EU sanctions on Iran would complement US confrontational strategy towards Iran regime

President Donald Trump has upped his rhetoric on Iran regime and its belligerence in the region. He has vowed to be more confrontational with Iran regime and wants its ballistic missile program to be curbed. Furthermore, he has criticised Iran’s interference in both Syria and Yemen and has said that the regime must be punished.

Last month President Trump decided that he was not going to recertify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal. This has left Congress with the decision about whether to reimpose the crippling economic sanctions that were in place before the deal was signed. The decision will have to be announced by mid-December.

The United States usually works very closely with the European Union when it comes to international sanctions, but in this case it has been working against Trump, trying to persuade him to preserve the nuclear deal under the pretext of it being the only way to limit Iran’s nuclear activity. EU leaders have said that regional security matters and Iran’s ballistic missile program needs to be kept separate.

The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, said last week that new sanctions on Iran may be necessary with regards to Iran regime’s very worrying ballistic missile program. His concerns undoubtedly were prompted by the recent missile that was fired from Yemen towards the capital of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia was able to intercept the missile before it caused any destruction on the ground.
Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of supplying Houthi rebels in Yemen with weapons and missiles, but Iran denies it.

Members of the Trump administration have already commented that new sanctions on Iran would be “a very interesting and probably helpful move on the part of the EU”.

In response to Macron’s suggestion about new sanctions, Iranian regime said that its missile program is defensive in nature and is essential to containing tensions in the Middle East. Iran also emphasised that the missile program has nothing to do with the nuclear agreement.

For sanctions to pass, all 28 member states have to be unanimous. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini made this very clear earlier this week and said: “We didn’t discuss, not today, not last week (and) I don’t foresee any discussion also in the future, further sanctions from the EU side on Iran. Ballistic missiles are not in the scope of the (nuclear deal). This is a discussion and a proposal that was never raised at our table in these recent months and I don’t foresee this happening in the near future.”

At the beginning of the month, Saudi-backed Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri announced his resignation from the Saudi capital. He blamed Iranian regime for its interference in Lebanese politics and mentioned that there was a plot to assassinate him. He said that Iran’s interference and control of Hezbollah, which already plays a big part in the country’s politics, was a decisive factor in his resignation.

It is uncertain how the United Sates will deal with this mess in the Middle East, but it is possible that Iranian regime will receive targeted sanctions.

With the support of the EU, the US administration can make a big difference in countering Iranian regime’s belligerence.

Source » ncr-iran

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