US May Bully World to Enforce Sanctions on Iran
by John Lawrence, May 14, 2018
The other signatories to the Iran nuclear deal don't want to pull out of it. Only Trump wants to reneg. He has pulled the US out, but the other countries want to stay in and want Iran to continue complying with the terms of the deal. In order for the US to reapply sanctions to Iran which are financial and economic prohibitions that will make Iran's economy even worse than it now is, the other nations such as France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China have to cooperate with the US in not doing business with Iran, but, since they want to do business with Iran and now the US is an outlier, they may continue doing business with Iran, defying the US. Then the US would be put in the position of applying sanctions to them including US allies Britain, France and Germany.
National Security Adviser, John Bolton, has threatened US allies with sanctions if they don't go along with the US. In effect the US has become the world's bully even toward Europe, our erstwhile ally. "I think the Europeans will see that it's in their interest ultimately to go along with us," Bolton said. It's in nobody's interests to abrogate the Iran deal which will not only cause hardship in Iran but yo the US allies which trade with Iran. Europe, for example, depends on Russian gas. Europeans have billions of dollars in business with Iran at stake. If they are forced by the US to stop doing business with Iran, it's not only Iran that will suffer.
The Guardian reported:
US sanctions on Iran reimposed following Trump’s withdrawal not only block American firms from doing business in the country, but also bar foreign firms that do business there from accessing the entire US banking and financial system.
Mike Pompeo, Trump’s secretary of state, said on Sunday wealth created in Iran under the terms of the nuclear deal “drove Iranian malign activity” in the region. He declined to rule out sanctions against European firms.
“The sanctions regime that is in place now is very clear on what the requirements are,” Pompeo said on Fox News Sunday.
Trump’s decision to scrap the nuclear deal was sharply criticized by European leaders, who have pledged to uphold their side of the agreement.
Alarm has been particularly high in France, whose energy giant Total last year signed a $5bn deal to extract Iranian natural gas. Airbus, the French-based plane manufacturer, has already begun delivering jets to Iran Air under a multibillion-dollar contract.
Volkswagen, the German automaker, has resumed exporting cars to Iran. Richard Grenell, the new US ambassador to Berlin, warned this week in a tweet: “German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately.”
Some European leaders have called for measures to nullify the US sanctions. Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, said last week: “We have to work among ourselves in Europe to defend our European economic sovereignty.”
Iran has said it will stay in the deal if the other five countries that signed the deal remain in it. That would expose those five countries to US sanctions. This amounts to a game of chicken and we'll see who backs down first - the US, US allies or Russia and China? Even if the European allies eventually buckle and give in to Trump, Russia and China might defy him. Trump is making the US the bully of the world. Will the rest of the world stand up to the US bully? As Trump says, we'll see.