by Caroline Glick
As Mogherini and her colleagues were sitting with the Iranians, the Wall Street Journal reported that the French and German governments have agreed to set up a back channel-- to arrange for payments for Iranian exports in a manner that bypasses and so undermines US financial and trade sanctions on Iran.
Last Saturday, Iran’s “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani called Israel “a cancerous tumor” in a speech at the regime’s annual Islamic Unity Conference.
Rouhani’s fellow speakers included deputy Hezbollah chief Naim Qassem and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh. Both terror bosses called for the destruction of the “cancerous tumor.”
With the predictability of a Swiss clock, the Europeans rushed to condemn Rouhani. The EU in Brussels condemned Rouhani. The German Foreign Ministry condemned Rouhani. And so on and so forth.
We could have done without their statements.
Just two days after Rouhani’s Jewish cancer speech, his representatives sat down with senior EU officials in Brussels to discuss Iranian-EU nuclear cooperation in the framework of the 2015 nuclear deal. Following the talks, EU Foreign Affairs Chief Federica Mogherini’s office put out a statement claiming that the sides “expressed their determination to preserve the nuclear agreement as… a key pillar for European and regional security.”
As Mogherini and her colleagues were sitting with the Iranians, the Wall Street Journal reported that the French and German governments have agreed to set up a back channel, in the form of a joint corporation, owned by European governments, whose job will be to arrange for payments for Iranian exports in a manner that bypasses and so undermines US financial and trade sanctions on Iran.
How are we to understand Europe’s behavior? What is possessing Germany and France and Brussels and even Britain, (which is reportedly considering joining the Germans and French in their sanctions-busting operations) to stand with Iran against the US?
It isn’t because Iran has proved its good intentions to them. To the contrary, over the past six months, Iran has plotted three terror attacks in Europe. In June, Iranian operatives murdered a regime opponent in Holland. In July, Belgian authorities prevented an Iranian plot to attack a regime opposition rally in Paris. And in October, Danish authorities intercepted an Iranian terror squad en route to assassinate the head of an organization of Ahwaz Arabs, Iran’s Arab minority that suffers from harsh repression at the hands of the regime.
These terror plots are not the only way that Iran is working to threaten European security even as European leaders endanger their ties with the US to enrich Tehran. Ahead of his meeting with the Europeans in Brussels on Monday, Ali Akhbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s nuclear agency, warned that if Europeans choose to comply with US sanctions and stop purchasing Iranian oil, Iran will ditch the nuclear deal and restore its activities to enrich uranium to 20% purity, something Iran purportedly suspended in the framework of the 2015 nuclear deal.
Salehi told Reuters, “It is very easy for us to go back to what we were before – even to a better position. We can start the 20% enrichment activity. We can increase the amount of enriched uranium.”
Maybe the Europeans are working to undermine US sanctions and save the Iranian economy because they are afraid of the Iranians. But since Europe’s intense efforts to appease Iran have been met with continued Iranian terrorism, it is irrational to think that repeating this failed policy will protect them in the future.
As Brian Hook, the US State Department’s Iran policy chief put it to reporters when the Denmark terror plot was revealed, “It is very strange to us to see this Iranian regime would spend so much time trying to keep the Europeans on its side, while at the same time conducting bomb plots and assassination attempts in Europe.”
It’s possible that the Europeans are motivated to work on behalf of Iran against the US by an uncontrollable hatred of US President Donald Trump. Speaking to Britain’s Independent, a senior European diplomat said that the Europeans are empowering Iran so that Trump won’t be able to get the satisfaction of seeing them agree with him that Iran is a threat.
In his words, “We want to play it smartly so that Trump doesn’t say, ‘See, I told you these weak Europeans will eventually understand the real nature of Iran.’”
In other words, according to the quoted diplomat, the Europeans would rather shut their eyes to the reality of Iran’s aggression and empower the terror sponsoring ayatollahs than acknowledge that Trump is right and that Iran poses to danger to Europe that mustn’t be countenanced. And indeed, while the Danes initially recalled their ambassador from Tehran and called on the EU to impose sanctions against Iran in retaliation for the terror plot in Copenhagen, within weeks, the Danish ambassador was back in Tehran and the EU had opted not to impose any sanctions in response to Iran’s terrorist operations in Europe.
Jew hatred is another possible explanation for Europe’s embrace of a regime that calls daily for Israel’s destruction and works directly and through its Hezbollah and Hamas proxies to achieve its murderous goal. CNN’s survey of European Jew hatred, released this week showed yet again that hatred of Jews remains a powerful force for political and social mobilization in Europe today.
As for antisemitism, according to a senior administration official, although Mogherini is the mouthpiece for the EU’s Iran policy, she is not its author, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is.
Mogherini, like the Germans and French, insist that their continued commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal stems from their conviction that the deal is working to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Ahead of the meeting with Salehi on Monday, EU Energy Commissioner Arias Canete said the deal is “crucial for the security of Europe, of the region and the entire world.”
He said the agreement is working to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and that “we do not see any credible peaceful alternative.”
The mendacity of Canete’s statement, and similar ones by Mogherini, is stunning. At least since April 30, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exposed Iran’s nuclear archive, which Mossad officers seized from a Tehran warehouse in late January, nothing Iran says about its nuclear program or activities can be taken seriously. The very existence of the nuclear archive, and the great efforts the regime took to preserve it made clear that the Iranian regime has never had the slightest interest in curbing, let alone abandoning its ambition to develop a nuclear arsenal. The archive preserved all of the knowledge that Iran amassed since the early 1990s towards the development, testing and deployment of nuclear warheads.
Salehi himself made clear that the nuclear sword of Damocles is still dangling over the world’s throat. Salehi warned the Europeans that if they fail to protect Iran from US sanctions, the consequences will be “ominous.”
“The situation is very unpredictable,” he warned.
The Iranian nuclear archive, Europe’s willingness to provoke an open breach with the Americans to continue transferring money to Iran, and Iran’s own brinksmanship in the face of US sanctions tell us that much of the discourse about the nuclear deal has been misplaced and the purpose of the deal has been misconstrued.
Unlike what we have been told – and what we have been telling ourselves, the deal isn’t a non-proliferation effort. It isn’t geared toward blocking Iran’s nuclear operations.
The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is nothing more than a payoff. Salehi admitted as much this week when he said, “If we cannot sell our oil and we don’t enjoy financial transactions, then I don’t think keeping the deal will benefit us anymore.”
The Obama administration, in conjunction with the EU, concluded a deal which no one ever signed. It involved the US and Europe, (along with Russia and China) transferring billions of dollars to Iran in cash, providing Iran with billions of dollars of sanctions relief and agreeing to business deals worth additional billions to the Iranian economy.
In exchange, Iran offered them nothing.
It is impossible to credit any of Iran’s purported actions to contain or curtail its nuclear activities because the agreement contains no effective inspections mechanism. Under the JCPOA, Iran can avoid UN inspections of its nuclear installations by simply calling them military installations.
The purpose of the deal then wasn’t to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons at all. This is why then-president Barack Obama, then-secretary of state John Kerry, their underlings and their EU colleagues couldn’t care less when, during the negotiations, Israel provided proof that Iran couldn’t be trusted and that the agreement as concluded wouldn’t prevent Iran from developing a nuclear arsenal. This is also why the Europeans responded to Israel’s seizure of Iran’s nuclear archive with a shrug of their shoulders. They aren’t arms controllers. They are appeasers.
The purpose of the nuclear deal was to enrich and empower the Iranian regime. And in this context, Iran’s determination to leave the deal if the dollars and euros stop flowing is entirely reasonable. So, too, the Europeans are right that to preserve the deal, they must do everything in their power to continue enriching Iran.
Once we understand the actual nature of the deal, we can recognize the true danger of Europe’s pro-Iranian, anti-American actions.
Israel and many Arab states have made clear that they will go to war against Iran if that is the only way that Iran can be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons.
The purpose of the US economic sanctions is to achieve the goal of blocking Iran’s nuclear efforts without war. If the Iranian economy collapses, or if the regime is overthrown, or both, Iran will likely abandon its nuclear weapons program without war. If Europe is successful in scuttling US sanctions, the likelihood of a major war will rise tremendously.
In response to the Wall Street Journal report, US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell told the Jerusalem Post’s Benjamin Weinthal that the US will contemplate sanctions against French and German entities that seek to evade sanctions against Iran.
In his words, “The US will consider sanctions on those entities participating in these tactics.”
Maybe the Europeans are motivated to stand with Rouhani and his fellow genocidal antisemites in the Iranian regime out of hatred for Trump or for America as a whole. Maybe they’re motivated by Jew hatred.
Maybe they simply want to keep paying off the Iranians in the hopes that Iranian regime terrorists will continue to focus their terror efforts in Europe on Iranian dissidents and Jews and leave them alone.
Maybe they are motivated by old-fashioned greed.
Whatever is motivating them, the time has come to make them pay a price for their hostile behavior. Because if they aren’t forced to back down, by US sanctions and other means, then the world will pay a devastating price later, in the form of a war that might have been prevented were it not for European perfidy, prejudice and cowardice.
Originally published in the Jerusalem Post.
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