New Transatlantic Low: Washington breaks from Iran Deal

United States President Donald Trump announced his decision to exit the Iran nuclear deal on 8 May, claiming the deal’s weakness would allow for a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. With Europe strongly committed to preserving the deal, the Transatlantic relations reached their lowest point in decades.

The exit from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) comes after months of diplomatic pressure from European diplomats and leaders on Trump not to drop the multilateral agreement. Yet, the lobby from Israel, Saudi Arabia (which is now pursuing its own nuclear program) and other Gulf countries have been more successful. EU foreign policy leader Federica Mogherini announced Europe will comply with the deal while Iranian President announced Teheran will stick to the agreement but warned it will review whether it is still beneficial to the country – leaving the US being the only violator of the agreement. US Ambassador to Germany cautioned Berlin to stop all its economic deals with the regime while the US President noted that all countries aiding Iran will be hit by sanctions as well. Amid trade war concerns, defence cooperations tensions and an inherent value clash, the Transatlantic relations face multifaceted challenges unseen in decades. The EU is expected to form a more comprehensive common position in the next days. The JCPOA exit is likely to escalate tensions in the Middle East, empower Iran’s hardliners and harm non-proliferation efforts, as Iran is more likely to pursue North Korea’s path in successfully obtaining a nuclear weapon. A new all-inclusive deal that Donald Trump called for including Iran’s ballistic program, regional activities or all nuclear capabilities is highly improbable due to complexity, clashing redlines and the precedent made by the US unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA.

About author: Petr Boháček


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