By Majid Rafizadeh, Gatestone Institute—
For almost six years since the 2015 “nuclear deal,” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was reached, the European Union has been appeasing Iran’s ruling mullahs. What the EU fails to see is that that its soft policy towards the mullahs has been a total disaster and dangerous.
Right after the “nuclear deal” was reached — which by the way the Iranian regime never signed — the EU, alongside the Obama administration, lifted nearly all its economic sanctions. It was a gift that helped the Iranian regime to reintegrate into the global financial system. The EU also made many concessions to Iran, such as agreeing to include in the nuclear deal sunset clauses enabling the mullahs soon to have as many nuclear weapons as they like.
Germany and France appeared to be among the first in a hurry to rekindle business with the ruling mullahs of Iran. Right after the half-signed nuclear deal, the Western half, Germany’s former Economic Minister and Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, together with a business delegation from Siemens, Linde, Mercedes and Volkswagen, visited Iran, and many large European companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Eni began their plans to do business with Iran. Since then, as nearly 30 Iranian banks reconnected to SWIFT, trade between the EU and Iran has increased almost 43%.
Meanwhile, the EU, which never stops moralizing to other countries about how they should be conducting themselves, has turned a blind eye to credible reports regarding Iran’s continually violating the nuclear deal as well as pursuing clandestine nuclear activities. By February 2016, Iran had already exceeded its threshold for heavy water for the second time. A year after the nuclear deal, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, revealed in its annual report that the Iranian government has pursued a “clandestine” path during the nuclear agreement to obtain illicit nuclear technology and equipment from German companies “at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level.” The intelligence report also stated that “it is safe to expect that Iran will continue its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.”
After that, the US, one of the key players in the nuclear deal, withdrew from it under the Trump administration and re-imposed sanctions. The EU, however, Washington’s old transatlantic ally, parted ways with its Western partner in favor of the mullahs. The EU declined to re-impose sanctions on Iran, then set about keeping business with it alive. Three European governments — Germany, France and the UK — created a mechanism, the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), based in Paris and designed primarily to circumvent US sanctions. “We’re making clear,” Germany’s former Foreign Minister Heiko Maas admitted, “that we didn’t just talk about keeping the nuclear deal with Iran alive, but now we’re creating a possibility to conduct business transactions.” Continue Reading…