Michael Binyon on the EU's search for new ways to keep agreements with Tehran after the US withdrawal
Furious, frustrated and resolute, Europe is determined to keep alive the nuclear agreement with Tehran and to defy the international sanctions that President Trump wants to reimpose on Iran.
Last week the leaders of France, Germany and Britain met in Sofia to look at ways to protect European firms from secondary US sanctions if they continue trading with Iran. Their language was unusually strong in denouncing Trump’s latest unilateral move and their anger at the humiliation piled on Washington’s Nato allies was clear. “Do we want to be vassals who obey decisions taken by the United States while clinging to the hem of their trousers?” asked Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister. For Europe, the US decision to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the six-nation agreement on limiting Iran’s nuclear research programme is known, is not only unwise, destabilising and counterproductive: it is also the latest sign that Trump’s “America First” policy is deeply damaging to more than 70 years of Transatlantic partnership. Donald Trump, it is now clear to the Europeans, does not care one bit about the views of America’s friends and partners.
For the Europeans, Washington’s repudiation of the Iran deal is only the latest in a series of rebuffs that have angered America’s allies. They were also equally dismayed by the US decision to move the American
Tough talk. The situation with Iran is another misunderstanding between Old and New World