Time for the UK and European nations to do what is right and reject US dominance

By stepping away from the Iran Nuclear Deal, Trump provided a brilliant opportunity for European nations to begin the process of breaking away from decades of American dominance.

Image Credit: Susan Walsh/AP Photo

With Trump making one of the worst, most reckless decisions by an American president in U.S. history he has, unwittingly, provided a brilliant opportunity for European nations to begin the process of breaking away from decades of American dominance.

What Trump did was senseless in that he called the Iran Nuclear Agreement a complete disaster, that it was not working, and was allowing Iran to continue nuclear development behind the scenes. But, as he does with other issues, he presented no facts or evidence to back up his contentions.

No doubt when he pulled the plug he felt confident that Britain, France and Germany, even though they strongly believed that the agreement should remain in effect, would simply fall in line and join the U.S. withdrawal. After all, isn’t that what they always do, fall in line, when directed to do so by the U.S.?

Well, this time the outcome may be entirely different and Trump may be in for a big surprise, one that he won’t like at all.

Trump’s contention that this is a highly faulted agreement that needs to be ended is just one more misguided statement on his part. And his statement that inspections are almost non-existent is ridiculous and ignorant of what is really happening.

The IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Association, the highly respected world inspection organization, has been closely monitoring what goes on in Iran to assure that this nation is complying with the agreement.

To further try to discredit this agreement John Bolton, Trump’s new National Security Adviser, in a cable news interview, sent out a subtle message that if these U.S. allies do not reject this agreement that the U.S. might impose sanctions on some of their companies that would involve technology trade.

Bolton’s warning was a typical threat that is used by the U.S. to force other countries to “toe the line”, i.e., to do as they are told if they know what’s good for them. In his cocky manner, he said, “I think the Europeans will see that it’s ultimately in their interest to come along with us.”

Well maybe Bolton and his boss, Trump, should think a bit deeper before they make these threats against their allies who have Russia and China strongly siding with them on this matter.

They should understand that, besides Britain, Germany and France, the vast majority of the other 23 members of the European Union also want this agreement to remain in effect.
At various sites across Iran that have involved Iran’s nuclear development program, the IAEA has highly sophisticated equipment that monitors activities and transmits key data constantly to its headquarters in Viennna where scientists conduct studies to assure compliance. There are also teams of inspectors on the ground in Iran that watch closely for any violations.

These intensive inspections have been going on in Iran since the inception of the agreement in 2015 and the IAEA has regularly issued reports to all those involved in this agreement plus the UN that indicate their findings. So far they have not seen any violations by Iran.

Now are there any concerns that Iran may be doing some kind of illegal nuclear development at locations of which the inspectors are not aware? Yes, that’s true and so the IAEA continues to expand its search to determine if there are any such activities going on. So far they have found none and have declared that, thus far, Iran is fully complying with the provisions of the agreement.

Since France, Germany and the U.K., supported by the rest of the 28-member European Union, most certainly want this agreement to stay in effect they now have an opportunity to save it by refusing to join with the U.S. in withdrawing.

So let’s do a “what if analysis” What if the U.S. allies have had enough of these threats and decide to join with Russia and China and continue to adhere to the Iran Nuclear Agreement?

Trump could turn up the heat with more threats of sanctions to try to force them into compliance.

But then what if Russia and China make it clear to Trump that if he issues sanctions as a form of punishment against these countries that they will put a hold on exports to the U.S. of various rare earth minerals that are used in the U.S. to manufacture electric motors, nuclear reactors, mobile phones, conventional and electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, and missile guidance systems?

This article indicates that the United States is nearly 100 percent reliant upon China and Russia and a few other countries for 20 of the 23 most critical minerals. While China and Russia currently have a monopoly on these critically important minerals some say that other countries have deposits which can be mined.

But that’s easier said than done and, at least for years to come, China and Russia will remain as the primary exporters and will control the supply to the rest of the world.
What would Trump do if he received this threat to cut off shipments of these minerals? What could he do, get real angry and tell China and Russia to go to hell? And then create a crisis when the shipments of critical minerals are thereafter cut off?

How is this all going to end? Will these allied nations of the U.S. stand their ground and do what is right? Or will they do what they have done for decades, cave in and submit to the demands of the U.S. government?

We could see a monumental shift in geopolitical alliances with the European nations and the U.K. more closely aligning themselves with China and Russia to save this critically important nuclear agreement. And that relationship could grow in the future.

This just in: a British government official, I missed his name, has clearly indicated that if Iran complies with the provisions of the agreement as it has been doing, then the U.K., France and Germany have no intention of withdrawing from the agreement.

He stated that there were definitely parts of the agreement that needed to be improved and that the U.K. and the other members of this pact would shortly begin working on them. That’s the way to get things done; when you have an agreement that needs improvement you don’t destroy it, you fix it. That’s the intelligent thing to do.

It looks like we may be on track to witness a defining moment in world history.


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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense industry, and the massive control that Corporate America holds over this government and our election process; all which are leading this nation down the road to eventual financial ruin if the conditions are not reversed. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran.