The European reaction to this has been rather underwhelming. The Europeans are failing to grasp the severity of the issue and do not want to “rock the boat” with Iran. However, by ignoring Trump and failing to respond to his concerns, the Europeans are putting the nuclear deal in great danger.
The leaders in Europe have four months to change their policies with regards to Iran and to find solutions to the loopholes that Iran is currently able to exploit before Trump makes his next move.
Federica Mogherini, the top EU diplomat, also acts as the coordinator of the Joint Commission that oversees the implementation of the Iran nuclear agreement. She has made it very clear, as Iran did during the deal negotiations, that the nuclear deal and Iran’s regional behaviour are separate issues that must be dealt with separately. However, this basically involves the West in turning a blind eye to Iran’s belligerence across the Middle East and its disregard of human rights. Furthermore, this makes the EU look like it is complicit with Iran by allowing it to get away with some of the most horrific abuses of international law.
The deal was negotiated under the Obama administration. Obama viewed the deal as his legacy and went to great trouble to ensure that Iran signed it while he was in office. This led to numerous concessions and Obama turned a blind eye to many of Iran’s dangerous regional policies. He effectively, along with the other signatories of the deal (France, Britain, Germany, China and Russia) legitimised Iran’s interference in Syria and its use of proxies and militias. They are also responsible for legitimising Iran’s violation of human rights and its brutality towards the people of Iran.
Numerous officials in Europe have prioritised trade with Iran. It is shocking that while human rights are so valued in the EU, some of its officials can push this to the side when it comes to trade deals. While trade is ongoing, no rhetoric will be effective. Actions speak louder than words.
It is for this reason that Trump is calling on Europe to reverse its idiotic policies and to make the situation right. He wants Iran’s interventions across the Middle East to be taken into account with regards to the deal. He will not accept that such issues must be ignored in order to protect the nuclear deal.
If European leaders insist on ignoring Trump’s concerns, there is a very big danger that Trump will pull the plug on it altogether. This will ultimately make the situation in the Middle East even worse as well as deteriorate EU-US relations.