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

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Parliament sets conditions on EU-China investment deal

The Bank of China at European Business Summit 2015

Four million Syrian children have only known war since birth: UNICEF

Appalling overall unemployment in Eurozone at 20.6%

Mental health and suicide prevention

4 key steps towards a circular economy

What my transgender child can teach us about the workforce of the future

Fake news and Freedom of Press: can the EU ever find the fine line?

Rise in Caribbean children displaced by storms shows climate crisis is a child rights issue: UNICEF

‘Being open about my mental health created a better work culture’

Who should pay for workers to be reskilled?

Brexit and migration dominates the debate on October’s EU summit

What the world will look like after the Iran and 5+1 deal; the US emerges as major power broker in Middle East

Banks launch green charter to help shipping reduce its carbon footprint

MWC 2016 Live: Roshan CEO opens up on Afghanistan challenges

Thai citizenship means ‘dream of a brighter future’ for cave rescue boys, says UN Refugee Agency

Mass measles vaccination campaign begins in Ebola-hit DR Congo province

Don’t compare data to oil – digitization needs a new mindset

The MWC14 Sting Special Edition

The DNA of the future retail CEO

Yemen: UN Envoy ‘guilty’ of optimistic hope that war is ‘nearing the end’

What’s really driving corporate climate action?

Europe to turn the Hamburg G20 Summit into a battlefield

ECB is about to lend trillions to banks

Alarming number of Ebola deaths in DRC a ‘rallying cry’ to scale up treatment

Germany: A grand coalition may trouble employers and bankers

UN boosts humanitarian appeal to help tackle Zimbabwe’s ‘worst-ever’ hunger crisis

In Bali, UN chief Guterres outlines importance of international financial cooperation for sustainable development

The umpteenth Italian overturn takes Renzi and PD to unprecedented victory at EU elections

This is what a Green New Deal for Europe could look like

Confirmed ‘Blue Line’ tunnels ‘do not appear’ to surface in Israel – UN peacekeeping chief

What do the economic woes of Turkey, Argentina and Indonesia have in common?

Syrians still living on ‘razor edge’ as UN launches $8.8 billion dollar appeal

Brexit: Ensuring a smooth transition for car producers and safety on the roads

Draghi joined Macron in telling Germany how Eurozone must be reformed

The EU resumes budget support assistance to the Republic of Moldova

UN migration agency launches $10 million appeal to support hurricane recovery in The Bahamas

EU Budget: InvestEU Programme to support jobs, growth and innovation in Europe

Sponsored content: when QUALITY meets OPEX in manufacturing

The green hydrogen revolution has started, and it won’t be stopped

“ASEM: Global Partners for Global Challenges”, a Sting Exclusive by China’s Ambassador to the EU

Negative inflation hits Eurozone, ECB to print and distribute one trillion euro earlier than expected

EU consumer rules: Airbnb cooperates with European Commission and EU consumer authorities improving the way it presents offers

Why this is the year we must take action on mental health

Air pollution, the ‘silent killer’ that claims seven million lives a year: rights council hears

Will Merkel ever steer the EU migration Titanic and restore her power in Germany?

Can Kiev make face to mounting economic problems and social unrest?

Greece bailout ends but with no substantial effect on citizens’ life

Sustainable development demands a broader vision, says new OECD Development Centre report

The big challenge of leadership and entrepreneurship in Europe

Gaza: deadly violence continues to escalate, top UN officials work to restore calm

Nicaragua must end ‘witch-hunt’ against dissenting voices – UN human rights experts

China-EU Special Report: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang endorses China’s big investment on Juncker’s plan at 10th China-EU Business Summit

This afternoon Britain will be once more isolated from mainland Europe

‘Comprehensively include migrants’ or sustainable development won’t happen, warns General Assembly President

EU members commit to build an integrated gas market and finally cut dependency on Russia

The AI doctor won’t see you now

Containers at the port of Tokyo. (Copyright: European Union, 2016. Source: EC - Audiovisual Service. Photo: Haruyoshi Yamaguchi)

EU cuts fast-track free trade deals with Japan and Singapore and leads the trade scene

GSMA Announces Latest Event Updates for 2018 “Mobile World Congress Americas, in Partnership with CTIA”

UN agriculture chief urges ‘transformative changes’ to how we eat

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