by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org)
Washington is increasingly an international outlier. Trump’s America First agenda puts him at odds with longtime allies.
He wants the Western alliance reshaped to serve US interests more than ever. His trade disputes with China, Europe, Canada, Mexico and possibly other countries threatens something more serious than already if cooler heads don’t prevail.
Moving America’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem showed Palestinians the futility of talks with his regime, contemptuous of their fundamental rights.
His framework summit agreement with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un already shows signs of unravelling.
Will talks with Putin in Helsinki fair as poorly? Clearly, longstanding US hostility toward Russia won’t end. Believing otherwise is foolhardy, naive and and dangerous.
Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA showed utter contempt for an international treaty, supported by the world community, angering other signatory countries.
Russia and China intend continuing full observance of its principles, including normal relations with Iran – regardless of threatened Trump regime sanctions.
According to Sergey Lavrov, Britain, France and Germany agreed to conduct non-dollar trade with Iran, an attempt to circumvent Trump’s sanctions threat.
The decision applies mainly to small and medium-sized companies, the three major EU countries agreeing to protect their businesses from US sanctions – if Lavrov’s understanding is correct, provided Britain, France and Germany stick to what he believes they agreed on.
According to Lavrov, JCPOA signatories (other than the US) oppose Trump’s pullout and sanctions threat, calling his agenda “absolutely illegal and unacceptable policy…”
Last week, EU lawmakers approved having the European Investment Bank continue doing business with Iran.
Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia will circumvent Trump’s hostility toward Iran, continuing their political, economic and financial relations with the country.
Following a Friday meeting in Vienna, a statement by the foreign ministers of the above countries expressed their intention to preserve the JCPOA despite Trump’s pullout and hostile sanctions threat.
The EU’s Blocking Statute is being updated, exempting EU companies from complying with US sanctions on Iran.
According to Lavrov, “(w)e agreed, though it was not easy given that the European troika, Russia and Iran often have very different interests, that the permanent mechanism of the joint commission at the level of experts will work on a regular basis to review options that will allow keeping all the obligations under the JCPOA despite the US decision, and maintaining trade and economic ties with Iran…independently from the US.”
Agreement on the above in principle and follow-through may be world’s apart if Brussels ends up partly or entirely caving to Washington, its usual practice.
EU governments have a lot or proving to do before it’s possible to believe their agreement in principle will become binding policy – regardless of threatened retaliatory Trump regime measures.
Read more: Non-Dollar Iran/EU Trade Agreed On?
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