Is Europe breaking ties with US?
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the unilateral U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal undermines confidence in the global order.
Speaking in the western German city of Muenster, Merkel noted that it took 12 years of work to put together.
She conceded that "it is certainly anything but ideal" and acknowledged that there are many other issues of concern with Iran.
"Nevertheless, I think it is not right to unilaterally cancel a deal that was agreed, that was unilaterally approved in the U.N. Security Council. That diminishes confidence in the international order," the Associated Press cited her as saying.
At the same time, Merkel stressed that Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal is no reason to call into question the transatlantic cooperation.
Yesterday, Merkel said that Europe can no longer count on the U.S. for military protection. "It’s no longer the case that the United States will simply just protect us. Rather, Europe needs to take its fate into its own hands. That’s the task for the future," she stressed.
The chancellor said in a phone call with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani that Germany will continue to adhere to the Iran nuclear deal.
The deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University, Andrei Suzdaltsev, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the split between Europe and the United States is not yet deep, but European countries want Washington to be more predictable. "Europe does not understand Trump's actions, what he is trying to achieve, but they feel that the US president is solving his internal political problems at the expense of the Euro-Atlantic solidarity. Europe has already lost a lot from the anti-Russian sanctions, and it does not want the sanctions curtain to return to Iran. The EU plans to invest heavily in Iranian facilities - and now Trump demands to stop it in his own interests," he explained.
"It turns out that Trump acts against European competitors, preventing them from developing in the direction of Iran. Europe does not like the fact that it will not succeed in avoiding sanctions. It will protest, but the US influence is colossal, and in the end, Europe will have to hand over the Iranian market to China and Russia. We had very good positions on the Iranian market, but when the sanctions were lifted, the Iranians immediately reoriented to Europe. Not it's time to ensure that we warned Tehran that the situation in the West is unreliable for a reason, and, apparently, it will have to resume previous cooperation with Russia," Suzdaltsev stressed.
"Europe has been trapped, because the main European companies working with Iran also work in the US market, where they earn much more money. They wouldn't take the risk of opposing the US," the deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University added.
The senior research fellow at the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Olenchenko, drew attention to the fact that disagreements between the EU and the US have existed before, but now they became particularly acute. "Europe's indignation and perplexity is due to the fact that it maintains active economic relations with Iran, its new market, invests in the Iranian economy, while the US sanctions may lead to the fact that many European companies will be under so-called secondary sanctions, which will affect the trade of the EU countries with Iran," he said.
"Iran is not the only point where the interests of the US and Europe are being tested. There are many such points, and one cannot say that Iran is a point of separation between the US and Europe. But as a factor of the increasing deterioration of these relations, the disagreements over the Iranian nuclear deal really have a negative impact. They will increasingly deteriorate because the US introduced new metal tariffs for the EU countries. If the US also tries to prohibit Europe's economic cooperation with Iran, it will be a serious undermining for the EU, and benefit for the Americans," Vladimir Olenchenko concluded.