EU-US ties to break over Iran; Democrats’ electoral win may not change it

President Donald J. Trump holds a press conference regarding the midterm election results Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, in the East Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

After last Tuesday’s midterm elections in the United States, the Republicans of President Donald Trump lost the House of Representatives to the Democratic Party. The vote was turned out into a referendum for the Trump administration, and the GOP lost the full control of the two chamber Congress. From now on, the White House will not be able to count on the full backing of the legislative and practically all Presidential decisions will be under Democratic scrutiny.

The Republicans retain the control of the Senate, but the Democratic seizure of the House of Representatives may block the agenda of the President in the two legislative chamber Congress. An important check under the new political reality in America may be the White House decision to ruthlessly punish Iran. The US has re-introduced the embargo against the Islamic Republic, after Trump’s decision to withdraw America from the international Nuclear Agreement with Iran.

The Middle East

In this way, the US is drastically altering its Middle East strategy, fully supporting the interests of the other camp, comprising the enemies of Iran, renowned amongst them Saudi Arabia and Israel. Still, it’s not certain at all that the Democrats will vie for the US to lift again the Iranian sanctions. Attitudes in Washington towards Tehran run horizontally.

Those politicians who oppose the administration’s enmity against Iran are also positively disposed towards Europe. It’s highly uncertain though if they are in majority. Let’s dig into it.

Breaking the nuclear deal

At the beginning of this week, on Monday 5 November, the United States introduced again the sanctions against Iran. This was after the Trump Administration withdrew from the nuclear deal which the Islamic Republic had concluded in 2015 with five plus one (5+1) world powers including the US.

In July of that year France, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, the United States plus Germany ended a decades old embargo on Iran, with Tehran accepting to allow international checks over its nuclear facilities. The idea was to stop Iran from coming close to building nuclear armaments.

Iran punished

However, last May, the American President Donald Trump unilaterally decided to abandon the 5+1 deal and again introduce the sanctions which the US had abolished under Democratic President Barack Obama. As from last Monday, then, Washington imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil, banking and transportation sectors, including, of course, mercantile marine.

To be noted, the US has temporarily exempted eight countries from the sanctions on oil. For the next 180 days most, only China, India, Japan, Italy, Greece, Taiwan, Turkey and South Korea will be able to continue importing Iranian oil. This is because those countries have Iran as their major supplier of crude.

Europe sides with Russia and China

However, the US is alone in the reintroduction of sanctions. Russia and China had practically never imposed strict embargo on Iran, and, consequently, have now bluntly denied imposing such measures. On the same side, though, Britain, France and Germany have loudly and clearly opposed the American measures.

Those European countries maintain strong business ties and activities in the Islamic Republic. Understandably, in the opposite camp, Israel and the Sunni Muslim Kingdoms in the Arab Gulf, with Saudi Arabia first among them, have enthusiastically applauded the American aggressive steps against Iran, their arch enemy in the region.

Splitting the world

For many particular reasons, Turkey has not followed the other Sunni Middle East countries in opposing Iran. Actually, Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish Foreign Minister, opposed the re-introduction of sanctions against Iran. According to Anadolu news agency, he said “the imposition of measures against the oil and shipping industry of this country is unfair and will dangerously isolate Iran and punish its people”.

In detail, the US has not only restored the embargo which was in force before the 5+1 agreement, but has introduced more restrictions. Apart from the oil exports, the US now targets 50 Iranian banks and 250 physical and legal persons and entities in the shipping and insurance sectors including Iran Air, the country’s national carrier.

Washington has gone as far as to personally punish on Abdolnassr Hemmati, the Governor of the Central Bank of the country by imposing restrictions. On top of all that, John Bolton, the top security adviser to the US President, said Washington will take more measures to punish Iran, without elaborating further though.

Europe alarmed

Coming back to Europe, the Old Continent’s powers, seconded by the European Union haven’t taken this unilateral US action lightly. Pierre Moscovici, the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs plainly said the Union doesn’t approve the US action punishing Iran. Brussels, Paris, London and Berlin said this White House decision is regrettable.

They added that they will seek ways to safeguard the European interests and companies. The European Commission is actually putting together a mechanism to allow perfectly legal business with Iran to continue as before. The mechanism is already in place, but it will become operational at the beginning of next year.

A global issue

The issue is taking global dimensions. Russia and China have declared that the US sanctions do not concern them. Western Europe, however, is evidently taking the American action as a direct hit against it, regrettably coming from her closest ally. The Iranian issue comes on top of what the US President has said and done against the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Trump has accused the EU of having ruthlessly exploited America by exporting many more products than it imports and has called NATO an obsolete organization. He has asked Germany, for example, to pay the US hundreds of billions of dollars, because this country doesn’t spent enough on American armaments.

Reshaping the strategic Atlas

The White House has also imposed extra tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum products and also threatens to punish the sales of European cars in the US with super levies. Trump’s new trade agreement with Mexico mainly punishes German cars assembled in the southern neighbor of America.

Already then, the EU-US relations have gone sour. The Europeans are convinced they cannot count on America as their closet security partner. France and Germany have practically denounced Europe’s security dependence on America.

Reshaping the atlas

As a result, the Iranian knot is taking a central global significance that can change the geopolitical atlas of the earth as we know it. The break of the Atlantic ties will reshape the entire global division of power. If Europe goes ahead with its mechanism to overcome the US sanctions, the US Department of Justice may take legal action against the Europeans.

It won’t be the first time the American legal system is criminally persecuting foreigners all over the world for crimes only the US law considers as such. In this eventuality, however, the European countries will stop cooperating with the American authorities. Already, some Germans cannot travel to the US, being wanted there for the WV/AUDI diesel engines emissions affair.

In such an unforgiving political climate between the EU and US, the trans-Atlantic bonds will, more or less, freeze.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

Online shopping across the EU to be easier from 3 December

“No labels for entrepreneurs!”, a young business leader from Italy cries out

Haiti: ‘Laden with challenges’ but also hope, Mission chief tells Security Council

These clothes grow with your child

“These Romans are crazy”, the “Greek Gauls” will be shouting today in Brussels hoping Caesar backs off

Who cares about the unity of Ukraine?

UN rights office appeals for peaceful Zimbabwe elections amid reports of intimidation

Yemen: Security Council backs new mission in support of key port city truce

Prevention is key to ‘breaking the cycle of HIV transmission’, UN chief tells General Assembly

‘Favour dialogue’ over violence, UN chief urges all parties following clashes in Mali’s capital

Brexit: The Conservative Party drives the UK and Europe to a perilous road

Politics needs to “Youth UP” in order the ensure the future of our democracies

You’ve heard of 5G, but what about the quantum internet?

World response to AIDS epidemic at a ‘critical juncture’

EU’s social crisis and unemployment to deteriorate

EU migration crisis again accentuates lack of unity and solidarity among member states

Why the Fourth Industrial Revolution needs more arts graduates

How will the EU face the migration crisis when the Turkish threats come true?

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

How the gender commuting gap could be harming women’s careers

Immigration crisis at its very worst: EU to outsource rescue business to North Africa?

Does the world have strong enough institutions to handle risks like Trump and Brexit?

India-UN fund gets 22 development projects off the ground in first year

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: Cows, coffee and sustainable farming

The refugee crisis as a young Nigerian doctor sees it

Get off the path of deadly emissions, UN chief Guterres to urge in key climate change speech

Korea should adapt its migration programmes to ensure continued success in the face of expected challenges

Press conference by EC Vice-Presidents Valdis Dombrovskis (left) and Jyrki Katainen, on the Commission's proposals in the framework of the financial union (Source: EC Audiovisual Services / Copyright: EU, 2018 / Photo by Georges Boulougouris)

EU Finance ministers agree on new banking capital rules and move closer to Banking Union

G20 LIVE: the EU trade gold rush continues as EU and Australia agree to launch Free Trade Agreement (FTA) live from Antalya Turkey

EU to manage external borders against the will of member states; Greece to be the first target

Germany objects to EU Commission’s plan for a Eurozone bank deposits insurance scheme but Berlin could go along

Dear China

Ebola in DR Congo: conflict zones could constitute ‘hiding places’ for the deadly virus – WHO chief

Why poorer people suffer more from climate change

Tsipras bewildered with Berlin’s humiliating demands; ECB expects political sign to refinance the Greek banks

Brexit Update: EU endorses unprecedented compromise to help Cameron out of the referendum mess he got himself into

EU and Australia launch talks for a broad trade agreement

Trump-China trade war lingers upsetting global economy and stock markets

Somalis ‘will not be deterred’ by Friday’s terror attacks – UN chief

Only the Americans are unhappy with the ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine

4 reasons why women should lead the G7 agenda in 2018

Monsanto lawsuit ruling a ‘significant recognition’ of victims’ human rights, say UN rights experts

Parliament approves €104.2m in EU aid to Greece, Spain, France and Portugal

UN mourns death of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, ‘a guiding force for good’

Parliament endorses landmark EU-Japan free trade agreement

Google’s hot summer never ends: EC to launch ANOTHER antitrust inquiry against the American giant

Mario Draghi quizzed for last time by Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee

Millions denied citizenship due to ideas of national, ethnic or racial ‘purity’: UN rights expert

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is driving Globalization 4.0

Leveraging digital for high quality internships

Independent UN rights expert calls for compassion, not sanctions on Venezuela

What cryptocurrencies will do to the integrity of politics

MEPs adopt revised rules for road haulage operations in another EU country

‘Complacency is still strong’ over stopping genocide, says top UN adviser

Interview with ourselves: the mental health of health professionals

Warmongers ready to chew what is left of social protection spending

Banks cannot die but can be fined

Want a more inclusive society? Start with mobility

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “Chinese economy has great potential, resilience and ample space for policy adjustment”, China’s Vice President Li Yuanchao reassures from Davos

Measles cases nearly doubled in a year, UN health agency projects

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