Will Europe actually side with Iran’s regime?
May 14, 2018 - Following the United States’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, a variety of analysts are voicing claims of this development resulting in a rift between America and Europe over the latter’s current trade links with the Iranian regime.
“Not only are America’s key European allies going to stick to the deal, they apparently also intend to resist the Trump administration’s imposition of secondary sanctions on the parties sticking to the deal,” according to a Washington Post opinion piece.
While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, official remarks heard from a variety of sources provide a different canvas.
Considering U.S. sanctions, Berlin will not be able to support German companies involved in business with Iran, as emphasized by Peter Altmaier, Federal Minister of Germany for Economic Affairs and Energy.
Norbert Röttgen, Chair of Germany's Bundestag Foreign Policy Commission, added his input by saying preserving the Iran nuclear accord, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is impossible without the U.S. His remarks were published by Focus daily.
Italy's Eni oil/gas company pitched in to make crystal clear it has no plans for new investments in Iran, adding from 2019 onward the firm will begin purchasing oil from other countries.
Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran accord will force Belgian companies to suspend business ties with Tehran, according to Belgium’s Import/Export Organization.
These remarks follow a warning issued by U.S. Amb. to Germany Richard Grenell saying President Donald Trump has said U.S. sanctions will include important branches of Iran's economy. German firms should lower their activities in Iran as soon as possible, he added.
Senior Iranian officials also don’t believe Europe will stand alongside their regime.
“Europe is very similar to the U.S. in breaking promises... They're talking about our missiles,” said Ahmad Khatami, close to Iranian regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei, at a recent Friday prayer sermon.
Khamenei himself has specifically said he doesn’t trust the so-called European Troika, consisting of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
A few numbers also go in line with the general argument.
EU trade with the U.S. reached $1.045 trillion back in 2007, while the bloc’s trade with Iran remained at $15 billion.
The Green Continent’s trade with Iran now amounts to $25 billion, while Europe enjoys a $755 billion trade relationship with the U.S. This is “why the idea that Europe will break with Washington in protest of Trump’s Iran decision is absurd,” according to a New York Times piece.
The scope of Iran’s troubles goes far beyond. The Jefferies Group Investment banking company has reported Iran’s's oil exports will decrease by 500,000 barrels per day in October and reach a decrease of 1 million barrels per day afterward.
In regards to the world market’s forecasted oil shortage, OPEC says Saudi Arabia will not be alone in overcoming any such issues following the U.S.’ decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and the sanctions imposed on Iran's oil sector.
While Moscow has been cooperating with Tehran extensively, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in a recent press conference along with his German counterpart said it is not in his country’s ability to take any action against U.S. sanction imposed on Iran.
The Iranian regime’s own analysts are very concerned.
Washington withdrawing from the JCPOA will result in Russia and China complying with the sanctions, and Iran losing its already miserable trade with the outside world, said former diplomat and international affairs analyst Fereydoon Majlesi.
Iran’s isolation is increasing with each passing day. This phenomenon has the potential of spilling into domestic issues, as a restive nation continues to protest the mullahs’ rule.
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