by Poorang Novak
Last month, President of the United Stated Donald Trump decided not to recertify Iran’s compliance to the 2015 nuclear deal. Several leaders from the European Union called on Trump, before he made the announcement, to strongly consider his decision because if he decided to decertify Iran’s compliance, the deal could fall apart and the nuclear threat would be more dangerous than ever.
However, Trump stood firm against the pressure that he was under from EU leaders (and officials from his own government) and announced that Iran’s compliance was not being recertified. In his speech justifying his decision, he listed a number of ways in which Iran’s behaviour and belligerence was endangering peace and security in the region, and further afar. He also spoke about Iran’s complete lack of respect for human rights with regards to the people of Iran and made his concerns about Iran’s ballistic missile program known.
The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has called on his EU partners to open their eyes and take note of the threat that exists due to Iran’s belligerence. During a speech at the Wilson Center in Washington, the Secretary of State said that the United States is fully committed to “to addressing the totality of the Iranian threat”.
Tillerson urged the leaders of the Europe to make sure that no acts of belligerence on Iran’s part are left unaddressed.
During the previous administration, Tillerson noted that the Iran nuclear deal was the pillar of US policy towards Iran, but that this is no longer the case.
Former President Obama’s policy of appeasement did not work. Iran was given concession after concession, but it still continued to sponsor terrorism, fund and fuel wars and conflicts in the region, abuse human rights, execute political prisoners, and so on. Iran became so complacent in its malign acts because it knew that it would be met with silence from the Obama administration.
The United States once had leverage over the Islamic Republic of Iran, but as soon as the nuclear deal was signed it was all lost. To some extent you could say that Iran got the upper hand because it knew that Obama was hellbent on getting the nuclear deal signed during his time in office.
Tillerson said: “Europe and the United States don’t want another nuclear threat like North Korea, nor are any of our nations at ease with Iran’s attempts at hegemony in the Middle East through support for terrorist organizations, militias on the ground in Iraq and Syria, and an active ballistic missile development program.”
Iran is fuelling the war in Syria and had been heavily involved in it since it started in 2013. If it were not for Iran’s intervention, the war would have been over by now.
Iran has also been criticised for its interference in Lebanon and was cited by the prime minister of Lebanon as one of the reasons behind his resignation earlier this month.