Update: Donald Trump will announce his final decision on the JCPOA tomorrow afternoon, Washington time.
I will be announcing my decision on the Iran Deal tomorrow from the White House at 2:00pm.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2018
In a major blow to “Israel’s” flagship policy of leading a western exodus from the JCPOA, the 2015 agreement in which the US, China, Russia, Germany, France, UK and EU as a whole agreed to an international mechanism to monitor Iran’s nuclear activity in exchange for a relaxation of sanctions against Tehran, the foreign Ministers of France, Germany and Britain released a joint statement saying that they intend to uphold the JCPOA even if the US drops out.
The reasons behind this development are far from altruistic. While France and Britain eagerly supported an illegal missile strike against Iran’s Syrian ally, these same states stand opposed to weakening the JCPOA, a step that could have otherwise been a prelude to an US or “Israeli” led act of aggression against Iran. While it is an overtly contradictory position to inflict violence upon Iran’s Syrian ally while cautioning the US against any provocative steps against Iran, there is a fundamental difference from the European perspective. While major European companies did little business with Syria prior to the 2011 outbreak of conflict in the country, major EU companies have been engaged in lucrative business deals with Iran which were largely made possible because of the JCPOA.
In July of 2017, the French energy giant Total signed a $5 billion deal with Iran to develop the South Pars off-shore oil field. At the time, Total executives acknowledged the fact that they could lose all of their investments in Iran if the geopolitical situation regarding sanctions deteriorates. The deal between Tehran and Total was the largest of its kind since the JCPOA (aka Iran nuclear deal) came into force in 2015.
This is one of the deals that the Europeans seek to collectively save and because of this, they have inadvertently adopted a position of joining the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), United Nations, Russia, China and Iran itself in saying that Tehran is in full compliance with the JCPOA. This means that “Israel” and the US are the only nations overtly accusing Iran of violating the deal, while some Gulf Cooperation Council countries, notably Saudi Arabia often chirp in with their own anti-Tehran statements in this wider context.
According to French Fpreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian,
“We are determined to save this deal because this accord safeguards against nuclear proliferation and is the right way to stop Iran getting a nuclear weapon”.
These words echo previous statements from Berlin, Paris, Brussels and London where the overriding feeling is that the JCPOA has accomplished what it set out to do, while the clear subtext is that the JCPOA has been good for European businesses. As the US private sector has not embraced post-2015 commerce with Iran as readily as its European counterparts have, Washington is less indelibly tied in to the commercially beneficial aspects the JCPOA than Europe. However, because the JCPOA is seen as the crowing achievement of Barack Obama’s otherwise unenviable foreign policy record, many Obama supporters in the US opposition Democratic party are also willing to stand by the JCPOA against Donald Trump’s apparent disdain for a deal cemented by one of his major domestic rivals.
Adding weight to the general global trajectory of opposition to a would-be US withdrawal from the JCPOA, a majority of Americans now also support the deal.
This comes as more and more American media figures from all sides of the political divide have expressed scepticism regarding “Israel’s” vulgar campaign to persuade the US to back their government’s possible withdrawal from the agreement. CNN news anchor Chris Cuomo, an ardent critic of Donald Trump, has conducted a hard-hitting (by US mainstream media standards) interview with Benjamin Netanyahu in which he challenged Netanyahu’s hypocrisy for condemning Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions while failing to disclose “Israel’s” infamous illegal nuclear weapons programme. Cuomo further grilled Netanyahu on why he gave his recent anti-Iranian speech in English, the clear implication being that Netanyahu was trying to persuade a US audience to adopt a policy of hostility towards the JCPOA in an over the top fashion.
On the other side of the US mainstream media spectrum, Trump supporter Alex Jones of Infowars broadcast an interview of former White House adviser to Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan and former US Presidential candidate Patrick J. Buchanan in which Buchanan stated that “Israel” was trying to once again to lead the US into fighting one of its battles. Buchanan further stated that a war with Iran would be of no benefit to the US. Jones who has been criticised for ignoring “Israel’s” role in pushing the US to war in the Middle East came out in condemnation of Netanyahu’s remarks and associated himself instead with long time “Israel” sceptic Patrick Buchanan.
This is all the more meaningful as many in the US continue to harbour ill-will towards Iran due to the hostage incident of 1979/80 that was largely seen as an embarrassment for the US. But as younger generations of Americans have no recollection of the events of 1979 but are aware of America’s disastrous interventions in the Middle East beginning with the Iraq invasion of 2003 become more politically active, the popularity of withdrawing from the JCPOA which is seen by many as a first step towards commencing war on Iran, is dwindling in America.
While CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Infwars’ Alex Jones can be accused of many things, they cannot be accused of being on the same side as Iran as both news outlets have issued a great deal of anti-Iranian commentary in recent months and years. Nor can CNN and Infowars be accused of having the same political slant as one another. Both media outlets are major rivals with a history of animosity. Furthermore, as Jones came out in support of Pat Buchanan’s statement, self-proclaimed Zionist and right-wing US commentator figure Ben Shapiro began a public smear campaign against Jones making it all the more clear that the issue is one of those who put America first versus those who put “Israel” first.
It would appear that more and more Americans are realising the obvious reality that the US is neither Iran nor “Israel” and that because of this, the security of the American people has little to do with the politics of the Middle East. While American supporters of the Islamic Revolution in Iran would be vociferously opposed to anything that could harm Iran and while Zionists in the US would naturally support the “Israeli” regime, for the majority of Americans, the issue is one of pragmatism. This has led more and more Americans to the conclusion that provoking Iran and running the risk of yet another war for “Israel” in the Middle East is simply not worth it. This is of course the view of Patrick Buchanan who is neither a Zionist nor a supporter of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.
After decades of being able to sway the US public into backing Middle East war after Middle East war, it would appear that more Americans are becoming informed about the “Israeli” agenda which has nothing to do with the safety of the American public, the security of the US nation and nothing to do with protecting the US from losing money and soldiers in another Middle East war.
Taken together, while the Trump administration is under pressure from “Israel” and the vastly influential US based “Israel” lobby, Trump is now also under pressure from America’s closet allies, a majority of US voters and in particular from Trump’s increasingly war weary domestic base to retain America’s position in the JCPOA.
While Iran has threatened to drop the deal from its side if the US withdraws, Europe along with Russia and China remain keen on preserving the deal even in a format which excludes US participation. For Donald Trump, it may all boil down to whether he can trade support for the JCPOA for a European trade deal that he believes is more fair than current EU-US trade arrangements which Trump has mercilessly criticised. As Brussels and Washington are currently both playing hardball over Trump’s proposed tariffs on EU goods, an issue that has military implications will largely hinge upon commercial horse trading between the US and EU, while beyond that if Trump decides to listen to the “Israel” lobby more than his European partners, it will then be a matter for Russia, China and the EU to give Iran a better post-US JCPOA deal than the one which currently exists.