0507 GMT November 22, 2019
Leaders of the UK, France and Germany took a rare political stance against Iran during and on the sideline of the 74th annual session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 74) in New York, paving the way for an unusual event to unfold in the international arena.
Although at first glance, the essence and primary goals of the meetings held on the sidelines of the 74th UNGA session were peaceful and peace-seeking, the stances of the leaders of these three countries against Tehran was a “strategic blunder” in principle committed by a Europe which is currently grey in nature.
The events displayed the following astonishing developments: The complete U-turn made by Europe on its policy toward Tehran; the three European countries, in unison with Washington, calling on Iran to hold negotiations with the US under the sanctions, urging for the signing of a new JCPOA; and, issuing a statement about the attacks on Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil facility, accusing the Islamic Republic of having launched them.
Perhaps the most important aspect of this diplomatic behavior of the three European states is that it unexpectedly alluded to Europe returning to the period when it was practically dependent on the White House during the Cold War.
In other words, this behavior showed that Europe cannot be characterized as a powerful and professional union which is moving toward achieving independence from the “Trumpist US” that is making unilateral moves and decisions in its international interactions and relations.
It is likely that the Europe’s weak behavior is partly due to its insufficient knowledge of Iran’s powerful political structure and the concept of power in the Islamic Republic. The other reason for this behavior is that Europe has been ensnared in the “Trumpism political trap” and US president’s egotistic and unilateral behavior toward Iran.
Thus, by the time Europe fails to overcome its inherent weaknesses in the face of the US, it cannot expect the international community to give it weight, status and special respect in multilateral treaties and interactions.
Europe will not be able to achieve a credible global status unless it pays the costs of US May 2018 withdrawal from the JCPOA.
“Borrowed strength”, particularly if lent by the US, cannot provide the EU with the international credit it needs.
The “strategic blunders” Europe has committed in its relations with Iran, China and Russia when dealing with the issues pertaining to the JCPOA, Hong Kong and Ukraine, respectively, will practically question the emergence of a successful and thriving multilateral system that will suffer from trust crisis.
In fact, by having a more effective and honest presence in the multilateral system, Europe can safeguard itself against the blackmails of American unilateralism and Trumpism.
* Hossein Ziaee is an Iranian freelance columnist.