Transatlantic con­tra­dic­tions

Michael Binyon on the EU's search for new ways to keep agree­ments with Tehran af­ter the US with­drawal

The Ukrainian Week - - CONTENTS - By Michael Binyon

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

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