Home » Budget Industry » Diplomats: EU Wrestling with Iran Nuclear Deal After American Exit

Diplomats: EU Wrestling with Iran Nuclear Deal After American Exit

Head of Mission of People’s Republic of China to the European Union Hailong Wu, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarifat, an unidentified Russian official, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pose for a photo following negotiations between the P5+1 member nations and Iranian officials about the future of their country’s nuclear program at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland on April 2, 2015. US State Department Photo

The Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal leaves the European Union with the difficult choice of continuing to trade with Iran to keep up its end of the accord but also faces the loss of doing business in the United States, the EU ambassador to Washington said Wednesday.

“I think Europe will live up to their commitment in the agreement,” as long as Iran does not resume its work on nuclear weapons. Daniel O’Sullivan said speaking at the Woodrow Wilson Center. He noted that the United Kingdom, France and Germany, for now, all part of the 28-member union, were signatories to the deal, along with Russia and China.

All have signaled a willingness to keep the terms of the agreement in place.

Lady Catherine Ashton, former vice president of the European Commission, said the agreement was unique because for the first time it brought all these nations working together on resolving a major international issue. With Trump’s decision, Russia, China, Germany, France and the United Kingdom “lose an incredibly important and vital partner” in keeping Iran from moving ahead with a nuclear weapons program to match its missile programs.

Secondary sanctions, a threat by the United States to use against any company or nation continuing to trade with Iran, “is going to be a critical issue.” Complicating the relations further is the administration’s laying out the possibility of imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum shipped from the continent to the United States.

O’Sullivan said several times during the Washington, D.C., forum that Iran expects an economic boost by opening up trade with other nations when it signed the agreement and lives by its literal terms.

If push comes to shove on secondary sanctions for dealing with Iran, “business will make business decisions … in its own best interests,” Ashton predicted. O’Sullivan said so-called blocking actions could be taken by the EU to protect those businesses.

By pulling out of the agreement because Iran is moving ahead with its ballistic and cruise missile programs, working surreptitiously to undermine governments in Yemen and other Gulf states, propping up the Syrian regime of Bashar al Assad and backing terrorists, “the U.S. is looking to change the terms of the deal,” O’Sullivan said.

The more realistic course to follow was to negotiate these other points separately and keep the original agreement in place, both said in slightly different ways.

O’Sullivan cited the recent visits by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Washington urging the United States to work with them to negotiate the other issues with Iran.

For all their differences over how to proceed with Iran and whether the American pullout of the nuclear agreement would have any impact on possible negotiations with the United States, the largest security concern for the Europeans remains Russia and what will be its next moves.

O’Sullivan described the EU’s and the United States’ relationship with Russia as being a “slightly schizophrenic attitude.”

On the one hand the Europeans and the United States “need to be tough and push back” against Russian aggression in Ukraine and Georgia by backing separatists in both nations and threatening other neighboring states on its western and southern borders.

Ashton added in those cases and Russia’s attempted assassination by poisoning of a former spy in the United Kingdom it was essential “we stand together [and say] that’s not acceptable” by beefing up security forces and raising the economic price on the Kremlin and its leaders through a series of ever-tougher sanctions.

Yet as this was going on, the EU and the United States did come together with Russia over an agreement with Iran on nuclear weapons and have worked together cooperatively in the Arctic, both diplomats agreed. O’Sullivan noted that Russia remains a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council with veto power over actions the Kremlin disagrees with and discussion on a broad range of issues between the West and Moscow were necessary to avoid misunderstanding that could lead to armed conflict.

The question for the Europeans is what will their relationship be in 20 to 25 years, Ashton said. For countries on Russia’s borders, other Europeans need to realize that there are long economic and political ties and deep family connections across frontiers. “It’s about people-to-people” in the long view of events, she said.

  • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

    Look at Lurch grinning away. The stupidity of the previous administrations policies towards hostile nations was pathetic.

    Feeding the sharks, hoping to be eaten last.

  • Richard Johnson

    Please explain why the photo of John Kerry the former Secretery of State (aka Lurch) appears in this article.

    John Kerry decided to set up his own talks and diplomacy with Iran recently.

    Nobody will take notice of Kerry’s interference as a private citizen with these negotiations with Iran.

    Since John Kerry is a Democrat (D) the media will not truthfully publish his interference with Trump’s Foreign Policy goals.

    • proudrino

      The photo is apt. American traitor bargaining away national interests for the sake of giving Obama a legacy- so what if it dumps billions of dollars on a terrorist state? Nothing is more important than Obama’s legacy. Given that Kerry is celebrated as a hero in Vietnam for his actions in bringing about the communist regime, I can think of nobody better qualified to sell out America than John Kerry.

      • PolicyWonk

        Ah, but then there’s the sellout known as Donald J Trump, who’s been busted for giving code-word secrets to the Russians, fails to follow through on his obligations to protect this nation’s elections from Russian interference, consistently makes excuses for Vladimir Putin, enjoys quoting fascist dictators, and is consistently taking actions to alienate and offend our most loyal allies.

        Kerry, in this respect, isn’t even part of the discussion.

        Even the WSJ has taken Mr. Trump to task, as their most recent editorial scorched his foreign policy incompetence, lack of business acumen, and horrible negotiating skills (rather – the complete lack thereof), and even went so far as to side with Mr. Trudeau (the Canadian Prime Minister) over Mr. Trump’s completely unrealistic expectations. In contrast, the WSJ never published such a thoroughly scathing editorial about either Mr. Kerry or Mr. Obama. Nor is this the first scathing editorial from the WSJ, where they all but openly question his competence.

        When a GOP President has lost the faith of the WSJ – all bets are off. The strong implication, that your use of the term “traitor” is deliberately misdirected to Mr. Kerry, when in fact the term is vastly more accurate when applied to the current incumbent of the White House, as even the publicly available evidence that is pointing to that conclusion is amassing at an alarming rate.

        • muzzleloader

          Trump has been busted giving code word secrets to the Russians? You are referring to covfefe? lol. That was an article from the Babylon Bee, a satirical website. That is your evidence? Geez, smh.
          Constantly making excuses for Putin? In case you didn’t know, Trump closed the Russian consulate in Seattle and expelled 65 Russians, in addition to reimposing sanctions.
          The WSJ Has lost it’s faith in Trump? Since when did the WSJ became the oracle of favorabilty for a president? The WSJ has never liked Trump, besides, the WSJ didn’t elect Trump, 70 million votes and 30 states did.

          • PolicyWonk

            Nice try – but if you’re going to try to discuss such matters it would help if you got your facts together, and laughing about your ignorance might be amusing if you weren’t doing it to yourself!

            Trump gave code-word secrets to his pals the Russians in the oval office, where he outed the identity of an Israeli operative who was undercover in ISIS. Trump closing the Seattle embassy was only done under pressure from our allies, and he freaked out when he found out that he’d dumped more of them than our allies did. The sanctions he imposed are the barest possible minimum to prevent him from being impeached by his own party.

            Your profound ignorance w/r/t to the WSJ means that you’d be far better off trying to learn something/educating yourself, than blathering BRAVO SIERRA on topics you can’t be bothered to understand. It shows.


          • muzzleloader

            Subjects that I can’t understand? Look in the mirror. Like most liberals, you think that anything that anyone says or believes that doesn’t line up with with you is bravo sierra. Go head and stew in your arrogance, and condescension, pal.
            Talking with you is like trying to teach calculus to a drunk, a waste of time.

          • PolicyWonk

            I’ve looked in the mirror many times, and I find myself easy to live with. But when you spew woefully/blatantly uninformed BRAVO SIERRA while pretending you have a clue, you aren’t helping yourself.

          • muzzleloader

            Blatantly uninformed? There you go again. Everything I say is clueless bs while everything You spew is the undiluted truth. And now you are telling me that Trump is calluding with ISIS? Geez.
            The thing is you people pull this junk with any republican President. Reagan calluded with Iran, George W Bush stole the election from Gore, and now Trump is in cahoots with the Russians and the Chinese and ISIS, because that is all you have.
            If Cruz or Rubio had won the election you would be saying they stole/tampered / got in bed with some special group in order to win.
            The same old same old.

      • On Dre

        The same people who talk Obama as a traitor are the same that spouted off the racist birth certificate BS. You are your racist BS needs to go.

    • Ed L

      2015 photo

  • Duane

    Trump unilaterally pulling out of the Iran nuclear agreement and then threatening our allies with secondary sanctions as punishment for not reneging on the agreement – it could not have been scripted more beautifully for Putin and Xi as a means of destroying America’s relationships with our vital allies and proving to the world that the US, as led by Trump, is not a reliable ally.

    Trump is a bought and paid for Traitor to America, wholly owned by Vlad Putin. Combined with Trump’s rescue of Chinese telecom giant and international spying organization ZTE, it appears that Xi owns a piece of Trump too.

    Open your damned eyes, Trumpkins.

    • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

      Sure, because a unratified treaty with a nation that is hostile is so inviolate?

      • On Dre

        Did Iran send its people to hijack airplanes and crash them into buildings?
        Did they fund wahhabist nutjobs in the ME?
        Do they not let women drive cars?
        Oh no…thats our allie Saudi Arabia.

        Stop pretending that we are fighting with the sane people.

        • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

          No, they merely invaded our embassy and held out diplomats hostage for 444 days among other things.

          I know they don’t teach history at schools anymore but the last time Iran walked over us was James Earl Carter III. Another idiot, feckless democrat.

    • Mr. Speaker

      Correct. All the MAGA and America 1st hoopla is just veiled pablum for the supporters. The Oval Office to this admin is nothing more than a means to more wealth.

    • muzzleloader

      Why don’t you open YOUR damned eyes,? It wasn’t Trump that told Yuri Medyadev in 2012”tell Vladimir that I will have more flexibility after the elections”. Obama was referring to reducing our nuclear arsenal.
      It was not Trump that released several terrorist leaders in order to secure the release of a traitor named Bo Bergdahl.
      It was Trump that secured the release of three Americans from captivity from North Korea without a cent.
      It was not Trump that gave Iran $150 billion plus $50 billion in cash on pallets, flown in onboard an unmarked plane, and set up a horrendous nuclear “deal” that you are fretting over.
      It was not Trump that spent 8 years traveling the globe and prostrating himself in front of world leaders and apologizing for the sins of America.
      So don’t lecture us about traitors, pal.

      • Mr. Speaker

        LOL, you would be well served to spend some time fact checking before you post. Even then, your C&P anti-Obama posts can always be countered with the litany of lies and blunders streaming from the WH since Jan 2017.

        • muzzleloader

          There you go, dismiss, ignore, and blow past every thing I said. Typical.
          You people are going to have to face that your girl Hillary lost because she was a terrible candidate who ran a terrible campaign. If you spent less time watching Rachel Maddow, your coping might be easier.

          • On Dre

            New internet comment rule. The first person to mention Hillary has to admit they love her.

          • muzzleloader


      • Duane

        No … Trump sold out America for cash and to steal an election by foreign enemies … that’s all.

        Trump is the gift to Putin and Xi that keeps on giving.

        • muzzleloader

          Trump sold out America, yeah right. Mueller has spent 18 months and $17 million of taxpayers money looking for what you are always spouting and has found nothing, zilch. But I know that matters nothing to you.

          • On Dre

            For a witch hunt there are sure alot of witches under indictment.

    • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

      As clever as your LCS contributions!

  • Mr. Speaker

    Just another example since Jan 2017 of cutting off the nose to spite the face.

  • Manucci Versace

    We have a bully president, not only in USA but for all nations. He must be contained or he will start wars all over the world.
    Europe thinks US is their allies, that was old old news. Wake up EU.
    We have a new president and he does not give a damn about Europe or anybody else.

  • Manucci Versace

    The more EU obeys, the more Trump will push. Bullies are like as each other. They do not think anbout the consequences until you hit them in the head.
    Now either EU has the spine to stand up, or wants to be a puppy for ever.

    • On Dre

      The EU should distance themselves from the US quickly. We do not offer anything except conspiracy theories and self centered whining.

      • muzzleloader

        Hate America much,troll?

  • Manucci Versace

    The whole idea about pulling out of Iran nuclear deal is not to protect America. Trump knows very well Iran will never attack America or Europe. It is all an excuse amnd a big lie. But it would be true that Iran may attack or defend against Israel.
    So knowing that US will lose dearly in terms of dollars and only Israel is the true winner, it is interesting to know US is willing to punish and penalize Europe for the sake of Israel.
    Now EU is not the buddies buddies of America. in fact, it tells something that for Israel, America is willing to punish Europe. Think about it.