In 2015, the European powers -- France, Germany and the United Kingdom -- changed their Iran policy from imposing pressure to adopting diplomacy. The diplomatic route included lifting oil and gas sanctions on Iran as well as removing some Iranian individuals and entities from the list of countries to be sanctioned.
According to the preface of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action: "The JCPOA will produce the comprehensive lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to Iran's nuclear programme, including steps on access in areas of trade, technology, finance, and energy."
The EU immediately allowed transfers of funds between Iranian and EU persons and entities, banking relationships between Iran's banks and the EU financial institutions, financial support for trade with the Islamic Republic, financial assistance and concessional loans to the Iranian government, the import of Iranian oil, petroleum products, gas and petrochemical products, investment in the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors, as well as export of gold, precious metals and diamonds, among others.
The EU continued with this policy even though the Iranian regime was found to violate the JCPOA.
Just as Europe disregarded warnings that relying on gas from Russia would leave them open to Russian blackmail, they are again ignoring warnings that a nuclear Iran will leave them open to Iranian blackmail.
Iran will not even have to use any nuclear weapons to persuade the leaders of Europe to do whatever it likes; the threat alone should do the trick. The mullahs might even sell or give a few to their terrorist militias. The tea leaves are not that hard to imagine; one only need look at Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq.
For the full article in pdf, please click here:
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US Foreign Policy. He can be reached at Dr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu
Follow Majid Rafizadeh on Twitter
Pictured (L-R): Then French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, then German FM Frank-Walter Steinmeier, then EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini and then Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif in Vienna, Austria on July 14, 2015. (Photo by Joe Klamar/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)