Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Iran Sanctions Anger Europe, but Trump's Needed Restructuring of US Foreign Policy Will Continue, and Europe Will Follow
EUROPE MAY NOT LIKE TRUMP'S IRAN DEAL PULLOUT, BUT THEY ARE FALLING IN LINE. Before Trump announced his pullout of the Iran nuclear deal, European leaders were shouting out their disagreement and stating their determination to keep the deal alive, with or without the United States. • • • FRANCE, GERMANY AND BRITAIN LED THE CHARGE. On May 8, France24 and APF media outlets wrote : "Britain, France and Germany urge Washington to stick with the Iran nuclear accord after Iranian president Rouhani warned that Washington would regret ditching the pact 'like never before.' " • The problem, as the Europeans saw it, was that Iran's President Hassan Rouhani had staked his legacy on efforts to end decades of tension with the West, but with the landmark nuclear deal unravelling, what hope was there for his political future? Mojtaba Mousavi, a political analyst in Teheran, told APF : "Now the deal is gasping its last breaths, and so Rouhani is losing everything -- all his economic and political plans -- that he built on the back of the nuclear deal." • France24 warned : "From the start, Rouhani's conservative opponents were deeply suspicious of his negotiations with Washington, and their fears were borne out when it became clear that US pressure would continue to hobble Iran's trade ties even after the 2015 deal. With his constant threats to tear up the accord, Trump has ensured the world stays wary of doing business with Iran....Behind-the-scenes conservative forces have made their presence felt in recent months, with sweeping arrests of dual nationals and NGO workers on espionage charges, the blocking of Iran's most popular social media app Telegram, and pressure on high-profile reformers that forced the resignation of Teheran's mayor and a top environmental official....What may save Rouhani from being completely sidelined is the establishment's fear of a greater unravelling. Protests in December and January showed that anger over the economy and civil liberties was much wider spread than in the past, affecting dozens of second-tier towns and cities. One Iranian analyst told France24 : "The smart move would be to wait out the end of Trump's mandate, stay in the nuclear deal and build up something with the Europeans, however limited. Wait until this blows over. That's what they should do -- but we'll see." • • • TRUMP PULLED OUT WITHOUT INVOLVING THE UN. Foreign Policy wrote on May 10 : "The Trump administration has decided to withhold its power to compel the UN Security Council to reinstate wide-ranging UN sanctions on Iran, including a series of measures that would ban Teheran from testing its ballistic missiles, according to senior US officials. The move underscores the Trump administration’s preference for going it alone and imposing instead a range of old and new US sanctions aimed at inflicting maximum economic pain on Iran and its business partners. It could also mean that while President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran deal, he has stopped short of blowing it up altogether." Foreign Policy was ignoring the stark statement of President Trump himself, calling the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action “defective at its core.” But Washington’s key European allies defended the agreement, saying it is effectively containing Iran’s nuclear program. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), meanwhile, has repeatedly concluded that Iran is in compliance with the pact. But, just before Trump announced plans to withdraw from the pact, National Security Advisor John Bolton told reporters that the US would not turn to the UN Security Council to remake the nuclear accord because “we’re out of the deal." • • • ALL EUROPE'S POSTURING IGNORED THE PRIOR ISRAELI IRAN REVELATION. The BBC wrote on May 1 -- a week before President Trump's decision vis-à-vis Iran -- that "US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says a landmark nuclear deal with Iran was 'built on lies,' after Israel claimed to have proof of a secret Iranian nuclear weapons program. Mr Pompeo said documents revealed by Israel's prime minister were authentic." • Even then, with Israel waving proof under the noses of the Europeans, the BBC wrote that EU analysts said the Israeli revelations showed "nothing new, highlighting that concerns over Iran's nuclear ambitions led to the 2015 deal. Western powers, including signatories Britain and France, say Iran has been abiding by the deal and it should be kept....The new secretary of state said the documents were proof 'beyond any doubt' that 'the Iranian regime was not telling the truth. Iran hid a vast atomic archive from the world and from the IAEA - until today,' Mr Pompeo added. Mr Trump, who has been vocal about his opposition to the Obama-era deal, said he had viewed part of Mr Netanyahu's presentation and said the situation was 'not acceptable.'....A spokesman for the UK government, a signatory of the deal, said it would continue to back the deal, adding : 'We have never been naive about Iran and its nuclear intentions.'....the European Union's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said the documents have not put into question Iran's compliance with the 2015 deal and said they should be analysed by the IAEA." • • • NETANYAHU GOES TO EUROPE. On Tuesday, German media wrote about the Monday meeting of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Merkel has once again defended the Iran nuclear deal in talks with Netanyahu, who is in Europe to persuade its leaders to follow the US and quit the multilateral accord. Netanyahu's first stop was Berlin. Merkel said on Monday : “There’s not agreement on every issue,” arguing in a press conference with Netanyahu that the UN-backed nuclear deal has helped provide “more transparency” on the Iranian nuclear program. Germany and Israel, she said, agree on the need to prevent a “nuclear-armed” Iran, but have different views on the way to achieve that end : “We support Israel’s right to security and have said this to Iran at all times. We have the same goal that Iran must never get a nuclear weapon and the difference between us is how to do that.” In the news conference with Merkel, Netanyahu said the IAEA has to look deeper into Iran’s nuclear work based on “a lot of new information that Israel has now provided the IAEA,” referring to his April 30 live TV presentation accusing Iran of violating the JCPOA. • Before embarking on his European tour, Netanyahu said Iran would top the agenda of his talks : “I’ll raise two issues : Iran and Iran.” • Netanyahu itinerary includes Germany, France and Britain, and his agenda is to soften support for the joint comprehensive plan of action. European media continue to insist that Iran has abided by the terms of the agreement. However, several top officials have suggested it may resume its enrichment activities unless the EU presents a compensation package to make up for income loss resulting from the fresh US sanctions. • Netanyahu's European trip came as the director general of the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, said his inspectors had access to all the sites his team needed to visit in Iran. Speaking at the first meeting of the IAEA’s board of governors since Trump threw the future of the deal in doubt, rebutted suggestions that Iran was not cooperating. The Guardian wrote : "Netanyahu’s European visit is in some ways targeted at the credibility of the IAEA. The majority of the board’s members are likely to issue statements through the week challenging the US decision to withdraw, and the repeated Israeli intelligence claim that Iran is secretly preparing a nuclear bomb." • After Berlin, PM Netanyahu went to Paris to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron, who in their joint press conference warned of the risk of an "escalation" in the Iranian nuclear standoff. Macron called on "everyone to stabilize the situation and not give in to this escalation which would lead to only one thing : conflict." France24 reported : "While noting that Iran had stepped up the pressure by announcing plans to boost its uranium enrichment capacity, Macron also pointed blame in the direction of US President Donald Trump for unilaterally pulling out of the hard-fought 2015 deal designed to stop Teheran getting a nuclear bomb. 'When you decide to bring an end to a deal on your side, that does not encourage the other party to respect it,' he said, calling this 'solid common sense.' Macron stressed he had 'no indication' that Iran had breached the terms of the deal. And while he agreed with Netanyahu that the deal had flaws, he added : 'If you consider it insufficient but that it's a step forward from what existed before, it's better to keep it.' " On Tuesday, Netanyahu said : "I did not ask President Macron to leave the deal. I think that economic realities are going to decide this matter, so it's not what we focused on. What we focused on, and what I focused on, is how to stop Iranian aggression in the region." • • • EUROPE TALKS BIG BUT THE US IRAN SANCTIONS ARE TAKING HOLD IN EUROPE. The first shoe to drop was reported by the Jerusalem Post on Tuesday : "The European Investment Bank has balked at an EU proposal to do business in Iran to help offset US sanctions and save the 2015 nuclear deal, EU sources told Reuters, under pressure from the United States -- where the bank raises much of its funds. The resistance from the European Union's lending arm underscores the limits of the bloc's ability to shield trade with Iran from the re-imposition of US sanctions after President Donald Trump abandoned the nuclear accord last month. European Commissioners are expected on Wednesday to endorse the EU executive's plan to encourage the EIB to support investments by European businesses in Iran, where the bank has never before done business. The move has symbolic value as EU officials see it as one of the easiest to deliver in response to Iran's demands that it show proof of its commitment to the nuclear deal." The BIG problem is that the Commission's plan would put the EIB's multi-billion-dollar funding program at risk -- six EU diplomats, EU officials and sources at the bank said that within the EIB there are growing concerns that the The bank is "unhappy with the Commission proposal because the bank raises funds on US markets" and as one of the world's largest borrowers -- the EIB raised 56.4 billion Euros ($66 billion) last year on international capital markets -- the bank fears that the threat of US sanctions over Iran could scare off bond buyers. The JPost says : "While Iran was added in March to a list of potentially eligible countries for EIB activity, any plan to upgrade that status needs the approval of EU governments and the European Parliament. The bloc wants the measure in place before August 6, when US sanctions begin to take effect. Even then, it would be up to the bank's governors, made up of the finance ministers of the EU's 28 member states, to decide whether to "seek an agreement with Teheran to engage there....Despite its political mandate, sources say the plan throws up many hurdles. The bank currently steers clear, for instance, of engaging in jurisdictions listed as high-risk under the FATF, a global group of government anti-money-laundering agencies. That includes Iran. Roughly a third of its lending operation is dollar denominated, given the global reach of the US financial system. And while an EU budget guarantee partly shields the bank against losses outside the bloc, it would not address the funding risks. 'This isn't going to be easy,' another EU diplomat said. 'The bank is well aware of the dangers of US sanctions on its own operations.' " An EU official told the JPost that "the United States is pushing pressure on the bank not to go ahead and invest in Iran, warning of the consequences." Europe has focused on preserving the economic incentives for Iran to stick to the accord....In Teheran last month, Europe's Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said he had told Iranian officials the new EIB mandate and other measures to "neutralize bad news" turning public opinion in Iran against the deal would be fast tracked. Richard Nephew, a former administration official under then-US President Barack Obama, said that the US administration has many levers to discourage the bank from engaging in Iran even without imposing sanctions on the EIB itself : "Europe and the United States are so integrated that it is implausible that the Europeans will be able to use current institutions to engage in transactions with Iran. If they really want to do this, then they'll need to set up siloed institutions that have no US exposure and then to protect those institutions with the threat of retaliation against the United States." • Next, the largest French carmaker, PSA (Puegeot, Citroen, Opel, Vauxhall), announced on Monday that it would pull out of two joint ventures to sell its cars in Iran to avoid the risk of US sanctions against Teheran. The PSA statement said : "The group has begun to suspend its joint venture activities, in order to comply with US law by August 6, 2018. With the support of the French government, the Groupe PSA is engaging with the US authorities to consider a waiver.” France24 reported : "With President Trump showing little inclination to spare EU companies, they must decide whether to continue to work in Iran if doing so puts their US operations at risk of huge fines. PSA, Europe’s second-biggest carmaker, signed deals with two Iranian automakers, Iran Khodro and Saipa, in 2016 after sanctions were lifted....It was among several companies which rushed into Iran, hoping to meet pent-up demand in a country that had been squeezed by sanctions for years. Last year PSA sold nearly 445,000 vehicles in Iran, making the country one of its biggest markets outside France. Although it has been absent from the US market since 1991, the company said in January that it was hoping to launch a car-sharing service in one or two American cities. But PSA, which also owns the Opel and Vauxhall brands, noted that Iran sales still make up less than 1% of its total sales, and so exiting the country would not alter its financial guidance. • AND, the CEO of French oil giant Total, who was hoping to launch a major natural gas project in Iran, said last week that the chances of winning exemptions to the US sanctions were “very slim.” France 24 reported on May 30 that Iran has given French oil major Total "two months to seek exemption from US sanctions..." according to Iran's oil minister. The minister, Bijan Zanganeh, added that failure to secure an exemption would mean that China’s state-owned CNPC could take over Total's stake in the South Pars gas project, lifting its own interest from 30% to more than 80%. Total signed a contract in 2017 to develop phase 11 of the South Pars field with an initial investment of $1 billion -- a contract Teheran repeatedly hailed as a symbol of the nuclear deal's success. Total said on May 16 that it would pull out of South Pars if it did not receive a waiver from the United States. Zanganeh also said on state television : "Europe is buying only one third of Iranian oil, but an agreement with Europe is important to guarantee our sales, and find insurance for the ships ferrying the crude. Other buyers would also be inspired by this." Lukoil, Russia's second-biggest oil producer, said on Tuesday that it had decided NOT to go ahead with plans to develop projects in Iran because of the threat of US sanctions. • • • IRAN STARTS ENRICHING URANIUM WHILE EUROPE WRINGS ITS HANDS. Just to point out how untenable the European position on Iran is, the Ukrainian media outlet UAWire reported on Tuesday that : "The supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran should immediately begin enriching uranium. According to him, Iran cannot be simultaneously under sanctions and under 'nuclear surveillance,' RIA Novosti reported, citing local media. Khamenei said that the relevant Iranian bodies should be ready for any decision made by Iranian authorities. The Ayatollah also warned Europe that it should not think that Iran will adhere to the JCPOA if European countries do not actually oppose the US withdrawal from this treaty and the resumption of US sanctions against Teheran. In September 2015, the deputy head of the Iranian Foreign Ministry said that in the next 15 years, Iran is able to reach up to 190,000 separative work units with the help of sixth and eighth generation centrifuges. President of the United States Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington is withdrawing from the nuclear deal with Iran." • Even the leftist Guardian sees the bind Europe is in. Back on May 16, the Guardian reported : "Trump is wrong over Iran, but Europe can’t afford to divorce the US....Trump’s decision is not only extraordinarily brutal, it affects a project whose origins are found in a European initiative taken in the autumn of 2003, when the UK, France and Germany sent their foreign ministers to Teheran for talks : that project was aimed at limiting and controlling Iran’s nuclear program through peaceful means. It took 12 years of international diplomacy, in which Europe played an important role, to reach the nuclear deal that Trump has now decided to tear up. Make no mistake, the first country to benefit from a breakup between the US and Europe would be authoritarian Russia. This US move amounts to an open assault on multilateralism -- something that, as history has taught us, Europeans have an existential interest in protecting and upholding....US credibility will be severely affected. When a German chancellor declares -- as Angela Merkel has just done, for the second time in a year -- that Europe can no longer rely on the United States, you know something is amiss. Many others will now ask: how can we ever again trust a country that can withdraw overnight from solemn international agreements? This could end badly. When Trump realizes his strategy is bound to fail, he may want to resort to military force. His decision on Iran comes after a year and a half of insults, disparaging comments, and decisions that run counter to European and western interests. He cares little about NATO, and believes the US isn’t getting a fair return on its investment in European security. He has withdrawn from the Paris climate agreement, and has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium." • All that said -- and with doomsday predictions about all things Trump everyday occurrences for the Guardian -- the Guardian asks : "So is it time for Europe to seek a divorce from the US? Well, not quite. For several reasons, we should refrain from entering into confrontation. Europe may be the largest trade bloc in the world, but in truth it does not have the capacity to tackle 21st-century challenges on its own, and it would have even less capacity to do so if its relationship with the US came fully apart. There is simply no alternative to a strong transatlantic partnership. There is no available spare superpower with which Europeans would share enough interests to build a new form of alliance : China and Russia offer no such thing. Besides, transatlantic flows of trade and capital stand at the heart of the global economy, and they are irreplaceable. Another reason to maintain a partnership with the US is the magnitude of the security risks Europe faces. Islamic State might be militarily defeated, but jihadist terrorism is a generational challenge : we cannot afford to turn our backs on cooperation with the US. The trauma of terrorist attacks in Europe remains vivid. And then there is Vladimir Putin’s Russia, a regime challenging our continent’s security and actively seeking, through various means, to weaken and divide Europe and the west. Make no mistake, the first country to benefit from a breakup between the US and Europe is authoritarian Russia." • There we have it -- Europe does not agree with President Trump and the US about Iran -- in fact, Europe hardly ever agrees with Trump about anything -- but Europe is not strong enough politically, economically, or militarily to give up depending on the US for life support. As the Guardian puts it, Europe has a dilemma on its hands : "We need to be firm with Washington. The nuclear deal, or what remains of it, needs to be supported. If it collapses entirely, that should not be because of us. Trump has taken an extraordinary gamble, and we in Europe would be the first, outside the Middle East, to suffer the consequences if yet more chaos and war erupts. Our least bad option is to show we’re ready to do what we can to preserve the 2015 deal. We need to mitigate the impact of US sanctions on European business. Our limitations are, however, rather obvious. Europe can’t afford a transatlantic trade war. Its companies and banks do much more business on the other side of the Atlantic than they will ever do with Iran. If anything, this crisis should bolster calls to build up Europe’s defense capabilities. We should think of that ambition as a win-win proposition : as both a way of dispelling US statements saying we refuse to carry our share of the security burden, and as insurance that protects us against further erratic behavior from Washington. Since 1945, the transatlantic relationship has been the bedrock of Europe’s economy and its security. One should tread carefully with that legacy. No other US president has ever been as antagonistic towards Europe and towards the principles it defends. The American people elected Trump as President, so we have to respect that. But what we don’t have to respect are the decisions he takes that have negative consequences for everyone, ourselves included." • • • IT WAS OBAMA WHO SEEDED TODAY'S IRAN CRISIS. First, Obama agreed to the egregious Iran nuclear deal. Then, as Fox News reported on Wednesday, the Obama administration allegedly gave Iran access to US financial system : "The Obama administration granted a license letting Iran access the United States financial system despite officials’ pledges that they would prohibit it, according to a draft report from the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. 'On February 24, 2016, the Treasury Department issued a specific license to Bank Muscat to authorize the conversion of Iran’s rials to Euros through ‘any United States depository institution...,’ the draft report said. 'Even after the specific license was issued, US government officials maintained in congressional testimony that Iran would not be granted access to the US financial system.' 'The Obama administration during the negotiation of the Iran deal misled the American people,” said Senator Rob Portman, subcommittee chairman. 'I think they did so because they were desperate to get a deal.' When the nations involved in the Iran nuclear agreement implemented the deal, Iran had $5.7 billion in assets at Bank Muscat in Muscat, Oman, maintained as Omani rials, according to the subcommittee. Iran wanted to access that money, and using the US financial system to convert it 'was the most efficient means, even though US sanctions prohibited it,' according to the report. Government officials tried to convince two US banks to execute the conversion. They both declined, citing the complexity and the unwanted appearance involved in processing an Iranian transaction, according to the report. Without a compliant American bank, a senior State Department official said he believed Bank Muscat and Iran eventually used European banks to convert the funds, said the committee. Portman said his subcommittee began investigating the transaction last summer. In an interview with an unnamed senior State Department official, the panel said, the official acknowledged that the [Obama] administration ’exceeded our JCPOA commitments’ because there was nothing in the JCPOA that required the issuance of the specific license,' according to the report." • While an Obama administration official disputes the subcommittee's conclusion, saying the Treasury Department never authorized Iran to access US investments or markets, conduct commercial transactions in US dollars or open correspondent accounts at US banks, the Obama Treasury Department did issue this specific license, which the official said "cannot be described as ‘granting access to the US financial system. This specific license was in fulfillment of JCPOA commitments to give Iran access to pools of its money held overseas. It was aimed solely to allow the movement of Iran’s own funds stranded at an Omani bank into Euros at a European bank, where Iran could then make use of them.” SO, while telling America and the world that Iran was still shut off form using the US financial system, Obama was once again making secret side deals that allowed Iran to access and use at least some of its funds frozen outside Iran. • American Thinker's Clarice Feldman reported on May 27 that : "In every way possible, Obama did everything in his power to damage Israel and weaken her defenses. The capper was the Iran non-deal." Feldman quotes Michael Oren, former Israel ambassador to the US, and now of The Israel Project, who explained on CNN : "Rather than blocking Iran's path to nuclear weapons, [the JCPOA] paved it. All of Iran's nuclear facilities, including those intended to make atomic bombs, were retained, along with the bulk of their centrifuges. Iranian scientists, led by veterans of the secret nuclear weapons program, developed centrifuges able to enrich uranium at four times the 2015 rate. And international inspectors were denied entry into Iranian military sites. These flaws would alone discredit the JCPOA, but the agreement also had expiration dates. Beginning in a mere seven years, the limitations on Iran's nuclear program would be gradually lifted. In a short period, Iran would be able to enrich enough uranium for an entire arsenal of bombs. But JCPOA's failings did not end there. It ignored Iran's role as the world's largest sponsor of state terror, its complicity in the killings of a half-million Syrians and its threats to destroy the state of Israel. It even overlooked Iranian aggression against Americans. Iran did not need intercontinental missiles to reach Israel -- it needed them to hit the United States. And yet the JCPOA rewarded Iran with many tens of billions of dollars in sanctions relief and international contracts. Iran's quest for regional hegemony went unchecked. Endangered neighboring states considered launching their own nuclear programs, triggering fears of a Middle East arms race. Justifiably, Israelis opposed the deal and failed to understand why, with Iran's economy in tatters, a better one was not signed. Now, though, the United States is again poised to apply immense pressure on Iran, greatly reducing its ability to mount aggression in the region and abroad. America, again, stands with its Middle East allies, sending an unequivocal message of strength to the world." • • • FRANCE AND MOST OF THE 'OLD' EUROPE IS FADING FROM THE WEST. Is the European resistance to re-imposing sanctions on Iran in order to force it into compliance with its international commitments about its nuclear program all just a facade for Europe's real position -- that it supports Iran and the shiite ascendancy because it sees Iran as the foil to growing Israel power in the Arab Middle East. It is no secret that Europe sides with Palestine. It is no secret that Europe abounds with anti-Semitism. It is no secret that Europe adores Obama and detests Trump. • Gatestone Institute's Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris, lays out a solid case for France being trapped in a radical Islamic grip. You can read the My 13 article at < https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12292/france-ally-united-states >. Here are Millière's key points : "No-go zones are growing rapidly in the suburbs of all of France's main cities. Shanty towns built by illegal migrants from Africa and the Middle East have sprung up in parts of Marseilles and Paris in the last few years. Islamization is everywhere. In hundreds of mosques, imams deliver fiery anti-Western speeches. Churches are vandalized. The number of rapes is rapidly increasing. Groups of veiled women roam the streets and insult the 'immodest,' unveiled, women. Macron's most important project since he was elected has been the creation of new Islamic institutions destined to adapt France to Islam -- not to adapt Islam to France. Many more mosques will be built, financed with taxpayer money; departments of Islamic culture will open in universities, and imam training centers created. Macron's main advisor on this subject is Hakim El Karoui, the author of a book ("Islam, a French Religion") explaining that Islam is now the main religion in the country; that prejudices of non-Moslems are the source of most troubles, and that helping Moslems to have access to more important positions in French society is of the utmost urgency. Sadly, it will also be difficult for President Macron, Prime Minister May and Chancellor Merkel to hide that they are appeasers of Islam and the weak commanders of countries they are allowing to decay....Terrorist attacks continue to take place....When asked recently what was France's main problem, French Secretary of the Interior Gérard Collomb spoke of the feeling of 'exclusion' among many 'youths.' He said the solution was 'social projects' -- billions of Euros more will be spent. Collomb did not say that hundreds of millions of Euros have already been lavished on 'social projects' with nothing to show for the expense. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe spoke of the need to create 'deradicalization' centers, where instructors will explain that Islam is supposedly compatible with the 'values of the republic.' He did not mention that 'deradicalization' centers were created years ago and had less than no effect....The pervasive decomposition of the country and the exhausted leadership of those who are supposed to rule has affected foreign policy as well. France contributed to the destruction of the Islamic State in Syria, but when French leaders spoke about it, including Macron, they rushed to deny the existence of an enemy...and emphasized that Daesh was not Moslem, but supposedly just the embodiment of a strange 'ideology.' The participation of the French military in the recent limited bombing of chemical weapons facilities in Syria was unanimously criticized by French politicians...Macron said it was a one-time action and would not happen again....In his speech to [the US] Congress, Macron weirdly said that terrorist attacks are 'the price we pay for freedom.' He added that he wants France to contribute to a 'sustainable peace in a united Syria.' He never said that the country has been totally devastated, emptied of half of its population, and under the control of Russia and Iran, which are busy populating the place with military bases. Macron also said, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that with some adjustments, the Iran nuclear agreement could prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons....Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed the world documents proving that Iran had not stopped its secret nuclear weapons program. Macron still did not modify his position....He never said in Washington, or anywhere else, that Iran threatens Israel and has the explicitly stated purpose of erasing the Jewish state from the map. He never said that France has close business ties with Iran, and concrete interests in new sanctions against Iran not being adopted....For more than four decades, France never stopped supporting -- politically and financially -- the 'Palestinian cause.' All politicians know that the presence of millions of Moslems in France, the intimidating weight of Islam in the country and a hegemonic spirit of submission could make any position favorable to Israel lead to nationwide mayhem....Macron had welcomed Mahmoud Abbas to Paris and emphasized that France 'knows' Abbas's 'constant commitment' to peace and 'non-violence.'....On May 8, President Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement and restore sanctions on Iran....Macron said that he 'regrets' President Trump's decision, and added illogically that 'the international fight against nuclear proliferation is at stake.' He recently spoke of a 'risk of war,' overlooking that Iran is already at war in much of Middle East -- Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon -- and even with its own citizens. In a joint statement, Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke of their 'continuing commitment' to the deal, and added that Iran 'meets its own obligations under the deal.' " • • • DEAR READERS, it is difficult for Macron "to repeat that he is an ally of the United States, or that he is reliable. Macron, May and Merkel cannot easily hide the fact that they are appeasers of Islam and weak commanders of countries they are allowing to decay." That is Dr. Millière's conclusion. He is the author of 27 books on France and Europe. • But, President Trump has moved on. He is not one to debate endlessly with those he considers lost. His Iran sanctions are in place. Europe will comply or lose its ability to access the US banking system and its US Dollars that control the world's financial transactions -- 63% of international debt transactions in 2016 were in US Dollars compared to the Euro's 22%. Evidence shows that French business, if not the government, understand this and are complying with the sanctions. • Meanwhile, President Trump has other fish to fry. There is the June 12 summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-un. And the Daily Caller reported in late May that the Trump administration military is pushing bac against China’s contested claims to the South China Sea. Admiral Philip Davidson, the new head of the US Pacific Command, said in April : "China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States." It seems that President Trump is not happy with that assessment. • US ProgDems and Progressives worldwide are finally realizing that after just 17 months of Donald Trump’s presidency, Barack Obama’s legacy has effectively been erased. New York Magazine columnist Andrew Sullivan lamented : “I still want to believe my colleague, Jonathan Chait, whose thesis is that the changes Obama made in his difficult but tenacious eight years in office are too great to reverse.” But, it is clear that Trump has already unraveled most of Obama’s legacy. If Obama was seeking peace with his foreign policy -- a policy that usually gave the US the leftovers -- Trump has trampled on it with a forceful US foreign policy that like General Patton's military policy, is, "Lead me. Follow me. Or get out of my way." • Europe may regret Trump's decisive actions -- they are not used to deciding anything until forced to do so and then with as little conviction or muscle as possible -- but it knows it will not stop him. Trump has worked to fulfill his campaign promises and destroy the dangerous and defeatist Obama policies that a majority of Americans rejected in electing Trump. Iran is just a part of the Trump foreign policy strategy to put the US back in charge of a world that fears its strength but trusts its democratic principles.