Despite Iran’s declaration that it will resume its nuclear weapons program, EU leaders continue their efforts to keep the JCPOA alive.
The main figure leading these efforts is the French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, who keeps insisting that Keeping the JCPOA alive will force Iran to halt its efforts to achieve nuclear weapon of mass destruction. Just recently (January 10th), Le Dorian stated in an EU emergency meeting in Brussels that “If they [the Iranians] continue with unraveling the Vienna agreement, then yes, within a fairly short period of time, between one and two years, they could have access to a nuclear weapon, which is not an option”.
However, this statement was not based on western intelligence estimates which claims the exact opposite. Rather, it was made in order to press the EU leaders to keep the JCPOA at any cost, despite the fact that the Iranian regime doesn’t extend the same courtesy to the EU.
Le Drian’s inaccurate statements shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone as in the past he has demonstrated that he will stop at nothing to further the interests of his beneficiaries. Perhaps the prime example of his conduct were his efforts to promote the interests of the French armament industry in his home district of Bretagne. These efforts included personally brokering shady and highly lucrative deals to sell French arms to countries that violate human rights in the middle east, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
However, Le Drian’s motives were also personal and at the expense of French and EU citizens since he never settled just for the role of negotiator in these highly lucrative arms deals. Rather, he acted more as a broker, receiving a certain percentage of the deals from the buyer, and political power from the seller.
This is what seems to be happening now with Iran and INSTEX. Cash and power are the main driving force that is fueling Le Drian’s interests. In this instance, his beneficiaries are large French conglomerations such as CMA CGM, Peugeot Citroen, Total and others who are eager to resume their business with Iran. This, despite the fact that Le Drian is fully aware of the fact that Iran is using the JCPOA as a cover for furthering its nuclear weapons program. Moreover, on his path to increase his own political power and personal wealth, he is also willing to overlook the atrocities carried out by the Iranian regime against its own citizens and thus perhaps drag with him the EU to another dark era in its history.