Trump’s pounding of Iran less harsh than expected, leaves arrangement open

President Donald J. Trump receives the former Secretary of State and guru of international relations, Dr. Henry Kissinger, at the Oval Office of the White House Tuesday, October 10, 2017. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead).

Trump did again what he has been good at. This time he pounded the non-nuclear proliferation agreement with Iran. To be reminded, this was the P5+1 nations (US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany) agreement of 2015 with Iran , by which the latter country accepted to stop its nuclear program and be duly inspected about that. In exchange, the P5+1 nations lifted a long and devastating embargo.

With his latest action, however, Trump opened a new front of conflict with his country’s allies, who had worked hard for the deal (Britain, France, Germany) just to serve his motto, ‘America first’. He just wants to be seen as the champion of his followers and voters. In most cases there are no immediate effects of what great things he thinks he does, and invariably it’s the Senate that has to clear up the mess.

An insecure partner

It’s the fourth time he pulls the US out of a major multilateral deal Washington has signed under the Obama administration. First was the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal, meant to avert trade skirmishes if not wars in the Pacific, a prospect Trump obviously didn’t like. Then, he pulled out of the key for the global well being ‘Paris Climate Agreement’.

Currently, he threatens to change the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement-NAFTA, actually pushing Mexico out and blackmailing Canada to make disproportionate concessions. Speaking of wars, Trump has almost declared war against North Korea, prompting Rex Tillerson, the Foreign Secretary, to call him a moron. In less than ten months in the White House Trump has managed to make the US an untrustworthy partner.

Less harsh

Coming back to last Friday’s developments, Trump didn’t actually kill the nuclear deal with Iran. He took an aggressive approach towards Tehran, though, calling the recently elected administration a dictatorship. He accused Iran of supporting terrorism and upsetting the region and concluded he will do what it takes to make Tehran accountable for all that. To be noted, Iran regularly holds Presidential and legislative elections, unlike the close US ally Saudi Arabia a long time foe of Iran. Last May, Hassan Rouhani, considered a moderate politician, was reelected as Iranian President, but now Trump’s latest move will weaken his position internally, offering strong arguments to hardliners. In 2015 it was his government that struck the nuclear deal with the six major world powers.

With the P5+1 deal Tehran ended a harsh decades old embargo, which had isolated the country from the rest of the world. Moderate Rouhani was the architect of the agreement, vying to end isolation and open Iran to the world. The Europeans were the first to profit from the lift of the embargo. Major EU business groups like Airbus and Total have signed huge contacts with the Tehran government. Actually, it was the Europeans who pressed the other three to strike the deal and open the Iranian market.

Enraging the European

Understandably now Britain, France and Germany are let down by the Trump decision to undermine the Iranian agreement. What Trump did was not to certify that Iran is fully complying with the terms of the deal. According to the relevant law voted by the US Senate in 2015, the American President is expected to certify that every 90 days. After Trump refused last Friday to do it, the ball is in the Senate’s court.

Within 60 days the US lawmakers either have to re-impose the embargo on Iran, change the terms of the deal or do nothing. In this last case the deal stands. However, it’s rather certain the Senate will ask for some more checks and controls to make sure the Iranian side sticks to the agreed terms. It’s a good question though how far those changes will go.

An open door?

In any case, what Trump did was less than many had feared. Before Friday, there was information that the White House would include in the list of terrorist organizations the elite army corps of Iran, the hard line Islamic Revolutionary Guards. In such a case, Washington would have left no door open for Tehran to discuss any changes to the deal. After Trump delivered his Iranian speech last Friday afternoon, the Tehran government said they will stick to its terms and discuss no changes.

Given that the deal doesn’t cover other aspects of the Iranian armory than the country’s nuclear capabilities, Tehran has turned its military efforts to ballistic missiles. Already, she has managed to make noticeable technological progress in this field, up to the point of threatening the balance of power in the wider region. Israel and Saudi Arabia, the two arch-rivals of Iran, have felt the heat. As a result, the European trio is likely to accept that the deal has to cover other areas as well.

In 60 days

As expected, Tehran has a priori denounced any possible changes and said the agreement should be enforced as it was signed. This position, though, is most likely negotiable. However, any major demands from the part of the US and her European allies may be rejected not only by Iran, but also by the co-signatories, Russia and China. So, there is plenty of room for negotiations to be done during the next 60 days. Europe is already strongly lobbying the Senate in order for the changes to be acceptable by the other sides.

In conclusion, Trump despite having enraged his allies and foes with his rhetoric against Iran, has practically left an  wide open door for the deal to continue. In a latest development, yesterday afternoon, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that the United States, “stays for the time being” in the multilateral deal with Iran. According to Reuters she added “the Trump administration wanted to weigh a ‘proportionate’ response to Tehran’s actions on the world stage”.

Haley is always in very close contact with the White House and authentically voices  the will of the President. This is a direct sign that Washington is ready to negotiate with Tehran a shake up of the P5+1 agreement. In any case, the Senate has to come up with a fair reform of it and there are many lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans willing to do that.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

How can we measure real progress on the Sustainable Development Goals?

The Bank of China at European Business Summit 2015

Britain heading to national schism on exit from EU

EU budget: Regional Development and Cohesion Policy beyond 2020

Has the EU economy truly revived from the financial crisis?

EU to gain the most from the agreement with Iran

Commission challenges Council over EU 2014 budget

Out with the old: Young People transforming Humanitarian Action

An Easter Special: Social protection of migrants in Europe as seen through the eyes of European youth

A day in the life of a refugee: the wait

Opening – EP remembers Nelson Mandela and mourns attacks on Roma in Ukraine

UK’s Cameron takes the field to speed up TTIP talks. Will “rocket boosters” work?

JADE Generations Club 2015: Knowledge vs. competences – Do not wait for the change to happen, but make it happen

Desires for national independence in Europe bound by economic realities

A new way to teach active citizenship to students?

Nature is our strongest ally in ensuring global water security

The energy industry is changing. Are governments switched on?

De Gucht: More gaffes with the talks on the EU-US free trade agreement

Let Nagasaki remain ‘the last city’ to suffer nuclear devastation says museum director, as UN chief arrives

Poor Greeks, Irish and Spaniards still pay for the faults of German and French banks

Jeroen Dijsselbloem new Eurogroup president

EU-Turkey deal on migrants kicked off but to who’s interest?

The widely advertised hazards of the EU not that ominous; the sting is financial woes

A Sting Exclusive: “eHealth can change many dimensions of how the healthcare area functions”, Polish MEP Michal Boni underscores from Brussels

Eurozone: Inflation plunge to 0.4% in July may trigger cataclysmic developments

ECB tied in the anti-monetary German ideology

Bayer’s cross at night (Copyright: Bayer AG)

The EU clears Bayer-Monsanto merger amid wide competition and environmental concerns

Social entrepreneurs can change the world – but these 6 things are holding us back

Threats from mammoth banks and Brussels fuel May’s poll rates

Central Africa Republic: Violence drives thousands of refugees into neighbouring DR Congo, says UN agency

Cape Town’s crisis shows us the real cost of water

On World Day to Combat Desertification, UN shines spotlight on ‘true value’ of land

India m2m + iot Forum Hosts Successful 4th Editions of India Smart Cities Forum and India Smart Villages Forum

European Youth Forum welcomes strong stance on human rights in State of the Union

Commission facilitates the activities of ‘merchants of labour’

Local innovation, international impact: SMEs and the ITU Telecom World Awards

A Sting Exclusive: “Delivering on the Environmental Dimension of the new Sustainable Development Agenda”, Ulf Björnholm underscores from UNEP Brussels

ECB should offer more and cheaper liquidity if Eurozone is to avoid recession

Nitrate pollution of water sources: new impulses for EU Water Policy?

False promises to Small and Medium Enterprises

France asks help from Germany but it will not be for free

Rights experts call for greater protection of indigenous people during migration

Greece at the mercy of ECB while sailing through uncharted waters

UN chief welcomes DR Congo President’s promise to stand down

Parliament in favour of lifting visa requirements for Kosovars

Cloud computing under scrutiny in the EU?

Industry 4.0: Championing Europe’s fourth industrial revolution

EU Parliament: A catastrophic crisis management by European leaders

Youth platforms call on German Government to break down legal barriers for young volunteers and pupils

A Sting Exclusive: “Infrastructure can lay the groundwork for the Sustainable Development Goals” by Mr Fulai Sheng, UN Environment Senior Economist

More state aid to big firms, no special provisions for the SMEs

Germany may prove right rejecting Commission’s bank resolution scheme

Does EURES really exist?

Germany rules the banking industry of Eurozone

The 28 EU leaders unable to start a relevant debate on migration and Brexit

Unemployment and stagnation can tear Eurozone apart if austere policies persist

Millions of young lives ‘at risk’ says UN labour chief, calling for an end to child labour

ILO welcomes new UNDP report that places decent work at the heart of sustainable development

Indoor air pollution is deadly. Here’s an unconventional solution

Australia now has 25 million people. Will it choose to keep growing?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s