed, according to the source.
The information was leaked to the newspaper two hours before the expected Trump’s announcement.
Trump has been a vocal opponent of the nuclear deal, a policy stance that has been praised by Israel but met with disapproval among Washington’s European allies.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iran nuclear deal, imposes strict restrictions on Iran’s nuclear capabilities, in exchange for sanctions relief. The 2015 agreement was signed by the five permanent UN Security Council members (Russia, China, the US, UK, France) and Germany.
Tehran said on Tuesday that its response to Trump’s announcement will be dictated by what would best safeguard its own national interests.
“Iran is monitoring US and European stance closely, and will react to U.S. decision based on its own national interests,” Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi said after a meeting with envoys from France, Britain, Germany and the European Union in Brussels as quoted by Iranian media.
Tehran has previously signaled that it would consider staying in the deal, in the case of Washington pulling out from the agreement.
Trump’s decision goes against the advice of many, including that of Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany, The EU, and (according to CNN), the American people. CNN released a poll stating that 63% of Americans believe the US should NOT withdraw from the Iran deal.
CNN, being corporate media, has been known to lie and push fake news, however, the finding of their poll seems to agree with World Leaders such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and China’s Xi Jinping, as well as “leaders” such as the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, The President of France Macron, and UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Macron especially has been keen on preserving the Iran deal; it’s become an odd obsession of his, even going as far as to make a joint statement with Putin.
Macron’s office said he and Putin “expressed their common will to preserve the gains from the agreement”, which saw Iran agree to freeze its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.
It’s welcome to see western leaders talking with Russia, but the fact that Macron would be willing to meet with Putin, which at times can be politically dangerous in the west, in order to make this statement, shows how important the Russian and French Presidents regard this deal to be.
Putin’s press secretary Peskov, for example, said a decision from the U.S. to leave the Iran deal would have “unavoidable drastic consequences.” But then again, since when have consequences mattered these days, this is 2018 after all.
In all seriousness, it’s not surprising that the US President would go against the advice of Russia and China, but what is so unorthodox, is that the United States would make a decision with such massive geopolitical repercussions such as this, against the advice of so many of their allies.
What does Trump’s latest choice say about not only the internal unity of the US, but its solidarity with its allies? When the United States invaded Iraq, a decision with greater geopolitical consequences, its NATO and European allies followed the marching orders to disastrous effects.
Now, Trump’s latest decision has put him in a place where most of his allies are shaking their heads. In a time when the US is butting heads with NATO ally Turkey, and threatening possible sanctions over their S-400 deal with Russia. What will the US do if half their allies go against them, and try and maintain the deal with Iran, effectively aligning their interests with those of Russia and China?
Will the US sanction the EU, including Germany, France, as well as allegedly (considering all the stalling) Brexit-bound Britain, if they don’t fall in line? We remind our viewers that the collective GDP of the EU is greater than that of the United States, and has been for a while.
If the United States intends to isolate the EU, in order to “punish them”, if they choose to seriously resist on the Iran deal, they will find that it will be the United States that is isolated. As stated, the EU collectively has more money, the continent of Europe overall has many countries with a higher standard of living than the US, and they have the superpower that is Russia standing by the Iran deal.
Russia is and has always been part of the broader Christian and Greco-Roman culture that can be described as “European” though Russia is not part of the modern “West”, the word has come to symbolize. Geographically, however, Russia is part of a single continent, bridging Europe and Asia across the Russian steppes. With China on their side, and Turkey increasingly finding themselves at odds with the US, and a new silk road on its way, Iran may have partners in Europe and Asia willing to trade with them, even if Trump prefers sanctions and isolations.
The primary risk for the US, is that they may find themselves, for the first major time in a long time, isolated from the rest of the world, at least on this issue. In any event, time will tell what will truly happen, so long as war does not break out, there is still a chance for diplomacy even unto the 11th hour. So long as there is life, there is hope for change and salvation from even the worst of situations.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.