London, 19 Mar – The meeting between US President Donald Trump and the Saudi Crown Prince is due to take place shortly. Their discussions will place emphasis on finding a solution to curb Iran’s belligerence across the Middle East. It is also expected that much will be said about the US position with regards to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Since the announcement of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s firing, there has been much speculation about the future of the nuclear agreement. Many, including officials in Europe and Iran, have said that the departure of the Secretary of State is a clear indication that Trump plans to pull out of the deal and impose more sanctions on Iran.
More fuel was added to the speculation with Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s visit to Washington a few days after the announcement.
In 2015, the nuclear deal was signed in an effort to put a stop to Iran’s nuclear enrichment. However, it did not have the intended outcome because Iran just increased its military activities in the region. It has also led to Iran upping its ballistic missile program which has ironically given Iran the means to launch a nuclear weapon.
Those that describe the deal as a failure are correct in that it has just increased Iran’s belligerence outside its own borders. It has made Iran more and bolder in its acts and has had the opposite effect of Iran calming down on its aggressive policies. Development in the country and peace is clearly not on the cards for Iran.
The United States is in the position to change the future of the nuclear deal. President Trump holds the power as to whether the deal will actually remain intact and US officials have been keen to try and persuade Europe to stop appeasing Iran and fix the deal’s major flaws.
Europe, although it is not appeasing Iran to the extent former US President Barack Obama did, is passively letting Iran get away with extreme acts of belligerence that are having profound effects on different nations in the region and the millions of people in Iran.
Europe has been unwilling to impose economic sanctions that target Iran, the Lebanese Hezbollah, and all the entities and groups that support them. It is these types of sanctions that will make a difference, and by Europe’s refusal to impose them, Iran will continue as it has been.
It seems like Trump is making one final effort to make a difference with regards to Iran. Although he has mentioned on numerous occasions – even before taking office – that he wants to scrap the deal, he has given his European colleagues a chance to ensure the United States remains part of it. However, he has made it clear that unless there are meaningful changes that bring real changes to the Iran’s behaviour, he will not be involved.
So, it is now up to Europe to decide what the future holds.