US, Europe rift to cause Iran-EU rapprochement

Iranian Diplomacy- International relations analyst believes there are many reasons behind a visible rift between the US and Europe and that may lead to rapprochement between Iran and Europe.

In an interview with moderate website Fararu, analyst Fereidoun Majlesi said the European side to the nuclear deal is criticizing US President Donald Trump’s remarks on the surface, but is happy deep inside as they believe such remarks could bring Iran closer to Europe. “Basically, Europeans are not happy with Trump. They wanted to find a pretext, other than their own issues, to attack him,” Fararu quoted Majlesi as saying.

Speaking of the reason for the rift between Europe and the US, Majlesi said Trump has announced his sole mission to protect the interests of America and has repeatedly criticized Europe and NAFTA. “He has also called for protectionism, which the US has fought against for a century. The approach is detrimental to Europe and NAFTA members,” Majlesi said.

“Moreover, Trump has threatened to reduce US funding of NATO’s defense spending. His moves sound like a calculating tradesman’s who sends bills to others every day,” he added. Trump’s withdrawal of the Paris agreement was seen disrespectful not only by Europe but for the whole world, he said. “Europeans have accepted to limit their own carbon emission. The US move becomes insulting for them,” he reiterated.

“Trump’s ways are at variance with the professional and legal principles that originate from Europe. The Continent has worked hard to reach the deal in nuclear talks, at times playing a negative role which could prove harmful for itself,” Majlesi told Fararu.

Majlesi noted that the nuclear talks were directed by the EU, particularly during Federica Mogherini’s term, adding that Trump’s withdrawal would not only mean he does not comply with his commitments but also that he wants to tear up commitments viewed as reasonable by others. “Therefore, the Europeans consider all his moves insulting and they cannot stand them”.

Majlesi further noted that Europeans have been a global power in the past two centuries, beyond colonization and exploitation, but the US has only been recognized as a world power for about 50 years. “Thus, European are not inclined to follow United States like their master. EU’s economy and weight is no less than the US’. Unlike other US presidents, Trump does not understand these issues. Former US presidents felt belonged to Europe,” he explained.

The analyst further elaborated on Europe’s economic interests in its ties with Iran. “Europeans are saying US has an ally called Israel and is ready to sacrifice Europe’s interest for theirs. On the other hand, Europe has interests in Iran in economic cooperation including investment, partnership in energy, petrochemical industries, and other needs of the country. Iran is still in the middle of industrial development and the Europeans see that they are losing a large potential for cooperation to South Korea and China. With resources mostly consumed and a large population, Europe could face an economic crisis if it fails to have exports. That is why Europe does not want to be controlled by the US,” Majlesi said.

According to Majlesi, Europe has accepted commitment to work with Iran and has already started to do so. Saying Europe has no dominance over the firms that constitute its economy, Majlesi added that large banks such as Société Générale may start working with Iran later than others because they have been fined over cooperation with the country. “However, if the US withdraws from the nuclear deal, it cannot fine these firms anymore, because the fines were due to international sanctions, now relieved. The US can only threaten banks that it would cease to work with them if they ever work with Iran. Therefore, Iran will be forced to use other foreign currencies such as Euro instead of US dollar. In fact, a new foreign exchange system will be born. The world is not the world it used to be, where leaders like Trump could force others to cooperate,” Majlesi concluded according to quotes published by Fararu.