Iran - Page 2

The Main Threat For The US In The Middle East Is Not Iran; It’s Russia!


The news that the US left the Iran deal was felt around the world like an earthquake. It brought out many questions, with one of them being will the Israel and Iran start an all-out war? The move is considered a catastrophe from the stance of foreign policy, and now the US must deal with the threat that Russia could further expand its influence in the Middle East.

Donald Trump’s decision to leave the agreement is similar to what Britain did with EU exit. It is a decision that affects the entire world. Like we said, Iran and Israel are closer to war with every passing day. This conflict could change the present and the future of the entire region, and not for the better.

The most significant change that occurred, and that is something Trump’s administration won’t admit, is that the US is no longer the most influential player in the Middle East; It’s Russia! With recent development, Moscow increased their authority in this region.

Of course, we all know there’s something more to this country than just matryoshka nestingdolls and vodka. Russia is one of the most powerful countries in the world. You would expect them to have at least a little influence on everything that goes on in this planet.

America is focused solely on the Iran deal, which can already be considered a dead agreement, missing their primary conflict. It’s not with Iran or with the Middle East as a region; it is with Russia. If the US doesn’t start dealing with this threat, it will lose much more than with cancelation of the deal, and it will be a catastrophe for the foreign policy.


At this moment the conflict between Israel and Iran seems inevitable. Israeli doesn’t want Iranian troops in Syria, while this is exactly what Iran wants in order to be the regions most powerful country. The smaller fights already started, the moment the US left the Iran deal.

Because of this development, America’s influence in the Middle East dropped in favor of Moscow. At the moment Putin has more control over this region than Trump. It can be seen through their actions when tensions in this region started to escalate. When Israeli F-16 fighter was shot down over Syria, Russia was the one who told them to calm down. The same happened when Iran lost seven soldiers to Israel attacks. Moscow was the one who told Israel to cease air strikes on Syria and one who calmed down Netanyahu when Iran became aggressive after the US left the nuclear deal. Russia is the central player in the Middle East, even if the US doesn’t want to admit it.

It will not come as a surprise if Israel accepts Russian aid in dealing with Iran. Yes, Tehran and Moscow are allies, but if what all parties involved want is peace, Russia can help them; the US no longer has this power. Many believe that Israeli/American ties are too deep to be cut off by Kremlin. But, Israel/Russia bond is equally deep. Just remember back in the 1990s more than 1 million Jews went from Russia to Israel. This was 20% of their population back in the day.


The second language in Israel is not English; it’s Russian! You have airlines flights from Israel to Moscow twice a day, and Netanyahu started spending more time with Putin than he is with Trump. Also, the rift between Israeli and American Jews is becoming more profound. For example, Natalie Portman decided to boycott 2018 Genesis Prize which is also known as Jewish Nobel Prize after showing support to Palestinians and criticizing the way they are treated by Israel. She is only one person in a see of people who share her sentiment.

The US leaving the Iran deal hasn’t only made Tehran its enemy once again, it brought out Russia as their biggest threat. Moscow is steadily becoming a leading player on the world’s battleground while Washington stands and does nothing.


What America needs to do is to lower the Russian influence in the region. What they should do is not another Cold War, but more of collecting back its allies one by one, starting with Turkey. The next in line should be Egypt and Lebanon. They should broaden their influence similarly to what Kremlin is doing right now. The US needs to regain its role as the peacemaker in the Middle East. The part that Moscow is playing at the moment, and they are doing it with a long-lasting American friend, Israel.

Instead of destroying its foreign policy, the US should do that to Russia. They must gather their allies and make a push of decreasing Kremlin influence by making them deal with internal affairs. This shouldn’t be hard to do considering the levels of corruption, and lack of human rights that exist in both Russia and their puppet states from where they are pulling all of their influence.


This Is How Europe Can Block Trump Actions


The US exited Iran deal, and the sanctions they will impose on this Middle East country could harm European companies. But EU could try and use a tool that worked well for them in the 90s in a situation similar to this.

America’s exit from Iran deal wasn’t graceful, and President Trump threatened that he would use the sanctions to make Europe follow him. So, Trump didn’t only violate a multilateral agreement, which the rest of the signatories intend to honor, his administration also wants to impact European business in that country. POTUS also mentioned that he plans to impose harmful trade tariffs on EU if they fail to oblige. If this happens, a trade war is imminent. Also, Europe will be between a rock and a hard place in their attempt to retain its sovereignty while not further damaging trans-Atlantic alliance in the process.

After Trump announced that America exited Iran deal, his administration said that the set of sanctioning measures would be imposed in Iran, and that same awaits any countries that continue to trade with Iran. The US ambassador in Germany tweeted that German companies should cease all trade affairs with Iran immediately.


Upon these threats Germany’s economy minister, Peter Altmaier said that German government was “ready to talk to all the companies concerned about what we can do to minimize the negative consequences of the U.S. withdrawal.” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire was harsher in his response by saying: “The international reach of U.S. sanctions makes the U.S. the economic policeman of the planet and that is not acceptable.” At the moment of writing of this article, Iran and EU are working on a plan that will allow Iran to sell Oil and Gas and protect European companies at the same time.

After Trump removed the US from the deal, there are two paths that the Old Continent can take. The first one is to accept the US leaving the agreement but to work on economic issues that will arise. Europe needs to make sure that their companies operating in Iran won’t be penalized by America.

The second path would be to be aggressive towards the US and to reinstate the ‘blocking regulation’ which hasn’t been used in more than 20 years. The primary goal of this regulation is to ‘abolish restrictions on international trade.’ The last time it was imposed was in 1996 when President Bill Clinton turned Iran and Libya Sanctions Act and the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act to law. At the time this was against EU interests, and Europe acted on behalf of its security and economy.


This act was called Council Regulation N0. 2271 and its goal was to protect EU companies against the “effects of the extra-territorial application of legislation adopted by a third country.” The regulation also contained ‘clawback provision’ which essentially allows EU company to sue America on European courts in a case that their business is damaged on purpose by the US actions. In this case, if the US losses on the court, every EU company could get a refund through a seizure of the US entity on EU soil against which they had a grievance.


But if the Trump sanctions go from Iran onto Europe, most EU companies would stop to trade with Iran. The losses they would have that way are far smaller than those that would occur if they ended their work with America. Luckily for all parties involved, Trump might be willing to negotiate and to soften his hard stance. We draw this conclusion from his recent tweet in which he stated that he’s ready to sit at the table with Chinese president Xi Jinping in order to loosen the sanctions on ZTE. This company was penalized by the US administration due to steady sales to North Korea and Iran. If Trump can find common ground with Chinese, there’s no reason he can’t get along with EU countries.


Will Donald Trump Try To Fix The Iran Deal?


There’s a saying that if something isn’t broken, you shouldn’t try to fix it. Iran deal wasn’t perfect, but it was working. Now, Donald Trump has destroyed it, and it’s on him to try to fix it if that’s something he wants to do.

Donald Trump inherited this agreement from the previous administration, and through his campaign he often trash talked it. It was evident from the start that Trump will try to put an end to this deal that he believed is not preventing Iranians from building nuclear weapons. He also was adamant that the US should not help Iran economically at all. Despite not being perfect, agreement prevented this Middle East country from developing an atomic bomb, and inspectors believe that they can’t achieve that goal before 2030.

The agreement was signed between Iran President Hassan Rouhani and at the time the US President Barack Obama. Both Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry knew at the time that the deal is not to be permanent and that it will be revisited in the feature. But, at that moment it was better than no deal or possible military intervention.


Even with this agreement Iran’s path to nuclear arsenal wasn’t permanently closed. They were allowed to build nuclear industrial bases, and it was no secret that they kept all of the information on their bomb-making work. Israeli intelligence believes that they continued their work only behind the curtains and with reduced resources. They did this even after the signing the deal that should guarantee that they won’t be pursuing nuclear weapons.

It was evident that Iran as a country, after the agreement, won’t be entirely focused on developing an atomic bomb, but part of the focus will remain on that field. Because of this, some of Trump’s critics are on the spot. Before leaving the agreement, Trump administration tried to convince European countries to try and fix its flaws. Also, they wanted to have British, German, and French authorities on their side in order to prevent Iran activities in the region and to put sanctions on their ballistic missiles program.

But, Europeans believed that Iran respected the deal and that the sign that they did this is the fact that they can’t develop any nuclear warhead equipped missiles until 2030 according to nuclear inspectors. With the contract expiring in 2025 Europe believed that the deal could be renegotiated closer to that date rather than brake it now.


Another agenda that Trump is trying to push here is the regime change in Iran. The current president doesn’t have complete support and America believes that economic sanctions could turn the people away from the current regime. But, even if this doesn’t happen, Trump thinks that this way Iran could be ready to sign a new US-dictated deal. When he announced, America’s stepping out of the deal on May 8th Trump said: “Iran’s leaders will naturally say that they refuse to negotiate a new deal … and that’s fine. I’d probably say the same thing if I was in their position. But the fact is, they are going to want to make a new and lasting deal, one that benefits all of Iran and the Iranian people. When they do, I am ready, willing, and able.”

With this statement, Trump looks like someone who doesn’t want a regime change but wants a new agreement with the current one. Instead of focusing only on nuclear-related issues, he addressed some of the economic ones and turned away from its allies in Europe. EU countries that signed the deal made a joint statement saying: “We will continue to show our commitment to the JCPOA, while also urging the US to ensure that the structures of the JCPOA can remain intact, and to avoid taking action which obstructs its full implementation by all other parties to the deal.”


When the deal was signed, many believed that ti would fall apart eventually as they thought that Iran is going to be the one that walks out first. Now that the US has left without the support of their allies it’s hard to guess what lies ahead.

One thing is sure, America won’t have the help in pressuring Iran into signing a revised deal. There won’t be a need for a reworked deal if Iran and European countries stay accord on the old one. And it’s not only the EU. Japan and South Korea might follow the US out of the pact but Chinese, Indians, and Russians won’t.

Only days after the US left the deal the conflict between Iran and Israel escalated, with both countries launching missiles at military targets. The problems will only become graver in the future if Trump doesn’t change anything. He went away from the approach that Barack Obama had, and now it’s up to him to handle the Iran issues.


Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy Decisions Disregard Future


The US moved its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in a move that almost went unnoticed by world media but could have profound consequences on both Israel/Palestine relations and America. This step should be considered to be a historic one which could change the future of this region.

But, what’s important it will also change the future of the United States of America. This move is one of those that we are getting accustomed to seeing regarding President Trump. The decision seems justified right now if you look at what Trump’s supporters think but in the long run it’s going to affect US foreign policy, and it’s already causing diplomatic headaches.

Trump’s foreign policy can be described with a phrase ‘buy now, pay later.’ Most of his moves don’t have an immediate effect, but in the years to come, they could be costly. The moving of embassy to Jerusalem is another classic Trump decision. He claims that the cost of moving is not $1 billion as some of the staff members suggested, but closer to $400,000. This is true only in the short run. The value of $400,000 is just for moving to the temporary building, while the complete move to a whole new embassy will cost $1 billion. But, while the embassy gets completed, Donald Trump will be gone from the office, so this move and its cost don’t concern him too much.


What POTUS is looking at are the immediate costs of his foreign policy decisions. He’s either not aware of what some of his actions will cost in the long run, or he simply doesn’t care.

One of the things that every US presidents states as their agenda in the coming years after their appointment to the office is the normalization of Israeli/Palestine relations. But since stepping to the White House Trump didn’t show his plan for peace in the Middle East, and after moving the embassy to Jerusalem, Palestine ceased to communicate with his administration.

The Monday move coincides with the date of declaration of Israel independence and will cause massive protests among Palestinians. The moving of embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem shows that the US is not actually neutral regarding conflicts in the Middle East and now thanks to Trump’s decision many countries in this region are opposing their presence. The leading country is Iran, who is not satisfied with the manner in which Donald Trump pulled the US from Iran nuclear deal. At the moment it looks like Trump is deciding without regard for the consequences. If something goes wrong, Trump has no plan B, and that’s becoming obvious.


On another front, President Trump is working on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. While this move is being applauded by world media, it won’t come cheap. Even if Kim Jong Un accepts US terms on this subject, they will want something in return. NK will most likely ask for regional security guarantees and large economic support. Many analysts doubt that this deal can work. All of the other agreements with North Korea failed, and Trump showed that he has little respect for the contracts signed with other countries which he proved with Iran deal.

What Trump seems to be doing with matters of foreign policy is to tailor them to his needs regarding domestic support. What’s he’s working on is preparing the turf for another election and is gathering support. Instead, he should look to lead this country to safe future with smart foreign policy.


This is the opposite of what Barack Obama did. He looked to make decisions that will influence US foreign policy in the years to come rather than focusing on the immediate opinion of his supporters. An approach that was smart compared to today’s rushed and short-term plan. What Trump is buying cheap right now might be expensive for him and especially for America in the future.


Putin And Erdogan Condemn Trump For Leaving Iran Deal


During a telephone call on Thursday, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan agreed that the move to step out of Iran deal was wrong on the US part. The news was shared by a Turkish source close to the president.

The second subject of their conversation was the escalation of tensions in Syria, which started immediately after America’s withdrawal from Iran nuclear agreement.

On Tuesday, Donald Trump said that the deal might have lowered Iran’s chances to create nuclear weapons, but it didn’t remove its threat to the United States and its allies in the Middle East. The deal was signed in 2015, and since then, Iran’s nuclear facilities were monitored by European and American nuclear inspectors.

On May 9th this year, Trump pulled the US from the deal while at the same time imposing sanctions on this Middle East country. America is alone in this move as European allies want to honor the agreement, believing that the manner in which the US pulled out could cause a crisis in this region, and even lead to another war.


The agreement was imagined as a mean to prevent Iran from collecting enriched uranium which would, in the long run, stop them from creating an atomic bomb. In return, The US would reduce the sanctions on Iran and help them economically. Trump talked down the deal signed by Barack Obama calling it ‘disastrous’ and ’embarrassment.’ In addition to stepping out of the agreement, POTUS plans on imposing harsh sanctions on Iran once again. Every country that tries to aid Iran in making atomic weapons will receive the same treatment.

His explanation for leaving the deal is the following: “At the point when the US had maximum leverage, this disastrous deal gave this regime — and it’s a regime of great terror — many billions of dollars, some of it in actual cash, a great embarrassment to me as a citizen. If I allowed this deal to stand, there would soon be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Everyone would want their weapons ready by the time Iran had theirs.”

Despite the US leaving the pact, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said that his country plans on honoring the deal if all of the other nations that signed it continue to show commitment to it. In addition to America, Germany, and France other world powers that signed the agreement include China and Russia both of which intend to respect the terms.


Trump’s Decisions Are Leading Middle East to War


After a meeting with Donald Trump, French president Emmanuel Macron made two statements. He said that Trump is going to pull the US from Iran deal and that as a consequence of that we are going to have another war in the Middle East. He got one thing right, and he’s not far away on the other.

Only hours after the US stepped out of Iran deal, the tensions escalated between Iran and Israel. The same day Trump made the announcement, Israeli troops were put on ‘high alert.’ The reservists are being called up, and bomb shelters are being prepared in expectations of Iran strikes.

Yesterday, Israeli officials went further and accused Iran of a rocket attack on Golan Heights, which was luckily an unsuccessful one. On the same night as a retaliation, Israeli bombers targeted Iranian outposts in Syria. The defense minister of Israel, Avigdor Liberman, stated that Israeli attacks on Iran’s military infrastructure in Syria were all on target.


The tensions between Iran and Israel are nothing new, but this time around, the conflict escalated too quickly. The new wave of violence is a cause to be concerned. The reporters from New York Times wrote: “While Israel and Iran have been conducting a shadow war in Syria for months under the cover of the civil war there, the conflict has now burst into the open.”

The conflict between these two countries is an ongoing matter almost for years, but due to the fact that it was shadow war on the territory of Syria, it wasn’t publicized. Iran is an ally of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, and they are using this friendship to wage war against their enemy – Israel.

Israel is not accepting these actions, and since 2012 they have launched more than 100 attacks on Iranian targets in Syria. Their goal is to keep Iranians away from Israel border and to stop the weapons deliveries to Hezbollah.

Last month one of the Israeli attacks killed seven Iranian soldiers, and so far Iran hasn’t retaliated, but after what Trump did, it’s only a matter of time. Now that the US is no longer present in Iran in any capacity the conflict between the two countries will escalate without a doubt.


Ian Bremmer, the founder, and president of the Eurasia Group commented on the Middle East situation: “The Iranians have not responded, and I am sure a part of the reason for that is that they don’t want to give the Americans any reason to leave the deal. Now that they have done so, I assume that the gloves are off for the Iranians, and it makes mutual military escalation between the Israelis and the Iranians much more likely.”

Another pressing matter is the Iranian nuclear deal. Now, after the US stepped out of the agreement and imposed sanctions on Iran, they will be returning to their old ways. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif talked about this possibility: “We have put a number of options for ourselves, and those options are ready including options that would involve resuming at a much greater speed our nuclear activities.”

If Iran fails to avoid an economic crisis, with the help of European countries who are willing to continue the agreement, going for nuclear weapons might be their only option. If Iranians start working on their nuclear arsenal Israel threatens that they will begin to target their nuclear facilities. This action would most certainly lead to war.


In the past, US administration wanted to avoid the war, but Donald Trump is not hiding from this option. Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu is also ready for a full-scale conflict. With Saudi Arabia support, the war seems imminent at this point.

U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark is one of the people who believe so: “Israel has several times sought U.S. help, or at least U.S. support and backup in striking Iran’s nuclear program. Under the Obama Administration, the answer was, No. Under President Trump, and with the emerging condominium of interests between the Saudi’s and the Israeli’s, the possibility of war between Israel and Iran is rising.”

President Trump said that he doesn’t want another war in the Middle East, but his decisions are saying otherwise.


These Are Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy Moves


After President Donald Trump walked away from Iran nuclear deal, it’s clear that he has an idea of what kind of foreign policy he wants to lead. So far he showed a desire to break contracts, not to sign them. Staying true to his campaign promises his first day in the office was marked by a withdrawal from 12-member trade agreement signed by Barack Obama.

President Trump claims that TPP which hasn’t even taken effect yet is a bad deal which unfairly treats the United States and leaves them exposed to competition. All other nations have already signed the agreement and seemed ready to work based on what was arranged.

But, eleven months after his first day in the White House, Donald Trump had the time to think this deal over and had a change of heart. Eleven nations who signed the agreement, besides the US, decided to move on without America, but now, President Trump is ready to join them once again if they are prepared to accept a couple of changes imposed by the US.


The North American Trade Agreement which was signed 24-years ago was called a ‘disaster’ and ‘worst trade deal maybe ever’ by the current president. Trump tried to renegotiate the terms during the last year but stayed away from withdrawal.

All of the three parties involved (Canada, Mexico, US) are trying to change the deal, but they found more that one stumbling rock, and are no closer to having an improved arrangement. The US wants to have more share on Mexican and Canadian markets especially on the automobile industry, and both countries are opposing to this.

Because of this, the future of this pact remains uncertain. During the years that this deal was in power, trade between countries flourished, but some industries have seen a decline.

Another agreement that saw the United States withdrawing from under the leadership of Donald Trump is the Paris deal which is committed to fighting global warming. This agreement was signed by Barack Obama before it was scrapped by Trump in 2017. After pulling out of Paris deal, Trump stated that the US would be opened to renegotiation, but no actions have been taken towards it. Even without the US, there are more than 190 nations who have signed and are fine with the terms.


One of the more controversial decisions made by Trump during his tenure in the White House was when he decided to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This move was condemned by the international community because Palestinians are looking to make east Jerusalem the capital of their future state. Washington officials announced that they would move their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May, which will coincide with 70th anniversary of the creation of Israeli country.

One of the focal points of his foreign policy was exchanging insults with North Korean president Kim Jong Un before taking a complete U-turn and declaring that two of them will meet at an international summit to discuss denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. The meeting will happen even after Kim endangered Japan and South Korea with constant ballistic missiles tests. But, as a sign of good will, NK released three US citizens that were imprisoned there. Kim already met with the president of SK Moon in DMZ. The meeting with Trump will occur in coming weeks.


Regarding the Middle East, Trump stated that US troops should ‘get out’ of Syria, but US Army officials noted that the army will remain and that the fight against Islamic State will continue. He also ordered a cruise missiles fire on the Syrian military targets after they were accused of using chemical weapons. The last of this attacks were in April, with the aid of US allies France and Germany.

POTUS was and still is an enemy of the Iran deal which he described as insane. Trump even stepped out of agreement although European allies refused to do so. He is adamant in putting Iran under sanctions and punish them economically until they accept to change few things in the agreement. Donald Trump wants that ban on Iran’s use of enriched uranium becomes permanent. The current terms are limiting them till 2025.


Trump’s Iran Decision is Leading US To Another War


The Iran nuclear deal wasn’t ideal from the start, but it was the only one we had. Now that President Donald Trump decided to step out of the agreement he found resistance in allied countries such as Germany, France, and United Kingdom as his stance is one-sided and he offers no alternative to it. Also, in addition to Iran, he has a diplomatic disagreement with three longtime partners mentioned above and other world powers such as Russia and China. Due to his negligent politics, Islamic politic regime in Iran could turn back to its nuclear program.

In one of his loud addressing to public President Trump stated: “We cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement.”

What Mr. President failed to mention is that all of the nuclear inspectors deployed in Iran to monitor their nuclear facilities reported that the country is fully compliant with the terms they signed. The Iran regime stopped the stockpiling of enriched uranium and the chances that they can develop an atomic weapon in the next decade are low. What Donald Trump suggested is a new deal which would not only limit their nuclear potential but will also monitor the development of Iran’s ballistic missiles, and reduced their involvement in Middle East matters. The problem is that behind his words stand no plan, or direction all parties involved should take in order to achieve this.


The first major issue created by Trump is the riff with European countries. The sanctions proposed by POTUS are not accepted by Europe as he is asking them to reduce oil and any other type of trade with Iran, and if they fail to oblige, he threatens them with same sanctions. EU refused to renounce the deal, and are considering countering Trump with penalties of their own to America. The Old Continent tried to satisfy the US by bending the agreement without breaking it, but they failed. Now they aren’t willing to aid Trump in attempt to break Iranian economy.

Iran and Europe could continue respecting the agreement even if the US steps out of the deal. But Iran has a potent military, and their secret service has always been opposing the deal in the first place, so they might be quick to return to the old ways. This would mean that after they step out of the agreement, and start collecting enriched uranium once again, they would start a race to create a nuclear bomb. If this happens, Trump will find it hard to prevent it. The administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama both supported the deal as they considered that military action would not result in the prevention of the creation of nuclear bomb by Iran.


Trump was pressured to exit the Iran nuclear agreement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi ruler Mohammed bin Salman. Both of these countries are leading low-level wars with Iran. But, the chief of staff of Israel army said that the deal is functional. He stated: “The deal working and putting off realization of the Iranian nuclear vision by 10 to 15 years.” Trump’s actions could reduce this period to only a few years. What his administration should be doing is preventing Iran from waging war in Syria and Yemen.

Israel and Saudi Arabian governments must be hoping that the US will be going back to the Middle East if they break the deal with Iran. Despite Trump saying that the US doesn’t want any more wars in this region, his decisions are bringing us closer to another one.