Just after announcing the meeting with Kim Jong-un, Trump decided to withdraw from the Iran agreement, thereby bringing instability and the threat of war (not only) to the Middle East.
But, of course, there is only one Trump, who was doing exactly the same thing in both cases. In the case of North Korea, he began with exerting extreme pressure, including economic sanctions and military threats, and he is doing the same to Iran, in the hope that, if it worked the first time, it will work now also.
Will it though? What if the US government is well aware that the pressure on Iran will not work? What if, together with Israel and Saudi Arabia, they are preparing for war with Iran?
It is difficult to speculate about the consequences of such a military conflict. We should rather focus on the limitation of Trump’s entire approach: Will Trump get his comeuppance? Because Neither Russia nor China can do this – they are caught in the same game as Trump and they basically all speak the same language of “America (Russia, China…) first.”
Only the European Union can deliver a hammer blow, and the new situation offers the bloc a unique chance to assert itself as a sovereign power block and to act as if the pact with Iran is still valid. Seizing this opportunity, the French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that Trump’s proposals to corral the EU into joining US foreign policy on Iran should be counteracted by a stronger, independent European foreign policy. “We have to work among ourselves in Europe to defend our European economic sovereignty. Do we want to be a vassal that obeys and jumps to attention?”
Sounds nice – but does Europe have enough strength and unity to do it? Will the new East European, post-Communist axis (stretching from the Baltic States to Croatia) follow the EU resistance to the US, or will it bow to the US and thus provide yet more proof that the quick expansion of the EU to the east was a mistake?
[Extract. Appeared in RT on June 5th, 2018.]