May 24, 2019

Don't Bend to Iranian Blackmail

“There are two ways to view Wednesday’s threats from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to abandon the 2015 nuclear bargain with his country.

The first is through the lens of Europe’s establishment and President Donald Trump’s opposition: Look what you’ve done! After a year of maximum pressure, Iran has finally been pushed to start breaking its commitments to limit its stocks of enriched uranium. As an EU foreign policy official tweeted, Trump’s Iran policy “has now triggered Rouhani’s move towards less for less.”

The second and better way is to see Rouhani’s threats as blackmail. Unless Europe agrees to violate America’s secondary sanctions on Iran’s oil and banking sectors, Iran will keep the uranium it enriches and halt its project to redesign a plutonium reactor. Rouhani gave the Europeans, Chinese and Russians 60 days to figure out how to relieve the U.S. sanctions.

Since Trump withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear deal last year, France, Germany and the U.K. have made it a priority to keep Iran in the nuclear deal through diplomacy. If Iran has kept to the basics of the deal (something the Trump administration disputes), why not create a financial mechanism to keep them in compliance?”

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