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Reliable Partners?

EU Foreign Policy and the Iran Nuclear Agreement JCPoA

11.07.2018 14:16 Christoph Hörstel, German Publicist & Government Consultant

Reliable Partners?

The world is watching how Washington’s vassals fail to stand up for their international reputation and fair treatment of contract partners – a turning point in EU history!
Pakistan’s famed president, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, truly lost no time. As soon as the ink was dry on the secret behind-the-scenes agreement with the US, allowing Pakistan development of its own nuclear weapon to balance Soviet-backed India’s, he set out on a sales trip unprecedented in world’s history and unparalleled ever since. This happened in 1972. Pakistan’s deliverable in the secret deal with Washington was, that it had agreed to collect and train a bunch of long-bearded Afghan members of the growing international Islamic movement, in order to reign in pro-communist developments with its northern neighbor – developments which threatened the not-so-secret Pakistani strategy of illegally using this poor neighbor as a reserve ground and force in case of war with India.
Bhutto’s visit list back in 1972 contained: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, Syria, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Iran and, finally, China. (Iraq was not even on this list, see?)
His offer was no less than “a bomb for the Ummah”, with full assistance in acquiring the complete apparatus for building nuclear weapons, including training, centrifuge parks for enriching Uranium and so forth. It helps to understand, that at this time, Pakistan wasn’t able to produce simple pins.
Libya’s Gadhafi was the first host in the long line: he promised funding – and he kept his word – and turned all of his costly machinery over to the British in 2003, free of charge.
Iran was the only country who ever came close to the desired goal.
Early CIA reports on Pakistan’s dealings showed exact and full knowledge down to all details.
Why would Washington and the CIA allow such a crazy deal against all stipulations of the NPT, IAEA rules and regulations, additional international agreements? This author holds, that as the only really plausible reason we must assume, that the US wanted all of the countries named above to swallow some kind of deadly nuclear bait, to allow the US to later accuse, blackmail and attack Pakistan’s clients at will. The CIA facilitated, backed and protected famed organizer A. Q. Khan’s adventurous procurement raids not only within the US – with Germany becoming one of Khan’s most preferred partners, so much so, that one of Pakistan’s ambassadors in the then German capital Bonn, Rasheed Ahmad, was nicknamed “Ambassador to Siemens”. In 2003, under the tremendous pressure of the ongoing US aggression against neighbor Iraq, Tehran admitted to trying to build a bomb and fully reversed its policies. Mohammed Chatami, once a famed head of the Hamburg Shia community and mosque, tried his level best, but in vain, to reach pretty much the same “big deal” with Obama’s predecessor George W. Bush, which Obama later concluded with Hassan Rohani by way of the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” (JCPoA) in 2015.
A few remarks may highlight Ruhani’s and Obama’s achievement: an overall tacit agreement between Washington with its allies and Tehran was struck in 2015 alongside JCPoA – on much of what was going on in the Middle East of that time.
It was clear to all observers, that in later years an updated version would be needed, since many of the restrictions on Tehran’s truly peaceful nuclear program are time-framed and thus carry expiry dates and steps, after which Tehran is free to continue whatever and however the government sees fit. The overall character of the agreement is therefore a temporary one, enabling all sides to evaluate future moves and act accordingly. No political analyst has predicted that a pro-Zionist hardliner would succeed Obama to become US president. But already during Obama’s tenure the US issued fresh sanctions – and the western parties to the treaty never fully complied with the plan, sanctions were never eased as promised, whereas US-controlled IAEA was and is issuing clear statements, that Iran is fully in compliance of each and every of its duties from the agreement. In fact, even in the times before its conclusion, Iran time and again compromised to its own disadvantage, often by accepting controls without any good reason, assumingly just because the US negotiators wanted to open up opportunities for spying, e.g. in Parchin military base – the recipe for these procedures is well-known from the run-up to the 2003 war against Iraq. This author was part-time freelance reporter for Iranian state TV in the years before 2015 and in this capacity visited IAEA facilities in Vienna several times. At that time it became sufficiently clear to the world’s media, that the IAEA had an openly pro-western bias – and that if its statements on Iran’s compliance with its rules are positive, as they are, it is because Iran is an “over-achiever”, so that IAEA is unable to deliver the negative judgments so much desired by Washington – and certainly Israel, for that matter; the latter being a strongly nuclear armed power with a top class global reach through its formidable submarine weapon, provided by – again: Germany. Typical cartel politics?

 

Since Washington has unprovokedly and unilaterally broken the JCPoA accord, European leaders such as the German chancellor Angela Merkel have called for useful steps to maintain Iran within the plan. This goal is being endangered now by a string of unhappy events: Energy companies as well as industrial giants like German Siemens and others have started to withdraw from Iran’s market in an obvious effort not to endanger their good ties with US partners. The Danish transport giant “Maersk” with good NATO ties has withdrawn its tankers from Iran business. Though the EU “blocking statute” of 1996, applying here according to an EU decision, threatens companies bowing to US sanctions pressure with punishment, none of the companies giving up on Iran are facing consequences of any kind. There isn’t even the slightest public debate on legal procedures envisaged by the said statute. Merkel herself had promised EU compensation for companies suffering from sanctions and proved losses because of their continued business with Iran in her last Sochi meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin. But recently these offers have been somewhat toned down. Anticipating complete failure of JCPoA, Tehran has now applied to withdraw and transfer 300m from the state-owned “European-Iranian Trading Bank”, based in Hamburg – by plane. German authorities have so far not ruled out this very special transfer – but the money has not been moved yet. Most important: The vital SWIFT global banking and booking system has granted a prolonged deadline for Iran’s parliament until October: to declare and rule non-use of funds for supporting terrorism – or face exclusion from the system, crippling Iran’s abilities to continue international business. This appears strange, since the largest global financier, mover and shaker of global terror activities, Washington, has never even faced a simple question so far on its use of funds. SWIFT has complained publicly about being drawn into an unprecedented international conflict in dealing with Iran’s business. Ruhani’s last week’s Vienna visit highlighted an unhappy development: If Iran doesn’t complain publicly and with a certain amount of noise, EU seems unwilling to offer useful terms and detailed procedures to prolong JCPoA. There are signs, that the EU strategy is dishonest: To fine-tune EU offers to a level a tiny bit too unattractive for Tehran, so that the Ruhani government feels forced to give up on the nuclear agreement. In the latter case, the western world could and probably would almost unitedly put the blame for the failure on Tehran – with a larger plan in the background to escalate the situation to a military finale.

It just seems the European Union, in its lackluster effort to conduct foreign policy in the true interest of Europe, its nations and its people, is unaware of a huge loss of reputation and trust, both inside and outside of the EU, should Brussels prove unable to hold its end in the quarrel with the Trump government on the regrettable deliberate breach of JCPoA.

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