Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Brussels, Belgium (4E) – The international isolation of the United States reached a new high with the decision by Europe’s leading powers to abide by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the Iran nuclear deal abrogated by Donald Trump on May 8.
This decision by the United Kingdom, France, Germany to continue supporting the JCPOA, however, opens these countries to sanctions being imposed on them by the Trump administration – if it dares to antagonize its most powerful allies in the world. The EU, China and Russia are also parties to the JCPOA.
Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, defended the JCPOA, saying it had opened up trade with Iran while providing security in the troubled region.
Mogherini answered, “Yes,” when asked if the JCPOA can be saved.
“I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s going to be very difficult and it’s going to be very different from the past but our determination is to keep this agreement in place.” She said she’s encouraged by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s commitment to abide by the deal if the other signatories do so.
Mogherini tore into Trump, and said the EU is determined to save the Iran nuclear deal. With the world in a “state of chaos,” she said the EU needs to control tensions by preserving the Iran deal.
“I know this is not the mood of our times,” she pointed out. “It seems that today screaming and shouting, insulting and bullying, systematically destroying and dismantling everything that is already in place is the mood of our times. I have the impression that this impulse to destroy is not leading us anywhere good.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel blasted Trump. She said it’s important to maintain a “strong transatlantic partnership” but added, “If everybody does what they like, then this is bad news for the world.”
Europe’s leading powers said now was the time to diminish America’s leading role in international relations. Germany and France emphasized the need for political independence from the U.S. as they took steps to safeguard the JCPOA, which removed economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for limits on the country’s nuclear program.
“There is a realization among all European states what we cannot keep going in the direction we are headed today whereby we submit to American decisions,” said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said of EU-U.S. relations: “We are prepared to talk… but also to fight for our positions where necessary.”
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