Blowing Up the Iran Deal Brings Eurasia Closer to Integration

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Written by Federico Pieraccini; Originally appeared on strategic-culture.org

The annulment of the Iran nuclear deal framework could not be fended off by the visits or entreaties of Merkel, Macron or May. Donald Trump has refused to renew the agreement formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), removing the United States from the deal. In reality, it changes little for Washington, as the US never really removed any sanctions against Iran in 2015, and mutual trust has never risen above minimal levels. The American move, which was never surprising, arises from four fundamental factors, namely: the link (especially vis-à-vis electoral financing) between the Trump administration and the Israeli government of Netanyahu; the agreement between Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) and Donald Trump to acquire hundreds of billions of dollars worth of arms as well as investments in the United States; directly targeting European allies like Germany, France and England; and, finally, the wish to please the anti-Iranian hawks Trump surrounded himself with in his administration.

Blowing Up the Iran Deal Brings Eurasia Closer to Integration

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman are united against Iran and are now publicly cementing their alliance that has hitherto been shrouded in secrecy. The political rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Israel has been constant over the last 12 months, converging over anti-Iranian interests. Trump’s anti-Iran tilt enjoys support from the Netanyahu and bin Salman clans, representing a 180-degree change in US policy direction away from the one forged through the nuclear agreements reached by the previous administration.

Saudi money and Israel’s political support (and neoconservative pressure within the United States) are factors important to the Trump administration, particularly as it is besieged by domestic politics and has to deal with the Mueller investigation that buzzes annoyingly around the president of the United States.

Trump’s need to surround himself with the likes of Pompeo, Haspel and Bolton betrays an acquiescing desire to appease the deep state rather than fight it. Whatever fight might have been present in Donald Trump upon assuming his office has given way to a fruitful collaboration with the deep state. Donald Trump seems to have concluded that it is better to negotiate and find agreements with the deep state than to try, as he promised during his election campaign, to drain the swamp.

The decision on the JCPOA follows in the wake of other incendiary policies that can be labeled anti-Obama or pro-Israeli and pro-Saudi Arabia, and even anti-European. Washington has been struggling over several years with its medium-term strategic thinking, with decisions often being made suddenly on the basis of emotions or against the backdrop of a constant internal struggle between more or less conflicting elites.

The most recent example concerns the JCPOA, which seems to confirm a fairly evident trend over the last two years. Washington is starting to think first and foremost about America, focusing more on domestic matters rather than worrying about maintaining the liberal world order and sustaining the global status quo. Trump seems not to operate according to any particular logic or strategy — here renewing sanctions on Russia, there imposing trade tariffs on China, now breaking the agreement on the JCPOA, then bombing Syria, or even seeking an unprecedented rapprochement with North Korea. It is useless to search for any logical train of thought in all this, even less a grand strategy explaining Washington’s ultimate objectives. Policymakers in the US capital act on the basis of very short-term objective, namely: seeking to please Netanyahu and the moneybags that is MBS; punishing Russia; waving the specter of a trade war; asking allies to pay more for defense (NATO); or preventing European companies from working with important partners in Iran and even Russia (Nord Stream 2).

All this leads to a rifts even amongst European allies themselves, with France and England ready to bomb Syria and threaten Iran, while Germany and Italy oppose such moves on the basis of international law and the need for diplomacy.

With the undoing of the JCPOA and renewed sanctions on Russia, it seems that European countries finally intend to assert their own sovereignty by legislating against these harmful American actions. The European Parliament intends to adopt a new law that blocks the payment of fines to US authorities by any European company sanctioned for its relations with Tehran. Washington wants to force its European allies to choose between working with Tehran or Washington. It is mafia-like blackmail which even Brussels seems to have had a gutful of and intends to push back against with concrete actions. A similar situation in 1996 involving Brussels led Bill Clinton to suspend such destructive actions among allies in favor of diplomacy.

Trump seems to worry little about the medium- and long-term effects of his actions, seeming not to have any interest in harmonizing relations with allies, especially Merkel’s Germany, against which Washington has a negative trade balance only exceeded by Beijing. The only point of continuity between Obama and Trump concerns the objection to sabotaging Nord Stream 2 (the pipeline connecting Russia and Germany).

If the strategic thinking on Trump’s part is non-existent and concerns only very short-term objectives linked to the image that he likes to project of himself (of a tough guy who keeps his electoral promises, such as that regarding the Iranian agreement), the practical effect is that of a strategy that makes little sense from an American point of view. Policy-makers in American think-tanks have seeded many of Trump’s resulting actions, and the blame for the last fifteen years of failed policies can be laid at their feet. They are the true, if unintended, architects of the emerging multipolar world, and have inadvertently served to accelerate the ending of the American unipolar moment.

Once again, these policy-makers delude themselves into thinking that Trump’s moves — placing sanctions on Russia, a reanimated and bellicose presence and attitude in the Middle East, and the breaking up of the JCPOA – are a great opportunity to achieve some strategic objectives that have been lost over the last few years.

The calculation of these strategists is wrong and the consequences are quite the opposite to those intended, yet these self-proclaimed experts, blinded by money from dozens of lobbies (the Israel-based lobbyists, for example), become the victims of their own propaganda, insisting on many strategies that directly harm US interests globally and in the Middle Eastern region in particular.

The policy-makers belonging to such think-tanks as the Brookings Institute or the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) are more than convinced that strong pressure placed on Iran will arrest the expansion of the Shia Crescent over the Middle East and Iran’s general influence over the region (from Tehran to Beirut via Baghdad and Damascus). The sanctions on Russia and Iran serve, in their mind, to block European energy independence that would otherwise be achieved through cooperating with both countries. The rediscovered bellicosity in the region tends to counter the Russian presence, even if only psychologically, and reaffirms Washington’s willingness to remain committed to the region and defend its interests there (the Saudi dictatorship, above all, thanks to its pricing of oil in US dollars).

This last point is of enormous importance in terms of global strategy, and Saudi Arabia is a key partner in this regard, the American presence in the region, together with anti-Iranian policies, also serving to reassure the valuable Saudi ally, increasingly courted by Beijing through its petro-yuan convertible into gold.

Washington finds itself increasingly isolated in its economic and military policies. Merkel’s visit to Russia reaffirms the desire to create an alternative axis to the one between Brussels and Washington. The victory in Italy of two parties strongly opposed to new wars and the annulment of the JCPOA, and especially the sanctions against Russia, serves to form a new alliance, accentuating internal divisions within Europe. Macron, Merkel and May are all grappling with a strong crisis of popularity at home, which does not aid them in their decision-making.

Exactly the same problems affect MbS, Trump, and Netanyahu in their respective countries. These leaders find themselves adopting aggressive policies in order to alleviate internal problems. They also struggle to find a common strategy, often displaying schizophrenic behavior that belies the fact that they are meant to be on the same side of the barricades in terms of the desired world order.

In direct contrast, China, Russia, Iran, and now India, are trying to respond to Western madness in a rational, moderate, and mutually beneficial way. And as a result, Europeans may perhaps begin to understand that the future lies not in piggybacking on Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States. Trump seems to have offered the perfect occasion for European leaders to assert their sovereignty and start to move away from their traditional servility shown towards Washington.

While it is difficult to imagine a schism taking place overnight, the chances that Europe’s capitals will clash with Washington are no longer so remote, much to the pleasure of Moscow and Beijing, who aim to incorporate Europe into their mega-Eurasian project as the fourth major component after Asia, the Eurasian Union and the Middle East/Persian Gulf.

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  • Rob

    Due to friendship of Saudi Arabia, Israel and US, now majority of Muslims moving away from Saudi Arabia due to security reason and now have good relations with Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan.

    • Serious

      They are muslims and pricisely sunnis. Sunnis hate shias. that’s a fact nobody can argue. That’s why sunnis are so weak. instead of focusing on themselfs, they focus on shias.

      That’s why USA is finding so many sunni useful idiots.

      • Rob

        I have seen many Sunni sect states but Saudi Wahabis are some different colour creatures.

      • matt

        Ever heard of Sushis?

  • Serious

    I’m very doubtfull about the Iran-Russia-China or BRICS alliance. I don’t think that it will work.

    It’s a default alliance. It’s not a willing and desire alliance.

    Russia, China and Iran prefer to work with the west because the west has better products, more adavanced scientifically, better standards and possibilities, ….

    If the west starts working with one of these countries, this country will stop working with the others.

    • alejandro casalegno

      Serious- Well, the USA/UK/USSR in WWII was a “Default Alliance”………but at the end was succefull.

      • Serious

        Bullshit.

        WW2 was planed by USA to occupy Europe and especially Germany. It was not a default alliance.

        USA wanted to make this “alliance” to get rid of Germany. USSR wanted to make this alliance because USSR was having hard time with Germany. So, both countries wanted this alliance.

        And, yes, it was very successfull for USA. URSS has lost everytrhing now.

    • LR captain

      serious just stop already

      US products are junk my bike broke 5 times already and it was made in the US.

      I have friends who want to move and live with me in Canada cause the Suppress artistic expression. (unless it can be taxed the US suppress it.)

      I have Jewish co-worker who hates Israel and the US for its actions in middle east.

      also witch country will the US even work with,
      not Russia its military power threatens US power, and is ran by an X KGB officer,

      China not really china exports and buying of US debt as well as a gold back currency and petro trade deals in their own currency threatens US trade power.

      Iran hell no, Trump, Saudis, Israel has made sure of that, breaking the nuclear deal.adding more sanctions, suppressing culture and religion.

      all of these nations are brought together by US bullying and more are following suit, the only thing that will stop their cooperation it is the end of the US. AS long as USA is still around Russia-china-Iran WILL work together.

      • Serious

        I talked about the west. And yes of course, when you want a computer, you will go buy the processor in India or China or Russia or Brazil. XD. Bad products indeed. XD.

    • matt

      It is shifting, these better products, technologies and more advanced scientifically is slowly moving to Asia where it has always been, except for the last 250 years. The western superiority is just a moment within human history…..

      • Serious

        Europe will always dominate unless USA destroy it. Superior asian countries were heavily helped by the west.

        I never relied on BRICS because BRICS make no planes, no cars, no computers, …. what people need. Nobody will want to go in chinese or russian or indian hospitals.

        That’s why it doesn’t work for the BRICS and someone smart should not bet too much on wrong horses.

        • matt

          Nonsense, Europe started to dominate only in the second half of the 18th century, so why should it keep this position for always?
          Japan is part of ASIA by the way as well as Korea. Since the seventies japanese cars dominate the car industry and they are further in A.I. and other robot techniques then any other country. Asia dominates the mobile phone industry, computer industry and the overwhelming majority of patents happen to be in ASIA, not in Europe

          • Serious

            That’s BS. Nobody can challenge german and italian cars.

            Cambridge university was founded in 1200s.

            The rest of the world has no will to grow. That’s why they are at the bottom.

          • matt

            you obviously don’t know anything about human history.
            Founding a university doesn’t mean you are superior in science!!!
            What knowledge were they using back in 1200 there in Cambridge??
            Just do some research before you just post crap and make yourself ridiculous

          • Serious

            Cambridge was founded in 1200s and now is from the best university in the world. Who had universities in 1200 and still working now ???

            Sorry. I say the truth. Instead of moving forward, people want to change history and talk about BS.

          • matt

            Cambridge wasn’t good in 1200 and it only got good after 1750, these are the facts. As for the current situation and future, you will see who will be in charge on this planet, not Europe. Europe is turning into a museum/theme park

          • Jens Holm

            I cant see thats important at all. Facts are that most of all are in a economic wellfare ever seen before and most of Your world is far away even growing fast.

            Fine for me You reach our level and by that treat Your populations as they deserve.

            I see no museum here, more like we are stabile and well consolidated.

            Very strange You cant see how we and the world produce and Cambridge as well as others do well.

            Danes fx invented economic windmills and windmills by that has spread all over the world being copied as well as invented. They still spread out for they here make all lectricity for 2600 people each and make no smog.

            We also send out satelited, where the important things are made by us. We make many small robots and a few month ago americans bought an innovative minidrone factory for 200 mio. dollars.

            A Danish company named Maersk even has 4 big chinese harbours.

          • Jens Holm

            Funding none says how part of the world is today. Most muslims cant even read their own bible and its not allowed to translate from anciant arabic and being debated as they do in Cambridge.

          • Jens Holm

            So when did Europe by Portugal and Spain divide the whole world, so Brazil today speak Portugese and the rest speak Spanish.

            The rest is kind of low. You dónt understand world economics and see it as Trump, but facts are Your mobile phones as well as cars and robots are made of components from all over the world and most things are in the stockmarked by shares.

            I allow me to add that its fine so many chinese has raised their level from the Mao one as well as we almost never hear about millions die in India by starvation.

            Fine with me the Japanese as well as South Korea has improved.

            Could be irrelevent for You but Europe meant as west has the biggest BNP ever and in the low end Russia has a BNP as Spain.

          • matt

            the whole world? India was not divided by portugal or spain nor china. Most of asia was colonised in the 19th century. Virtually non of the countries speak spanish or portugese
            Another nitwit in history…..

          • Jens Holm

            It was dividing the world those nations knew at that time. I just say it started much earlier then You write, and it was confirmed by The Catholic Church in Rome.

            After that those and others took coastparts around Africa and made strongpoints, where they much later took land.

            Only Philipines – parts of it – speak Spanish today.

          • matt

            Go study some serious history class, not the European propaganda they thought you at the schools for dummy’s
            Asia was technologically and economically superior to Europe until the mid 18th century, that is a fact. They did not come here because there was nothing, just a bunch of poor stinking barbarians with poor economy, no healthcare, always fighting each-other, even village against village. Things only started to change when the america’s were conquered, but it still took another 250 years to develop above Asia

          • Jens Holm

            Mine is no propaganda. They did try to find India and they did find North- and South America. You have to start somewhere -havnty You.

            And from there they had trade routes to Asia as well…

            You just tell, when Europeans made most part of Asia as colonies ot kind of affiliates.

            And those 2 continents were taken and started to be populated to become, what it is today and should be ignored. Taking 2 continents and take them as they did is – nothing.

          • Dhil Gill

            The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth❗🤗😁

      • Dhil Gill

        Correct.

  • Serious

    alejandro casalegno talked about the USA-USSR alliance in WW2 just like Putin loves always to repeat how this was a “great” alliance. XD. That’s why he surely support Putin. XD.

    Did you hear the west always talking about this alliance ??? XD. USA doesn’t give a fuck about this “alliance”. USA never talks about it. Only Russia likes to do so. USA only used Russia to destroy Germany. Period.

    USA achieves her goals and moves on to the next.

  • Jonathan Cohen

    Trump can afford war with Iran if, and only if, he first obtains peace with N. Korea, which defends ABORTION RIGHTS. He will also need to improve relations with Russia which also defends ABORTION RIGHTS, to be sure Russia does not aid Iran.
    Is the US giving arms and logistical support to Saudi Arabia or selling it? giving, or even discounting constitutes alliance, but a neutral can sell at full price, but not discount. I am not clear on weather Trump has violated neutrality against the Houthis? or did he remain neutral by charging the Saudi’s full price for arms and services????

  • Amir

    From an USA point of virw, There is no rational and pursuing their current policy in DC. However there is no such thing as a united USA. If you look at it from the Anglozio perspective, the current DC policy makes full sentence: The Korean to taunt detente will to make the US military continent in occupied South Korea, available for action throughout the world.

    The current anti-Serien and Iranian policy, fits the Anglozio and the Al Saud tribe. It removes a local competitor for Israel, arranges for emptying off US coffers through extravagant military expenses and transfers that wealth to East Asia.

    All of this infiltration of the Far-East is not meant to the benefit of the local population. The Neo-con Anglozio Tribe is creating a Neo-colonial structure, similar to East-India company.
    Through descendants of Murdocks, Adelsons, Evanka & son of convicted criminal Kuchner,; who have dual loyalties towards the their colonialist kinsmen in the Near-East, they flatten themselves and suck the blood of the local’s children’s blood.

  • Kell

    Idications the Europeans are going to be dealing with iran directly without US dollars .

    https://youtu.be/F29HX1HRFzg