Trump Drops JCPOA – Now Russia Must Deescalate a Proxy War Against Iran in Syria While the EU Must Work to Preserve Deal Without US Involvement

Donald Trump has just announced US withdrawal from the JCPOA, the 2015 deal in which Iran offered full inspections of its nuclear energy production and research facilities in exchange for a relaxation of sanctions. In the years since, America has continued to level other forms of sanctions on Iran while European, Russia and Chinese business have begun intensifying new levels of commercial and investment ties to the Islamic Republic.

During his announcement Trump justified American withdrawal from the JCPOA on so-called intelligence from the “Israeli” regime, in spite of the fact that no other power in the world felt convinced that the Tel Aviv regime made a case for dropping the JCPOA. In addition to reinstating sanctions, Trump also said that any nation that trades with Iran in such a way that could help Iran develop a would-be nuclear weapon could face sanctions from the US. This will put additional pressure on Europe, Russia and China who all seek to preserve the deal in some form.

It is due to the significant European business interests in Iran that France, Germany, Britain and the EU as a whole have been trying so hard to save the JCPOA from Donald Trump’s withdrawal.  These efforts which included personal visits from French President Macron, German Chancellor Merkel and British Foreign Secretary Johnson have all ended in futility. The fact that the EU has decided not to give in to Trump’s demands for both loosened restrictions on US imports into Europe while Brussels also rejected putting a voluntary cap on exports to the US has certainly played a factor in Trump’s decision not to take European pleas seriously regarding the JCPOA. In this sense, because of the brewing US-EU trade war, Trump was if anything less inclined to listen to the voices of traditional US allies than he would have been in another circumstance.

While Iran has traditionally proffered the line that in the event of a US withdrawal from the JCPOA the deal will be considered null and void by Tehran, recent remarks from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani have indicated that if there is a collective will among Russia, China, France, Germany, Britain and the EU to preserve the deal as it stands but without the participation of the United States, that Iran might continue to uphold its end of the deal.

Such a move would necessarily include commitments from the other parties to the JCPOA for intensified trading with and investment in Iran to compensate for the sanctions that have been reinstated as a result of America’s withdrawal from the JCPOA.

While according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), United States, Russia, China, European Union, Germany, France and Britain, Iran remains in full compliance with the deal, the US has clearly decided to instead follow orders from Tel Aviv and the American based “Israel” lobby which has profusely agitated for a policy of increased hostility towards Iran.

Even while many in the Democratic party who are no fans of the Islamic Revolution continue to support the JCPOA as it represented a high point in Barack Obama’s foreign policy, the fact that the JCPOA was a flagship Obama achievement has made Trump all the more willing to drop it without much of a second thought.

While many see the dropping of the JCPOA by the United States as an indication that a war on Iran is imminent  from either the US, “Israel” or both – this is not necessarily the case as in reality, the US and “Israel” have been waging a hybrid war against Iran on Syrian soil since 2011.

To be sure, the US and “Israel” would both like to attack Iran or to be far more precise, the US would like “Israel” to attack Iran and “Israel” would like the US to invade Iran. Because Iran is a formidable military force compared to most of the Middle East states invaded, occupied and provoked by the US and “Israel”, there is a clear sense of reality biting two countries whose aggression is generally limited to states whose regular forces cannot fight back.

Because of this, while the US would like “Israel” to ‘go out on a limb’ and while the “Israel” would like the US to fight yet another war on its behalf, the likelihood is that neither will happen in the near future, barring a catastrophic wave of instability within Iran, something both Tel Aviv and the US have time and again tried to create, but have yet to be successful in pulling off. Furthermore, because European companies do business with Iran (while they don’t with Syria), the same Europeans who still sometimes shout “Assad must go” are now shouting “the JPCOA must stay”. Apart from the US and “Israel” no one has an appetite for war, not even Saudi Arabia.  In respect of Saudi Arabia, if a wider war against Iran were to be a prolonged one, it could end up being partly fought on Saudi soil and even if the Islamic Revolutionary government was replaced by a re-installed Pahlavi, this would mean that the US would suddenly have a larger and more important new (old) ally that could complete with Saudi Arabia for US loyalty and friendship in the region. One mustn’t forget that after 1979, the Saudi-US partnership intensified because the US no longer needed to divide its regional attention between a friendly Shah in Tehran and a friendly King in Riyadh.

Because of this, the idea of “invading Iran” is at least for the time being one giant bluff as a whole, while the US and “Israel” seem to be bluffing each other regarding who might make the first foolish move. But sadly, the story does not end there. One of the reasons the US and “Israel” do not need to attack Iran is because they’re already attacking Iran in Syria.

Far from this being novel let alone conspiratorial, the US and “Israel” have admitted this dozens of times. Having both realised that so long as Russia is a superpower with a port in the Syrian city of Tartus, that President Assad’s Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party will remain in power in Damascus, both Washington and Tel Aviv have stated that their new goal is not to rid Syria of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party but to rid Syria of Iranian military advisers, alleged Iranian regulars and Iranian allied Arab fighters including Lebanon’s Hezbollah. However, the other side of this coin is the direct threat against Syria that was recently issued by the “Israeli” regime. Days ago, regime officials threatened to kill the Syrian President if he does not remove Iranian advisers and other pro-Iranian militias from Syria.

In this sense, a war on Iran itself remains unlikely, but the proxy war against Iranian assets on Syria soil is likely to become even more intense as the Amero-Zionist alliance is now effectively telling Syria that either the Syrian government stays and Iran goes or Iran stays and as a result the “Israeli” regime might attempt a new so-called “regime change” operation against the legitimate government of the Syrian Arab Republic. To be sure this strategy is geopolitical blackmail of the lowest order but with no major international power firmly taking Iran’s side in the matter, the Syria-Iran alliance will face grave challenges unless Russia can thrash together some backroom agreement to prevent further aggression against Syria by the US and “Israel”. With the “Israeli” regime leader in Moscow tomorrow to discuss these matters, it will soon become apparent how much give and take Russia is willing to engage in, in order to calm matters down in this respect. Ultimately, Russia’s balancing strategy in the region means that Moscow is aware of both “Israeli” and Iranian sensitivities and is trying to equalise them without either power gaining the upper hand.

Ideally (from the Russian government’s perspective), Russia would like Iran’s presence in Syria to pivot from a military one to one which works in the Astana format in order to bring a final settlement to the conflict in Syria. However, unless Iran takes visible steps in this direction, there will be little that Russia is willing to do to restrain “Israel” as Russia’s policy remains one of allowing “Israel” to commit acts of aggression against Syria so long as these illegal acts do not effect the physical or strategic welfare of Russian human and material assets in Syria.

Thus, at a time when all eyes are on Iran, in reality they ought to remain ever more fixed upon Syria because this is where any future intensified wars against Iran will ultimately be fought.

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