The United States pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal on May 9th, slapping back a long list of frozen sanctions that previously forced Tehran to the negotiating table with bloody knees, and this time with even more intensity.
There are claims heard that Europe can save the Iranian regime’s economy with its own version of the nuclear pact, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
It is, of course, quite natural for Europe to seek its economic benefits to salvage anything from the JCPOA corpse. However, the comments heard from senior Iranian regime officials are interesting.
“In one word, I believe the JCPOA is dead and the Europeans are busy eating the flesh of a dead corpse,” said Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary of the so-called Human Rights Department in the Iranian regime’s judiciary, according to state TV.
Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei delivered his thoughts and “conditions” to maybe prevent Europe from taking too much advantage of Tehran’s weakness.
“… Europe must guarantee the issue of our missiles and presence in the region are not raised… they must explicitly stand in the face of U.S. sanctions,” he said, according to state TV.
While Khamenei is in his own world ordering the European to this and that, there are no signs indicating European leaders caring less. This is especially true considering the current balance of power the Iranian regime is under.
The European Union believes the nuclear agreement is not complete and they must discuss other issues with Iran, such as their missile program, according to Iranian state TV citing French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The JCPOA must be rescued and of course completed to include Iran’s regional influence and missile capabilities, the report adds.
Europe knows quite well that in its dispute with the Iranian regime, it is the latter party that must give in. It is crystal clear for all parties involved that Tehran desperately needs the JCPOA to remain intact, far more than Europe. The Green Continent’s economy is not reliant on on trade with Iran. For Tehran’s crumbling economy, however, the story is quite different.
- In 2017, Europe’s total trade with the U.S. reached $1.045 trillion in comparison to Europe/Iran trade ending at $15 billion, meaning 1.6% of the Europe/U.S. transactions
- In 2015, Europe exported $1 billion in services to Iran, whereas the same figure to the U.S. reached $225 billion.
- In the same year Europe imported only €600 million of services from Iran, where as its imports from the U.S. reached €212 billion. This shows Europe’s dependence to U.S. service imports, being 353 times more than Iran’s.
- Iran imports around €3 billion from Germany. Considering Germany’s €1.35 trillion in exports, Iran’s share ends at a staggering .002 percent. As a result, Iran is no defining partner for Germany and Berlin can easily neglect this issue for other more important interests.
- Dozens of large, multinational companies based in Europe have been seen ditching the Iranian regime in the face of strong U.S. sanctions returning at a fast pace.
What is referred to as the “European JCPOA” and the talks between Europe and the Iranian regime will not open a new door for Tehran.
European governments cannot salvage the JCPOA, knowing their private firms will act based on their own interests and abide by U.S. sanctions. This will leave the Iranian regime hanging.