By Major General Nusrat Naeem (Retd.)
The moment nuclear deal was signed everybody around the world rejoiced, for peace was given a good chance. European companies who were doing underground trade and had made deep inroads in Iran, for business, went berserk to do trade in billions and lined-up more billions to expand trade. Principal among countries were logically UK, Germany and France. Iran at the same time played smart and signed deals in billions with USA mainly with Boeing.
Successful signing of agreement on the other hand ushered in an era of development, economic activity and improvement of a lot of common men in Iran. When Trump got elected one of the election agendas was scrapping of this nuclear deal with Iran. Russia, China, France, UK, Germany etc. thought that this would be a difficult thing to do as within the establishment there were strong supporters of the deal. Trump for sometime had been wanting to do it sooner than later but his NSA was found to be opposing it. Thus John Bolton came in as NSA. He is someone who is known as Israel’s man and a hawk. He comforted Trump and here comes the worrying news.
Trump the kind of erratic and immature President he proves to be, it is likely that USA will make no distinction or concession. In the last two months, French President, British PM and German Chancellor visited USA while openly many issues were on agenda but, behind closed doors, Trump was told that it would be difficult to support USA for, specially, domestic economic reasons.
Recent strike on Syria was supported by UK and France to get into comfort loop of Trump but internally both these countries faced domestic criticism. Internally, European countries are already paying the price of supporting American War on Terrorism in the shape of domestic terrorism which has jeopardized their peace. Germany distancing itself from US adventures is a sign of America being looked at differently. Now the watch word is ‘Caution’ viz a viz following US policies and adventurism. Discomfort in EU has portends of realignment.
Russia and China emerging as diplomatic buddies will now be looked at in a different light. Recent announcement of tariffs on steel and aluminium also affected EU; EU on the other hand had to beg for concessions which were granted for a limited time. What would be going through the minds of EU planners and policy makers:
– Should they continue to blindly follow USA?
– Appeasement versus practical diplomacy viz a viz USA
– Economic dependence versus breaking away from US-centered economy
– How much domestic pressure they sustain while economy suffers owing to support lent to USA?
– Can their economies remain vibrant and what will be the consequences of withdrawing from world markets owing to US pressure?
– Is there a threat to EU to be dragging/tagging along in NATO?
– Chinese European One Belt One Road has successfully been tested, should EU now look East and South?
– How long US and EU policies will remain congruent?
– Euro as a currency has survived should it not assert itself; why not Euro to also become “Greenback”.
While America decides who is enemy who is friend; EU appears to be blank-brained. Chemical Attack on a defected Russian spy in UK was also stretching matters too far. USA and its poodle UK are being looked differently too. Adjustments have to be made. USA going with Israeli and Saudi narratives is becoming difficult to follow; hue and cry here and there are being read correctly but breaking away from Americans shackles has become difficult but, despite its problems, EU is displaying bravado and going independent. For how long it is difficult to predict but first step and a massive one has been taken by staying its ground in Iran Nuclear Deal. Thus EU’s double jeopardy has become all to apparent and is showing. Collective European muscle aligned with China as a first step and later Russia may be a “New World Order” .