Some three years ago America organised a so-called “peace” deal with rogue state Iran (known as Persia before 1935), supposedly to stop them becoming a ‘nuclear power’, in exchange for six world powers [the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany] unfreezing $100 billion of Iranian international assets, cancelling the punishing & biting sanctions that were crippling Iran’s economy, allowing international firms to freely start doing business with Iran, as well as allowing for a rise in its oil production and exports.
The deal struck was skewed in Iran’s favour, and certainly was far too weak to have had much effect on eventual nuclearisation, nor would it actually achieve such an objective except in the very short term, so in reality it was a naive attempt by mr-nice-guy, useless-president Barrack Obama, to push the Tehran anti-West regime towards peaceful coexistence, end being -sponsor-in-chief of terror, and halt its belligerent destabilising interference in the big-bad-wide-world. But it has even failed miserably in that latter quest, hasn’t it?
Well, now President Donald Trump has just trashed the whole arrangement as being “defective at its core – a bad deal”, just as he promised he would, during his presidential electioneering – severe sanctions will be progressively re-imposed by America in a few months time (with retribution enacted on companies and banks or any other countries that continue to trade with Iran – the idea being to bring to a halt its access to money for use in terrorism). [Why should Trump receive vitriolic criticism around the world for that, you might wonder – because other ‘freaking-out’ Countries (including Britain?) have vested interests with a different agenda, perhaps?].
One only has to look at some of the ridiculous terms of the deal, to see how spot-on Trump is about it, doesn’t one? It purports to prevent Iran from progressing nuclear facilities’ development, and understandably it doesn’t rely simply on trust, but sets-out to test the regime’s compliance by in-county inspections by international nuclear experts.
However, such inspections have to be pre-announced and the sites to be involved specifically identified. On top of that any site that Iran claims as a ‘military base’ is totally excluded from any such inspection – that gives Iran unlimited scope to hide from prying eyes anything they so choose, doesn’t it? Moreover, the so-called deal was set to last only a decade, whence Iran was at liberty to head full-tilt towards nuclearisation and restoring a massive stockpile of nuclear material [if indeed it had even ever stopped!]. It is said that Iran is fully complying with all restrictions – but in practice and in all reality, how would anyone really know that?
Furthermore, as everyone understands, having nuclear weapons is only half the story and the other half is having the ability to deliver those warheads accurately on a global scale – THAT would require Iran’s ongoing development of ballistic missile systems, of which prevention was incomprehensibly utterly missing from the deal, eh? [Especially-so, considering Iran had previously received sanctions for violation of United Nations’ resolutions against ballistic missile tests, eh? You see, at that time its military still had no ability to project long-range power, as its ballistic missile capacity was considerably weaker than that of nearby countries including India, Pakistan, Israel and Saudi Arabia].
Then, finally, there was no commitment extracted, nor one required, from Iran to reign-in its murderous campaigns [including attacks on American and pro-American targets] to establish its destructive dominant influence and projection of power in the region and elsewhere, was there?
[This is also at a period of time when emboldened Russia under Putin, is reversing Gorbachev’s 1980s perestroika (making peace with the West), and is intent on upsetting the international peace cart with unprecedented destabilising action around the globe that includes military escapades, cyber attacks, assassinations, undermining and meddling in Western democracies, and resurrecting the cold war].
So exactly how has it gone in the three years since Iran obtained their Mega-deal through Washington, eh? Well, the extra wealth created certainly hasn’t gone, as Obama and the others had hoped-for, to empower a new generation of more enlightened people (moderates and realists), intent on peacefully gained prosperity, has it? Nor has the expectation been met for the eroding of the power of hard-liners, or its religious leaders with their hateful anti-Israel rhetoric, in favour of increasing the strength of forces inside Iran that support the rule of law and favour better relations with the West, has it?
No, instead the new-found wealth and money has enabled the demonizing nation to continue as a relentless front of evil with increased vigour, which is amply demonstrated by its increased terrorist support involvement, in for example Syria, and Yemen, and its increased mischief-making around the world [everywhere backing ISIS, Al Qaeda and other terror gangs].
Resulting purely from receipt of the extensive economic and financial sanctions relief of the deal, their country has without doubt been able to increase its general expenditure but nothing like the massive, at least 30%, increase in Iranian military expenditure – what does that tell you? [Trump claims it is 40%, but HE is a bit prone to ‘exaggeration’, isn’t he?].
In 2018, Iran’s human, civil and political rights record STILL remains atrocious, with executions continuing at a high rate, and the security apparatus authorities, together with Iran’s judiciary, continuing to target journalists, online media activists, and human rights defenders in an ongoing crackdown, in blatant disregard of international and domestic legal standards.
It most certainly has also continue with a nuclear programme [as the deal allowed] – supposedly for peaceful use ‘energy’ [when it has oil & gas for energy coming out of its ear’oles, eh? Iran currently holds 9.3 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves and a huge 18.2 percent of the world’s proven gas reserves].
Worryingly, Iran has continued unabated with destabilising and provocative testing of ballistic missiles, and within the first 10 months of the nuclear agreement being signed, it used a UN loophole to suddenly increase the frequency of its ballistic missile testing with impunity [three in 2015 and at least five in 2016, (then another two last year], when it was zero during years the deal was being ‘negotiated’ – what does that tell you?]. Just remember as well, ballistic missiles have little value other than as a means of delivering a nuclear warhead, won’t you?].
While Trump has removed America’s support for the deal because he believes [and he’s right?] it basically has made Iran an increased risk to Western security rather than the planned reduction, but we in Europe are aghast – that seems to be solely because we seem to value the trading, commercial and banking interests much higher than our safety, wouldn’t you say?
From the outset, the UK Tory government quite reasonably has fully supported expanding our trade relationship with Iran and encouraged UK businesses to take advantage of the commercial opportunities that arose for bilateral trade and investment in an untapped market – and [wrongly?] it appears extremely reluctant to back-off now, eh?
Also, it is somewhat of a surprise that the UK has for the past year ploughed-on regardless with the view that Iran trade offers ‘really tremendous opportunities’, when reintroduction of sanctions has been in the pipeline for months with Trump consistently warning that America would abandon the “one-sided deal”, as he has now done, don’t you think? [Iran-UK trade stood at over €260 million during the 11 months to Nov. 30, 2017 (a 29% rise compared with the previous year)].
[We have form though when it comes to putting ‘export trade’ before ‘principles’ – like Britain totally ignoring human rights and war crime recriminations, by making arms sales of £5bn in the two years between the last elections, to repressive regimes and despots, as well as selling them cyber surveillance technology used to spy on their citizens]
It would seem that Trump is not averse to striking a new, but harsher, deal with Tehran, which of course they in turn will vocally aggressively resist – because they currently have it all just now, don’t they? You see, any new deal would put much tougher and longer-term restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear program, put a stop to or limit other aspects of Iran’s bad behaviour on the world stage (including its support for terrorist groups in the Middle East), and most decidedly truncate its current development of ballistic missiles.
Despite Europe currently assessing that Trump is very wrong in creating this crisis, as that even any minor constraint on Iran is worth it and that the ongoing increased commerce is self-beneficial, there is a multitude of reasons for us to stick with the US on this one, aren’t there?
Yes, apart from potential improved security considerations by reducing Iran’s ability to promote terrorism, Europe simply can’t afford a transatlantic trade war with America, considering that the US is a much bigger and existing market for business and banks than Iran is now or will ever be, even in the distant future.
Then apart from the challenge of the current military battle with ISIS, there is the magnitude of the security risks faced from inherent jihadist terrorism and the trauma of their attacks which have blighted life in mainland Europe from the 1980s – we need to work cheek-by-jowl with our American superpower to keep a lid on that, don’t we?
Furthermore, the UK and the rest of Europe needs to maintain a strong bond with the US to defend the free world and individual freedom from a revamped Russia, vilely intent on weakening and dividing the West, and regaining destructive influence around the globe, hence they will work in cahoots with Tehran to use the row over the deal to break transatlantic solidarity.
Will the UK and Europe in fact roll-over and cave-in on Iran, and so ‘wind down operations’ forthwith, simply because they are critically dependent on the U.S. for economic survival and military protection, or will the Europeans defy the US (Trump’s “America first”, you see?), and stand-up to the U.S. as they have done before (only partially successfully) on its late 1900s Cuba sanctions occasion?
If that latter happens, you can bet your bottom dollar though that Trump will indeed enact debilitating retribution that will most certainly jeopardise Europe’s future, don’t you think?
[While the EU may indeed enact a level of legal protection against US retribution, (because its trade with Iran had been expected to hit nearly £24 billion in 2018, eh?), we in the UK after BREXIT won’t be able to mitigate the resulting impact of US sanctions on any ongoing Iranian business].