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Cole writes: "On Friday at a Munich security meeting, Germany's foreign minister, Heiko Maas, replied to the chiding of Vice President Mike Pence that Iran is destabilizing the region."

Mike Pence. (photo: Cengiz Yar/AFP/Getty Images)
Mike Pence. (photo: Cengiz Yar/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump's Attempt to Strongarm Europe on Iran Crashes and Burns

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

17 February 19


rance24 reports that Trump’s attempt to dissuade the Europeans from continuing their support for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal has backfired.

On Friday at a Munich security meeting, Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, replied to the chiding of Vice President Mike Pence that Iran is destabilizing the region. Maas remarked that “Together with the British, the French and the entire European Union, we have found a means to allow Iran to remain in the nuclear accord. Our objective remains the lack of nuclear weapons, precisely because Iran destablizes the region.” Without the accord, “the region will not be more secure, but would in fact take a further step toward open confrontation.”

Frederica Mogherini, the European Union’s High Representative for foreign affairs, said, “We think that [this accord] is fundamental and crucial for our security.” The agreement “is a basic pillar of the architecture of nuclear non-proliferation at the global level.”

Pence had, after a visit to the Holocaust death camp at Auschwitz, accused Iran of fomenting a virulent anti-Semitism reminiscent of that of the Nazis.

[Iran has a small Jewish community with a representative in Parliament, which is not very much like Nazism. In contrast, Donald Trump called the Neonazis who shouted “Jews will not replace us” in Charlottesville “very fine people.” Pence has never spoken out about the dangers of white nationalism in the United States. – JC]

The French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, was asked Friday about US policies in northeast Syria, remarking on the “mystery” that Trump’s decision to pull US troops out could only have the result of helping Iran.

“How can you be extremely firm with regard to Iran and at the same time abandon the northwest of Syria, when you know that at the end of the story you are thereby favoring the Iranian presence in the region.” Le Drian said, “For me, it is a mystery.”

The European rebuke, with the sardonic raising of a single eyebrow in which French foreign ministers specialize, came in the wake of the US-sponsored anti-Iran conference in Warsaw. Most countries sent low-level delegations and the mete was widely considered a failure.

At Warsaw, the foreign minister of the Yemeni government in exile of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi was seated next to Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu. It was a major propaganda victory for the Houthi rebels who control much of north Yemen, inasmuch as most Yemenis view Israel with suspicion and denounce its Occupation of the Palestinians. Trump has managed to tie an Israel connection around the neck of the beleaugured Mansour Hadi government.

Not only could Trump not rally Europe to his anti-Iran crusade, but even the anti-Iran states of the Gulf have split because of the Saudi-led boycott of Qatar. With a deep fissure in the Gulf Cooperation Council and an AWOL Europe, Trump’s grand coalition against Iran has fallen almost completely apart.

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+34 # indian weaving 2019-02-17 10:01
The same collapse is now happening to the fascist implementation of the new fake president to replace Venezuela's Maduro by the USA's CIA. Looks like the collapse of the Evil Empire's regime change, like the Iranian b.s. Russia and China have too much invested in Venezuela for this ever to be a successful USA regime change. The USA's Imperial Power is vaporizing worldwide.
0 # lfeuille 2019-02-17 16:40
Europe, on the other hand, in contrast to it's stand on Iran is gone all in on Trump's regime change plans for Venezuela. I just read an interview on Real News Network about it. They posit that it is because Europe is dependent on Iran for oil, but not so much on Venezuela.
+45 # chrisconno 2019-02-17 10:37
If anyone should be characterized as the great stabilizers it should be the US. After all, we helped foment the overthrow of democratically elected Prime Minister Mosedeq because we didn't like that he nationalized oil so the Iranians could benefit from THEIR natural resource. We then reinstated the Shah, as brutal a dictator as was beneficial for our wants. Good for the European Union for intelligently recognizing the merits of the Iran Nuclear deal. Nothing intelligent about our envoy.
+43 # treerapper 2019-02-17 10:38
BRAVO!! A toast to the failure of all things Trump
+18 # PeacefulGarden 2019-02-17 10:48
Ya' think Putin is please with this scene?
+2 # maindrains 2019-02-17 14:57
For some reasom my local "religious TV station broadcasts a half hour program called "Israel Daily" that covered the Warsaw meeting, presenting it as a triumph for Netanyahu. When doubt was expressed about this an Israeli commentator spoke up to remind everyone that the US can destroy Iran by strangling its economy. maybe this is true.. is this whats happening in Venezuala? Is economic strangulation the new colonialism? and is the fact that Venezuala and Iran have huge oil reserves a factor? Good for Europe for opting out.
+5 # Misterioso 2019-02-17 15:15
Boo hoo

Frothing at the mouth, war mongering Zionist zealots, Sheldon Adelson (number one donator to Trump and the Republicans) and Haim Saban (number one donator to Pelosi and the Democrats) are so disappointed that thousands upon thousands of people will not be slaughtered in a war for racist, fascistic, historically anachronistic Israel.
+3 # janie1893 2019-02-17 15:46
God help the USA!
+3 # elizabethblock 2019-02-17 16:36
And some people want to impeach Trump ... and replace him with President Pence.
Remember when the USA used to be the leader of the free world?
+5 # MidwestDick 2019-02-17 19:24
He's such an out-of-control flying dingbat, that one cannot keep from worrying. Still in all, he is putting the American Empire mercifully to sleep. Sweet dreams, Empire, we will do fine without you.
+3 # DongiC 2019-02-19 09:11
Trump has managed something the Soviet dictators after World War II were unable to accomplish; fracturing the NATO Alliance. The Europeans are taking a different stand than the US on Iran, finances, the danger of Putin and the Russians.

The world is becomming a much more dangerous place. With Trump at the helm, nuclear war is a greater danger. None of us on planet Earth is safer with this deranged mad man in the White House with his finger on the red button which could end everything for everyone. My children and grandchildren deserve their chance at life. So do the offspring of every one else!

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