Donald Trump has been hell-bent upon antagonizing the U.S.’s three closest allies ever since he took office. So far, he has done a bang-up job. His latest act may take them to the tipping point.
Leaders of Britain, France, and Germany all traveled to the U.S. This, plus all manner of phone calls, was to convince the American president that he should stay in the Iranian Nuclear treaty. Instead, he called for sanctions.
Not only did Trump want sanctions against Iran, he thought our allies should sanction Iran, too. The arrogance was smothering.
Yet, what can our long-time allies do? They considered exempting themselves, but the Trump administration was having none of it.
Even if these three countries increased European investment in Iran, that would probably not work. That means, they are caught between the rock, Donald Trump, and a hard place, Iran.
They have been determined to keep the core of the nuclear deal intact, even if the U.S. refused to participate.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that the allies have been trying desperately to figure out how to give Trump what they think he wants. That looked like a new deal that repairs the old one’s flaws, The Washington Post reported:
‘It’s vital that we continue to engage with the USA and continue to interrogate our friends in Washington.’
Allied leaders negotiated with the U.S. State Department for months. They were trying to put together something that would accommodate Trump’s concerns, and said they had something close to an agreement by late April.
Unfortunately, after Merkel, Johnson, and Macron met with our commander-in-chief, they all came away with one dismal conclusion. They felt as if Trump had not even read the five-page document they had worked so hard to negotiate.
Trump’s new national security adviser, John Bolton, said since the treaty was signed:
‘I would argue that they felt they (Iran) could act with impunity. They watched. They watched Europe put exactly zero sanctions on their missile program.’
Thus far, it looks as if the man sitting in the Oval Office plus Bolton and the new Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, were all on the same page. They seem to want a coalition with the Persian Gulf states, Israel, and Iran’s primary trading partners in Asia.
Bolton continued, saying that the U.S. was ‘not going it alone:”
We’re not going it alone. We have the support of Israel. We have the support of the Arab oil-producing monarchies and many others. . . . I think the issue here is what the Europeans are going to do.’
China is not interested in a trading war with Iran. It just opened up a new rail road line to Iran.
Bolton added a warning, according to ABC News:
‘Europeans are going to face the effective U.S. sanctions, already are really, because much of what they would like to sell to Iran involves U.S. technology, for which the licenses will not be available. Iran was shifting the balance of power in the Middle East until President Trump got out of this deal. If you look at the advances that Iran has made under cover of this agreement, its conventional military and terrorist advances, in Iraq, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Yemen, since 2015, Iran was really on the march.’
German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a religious conference speech, where the Washington Post reported that she said:
‘If we always say that something doesn’t suit us, and we don’t get a new international order, and everybody simply does what they want — then that’s bad news for the world.’
Another European official said Washington had to present “a new position:”
‘But it’s up to the administration to come up with a framework, a new position. We are waiting for them.’
Featured Image via Getty Images/Mario Tama.