THE SAKER: “CAN THE EU BECOME A PARTNER FOR RUSSIA?”

THE SAKER: “CAN THE EU BECOME A PARTNER FOR RUSSIA?”

Written by The Saker; Originally appeared at The Unz Review

The re-nomination (albeit somewhat reshuffled) of the “economic block” of the Medvedev government has elicited many explanations, some better than others.  Today I want to look at one specific hypothesis which can be summed up like this: Putin decided against purging the (unpopular) “economic block” from the Russian government because he wanted to present the EU with “known faces” and partners EU politicians would trust.  Right now, with Trump’s insane behavior openly alienating most European leaders, this is the perfect time to add a Russian “pull” to the US “push” and help bring the EU closer to Russia.  By re-appointing Russian “liberals” (that is a euphemism for WTO/WB/IMF/etc types) Putin made Russia look as attractive to the EU as possible.  In fact, the huge success of the Saint Petersburg summit and the Parliamentary Forum is proof that this strategy is working.

This hypothesis is predicated on one crucial assumption: that the EU, under the right conditions, could become a partner for Russia.

But is that assumption warranted?  I personally don’t believe that it is, and I will try to lay out the reasons for my skepticism:

First, there is no “EU”, at least not in political terms.  More crucially, there is no “EU foreign policy”.  Yes, there are EU member states, who have political leaders, there is a big business community in the EU and there are many EU organizations, but as such, the “EU” does not exist, especially not in terms of foreign policy.  The best proof of that is how clueless the so-called “EU” has been in the Ukraine, then with the anti-Russian sanctions, in dealing with an invasion of illegal immigrants, and now with Trump.  At best, the EU can be considered a US protectorate/colony, with some subjects “more equal than others” (say, the UK versus Greece).  Most (all?) EU member states are abjectly obedient to the USA, and this is no surprise considering that even the so-called “EU leader” or “EU heavyweight” – Germany – only has very limited sovereignty.  The EU leaders are nothing but a comprador elite which doesn’t give a damn about the opinions and interests of the people of Europe.  The undeniable fact is that the so-called “EU foreign policy” has gone against the vital interests of the people of Europe for decades and that phenomenon is only getting worse.

The Saker: "Can the EU become a partner for Russia?"

Welcome to Europe!

Second, the single most powerful and unified organization in Europe is not even an EU organization, but NATO.  And NATO, in real terms, is no less than 80% USA.  Forget about those fierce looking European armies, they are all a joke.  Not only do they represent no credible force (being too small, too poorly trained, under-equipped and poorly commanded), but they are completely dependent on the USA for a long list of critical capabilities and “force multipliers“: command, control, communications, intelligence, networking, surveillance, reconnaissance, target acquisition, logistics, etc.  Furthermore, in terms of training, force planning, weapon systems procurement, deployment and maintenance, EU states are also totally dependent on the USA.  The reason?  The US military budget totally dwarfs anything individual EU states can spend, so they all depend on Uncle Sam.  Of sure, the NATO figurehead – the Secretary General – is usually a non-entity which makes loud statements and is European (I think of that clown Stoltenberg as the prefect example), but NATO is not run by the NATO Secretary General. In reality, it is run by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), who is the head of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) and these guys are as red, white an blue as it gets.  Forget about the “Eurocorps” or any other so-called “European armies” – it’s all hot air, like Trudeau’s recent outburst at Trump.  In reality in the EU, as in Canada, they all know who is boss.  And here is the single most important fact: NATO desperately needs Russia as justification for its own existence: if relations with Russia improve, then NATO would have no more reason to exist.  Do you really think that anybody will let that happen?  I sure don’t!  And right now, the Europeans are busy asking for more US troops on their soil, not less and they are all pretending to be terrified by a Russian invasion, hence the need for more and bigger military exercises close to the Russian border.  And just to cover all its bases, NATO is now gradually expanding into Latin America.

Third, there is a long list of EU governments which vitally need further bad relationships with Russia.  They include:

  1. Unpopular governments which need to explain their own failures by the nefarious actions of an external bogyman.  A good example is how the Spanish authorities blamed Russia for the crisis in Catalonia.  Or the British with their “Brexit”.  The Swedes are doing even better, they are already preparing their public opinion for a “Russian interference” in case the election results don’t turn out to be what they need.
  2. Governments whose rhetoric has been so hysterically anti-Russian that they cannot possibly back down from it.  Best examples: the UK and Merkel.  But since most (but not all) EU states did act on the Skripal false-flag on the basis of the British “highly likely” and in the name of “solidarity”, they are now all stuck as accomplices of this policy.  There is *no way* they are simply going to admit that they were conned by the Brits.
  3. EU prostitutes: states whose only policy is to serve the USA against Russia.  These states compete against each other in the most abject way to see who can out-brown-nose each other for the position of “most faithful and willing loyal servant of the USA”.  The best examples are, of course, the three Baltic statelets, but the #1 position has to go to the “fiercely patriotic Poles” who are now willing to actually pay Uncle Sam to be militarily occupied (even though the very same Uncle Sam is trying to racketeer them for billions of dollars).  True, now that EU subsidies are running out, the situation of these states is becoming even more dire, and they know that the only place where they can still get money is the USA.  So don’t expect them to change their tune anytime soon (even if Bulgaria has already realized that nobody in the West gives a damn about it).
  4. Governments who want to crack down on internal dissent by accusing any patriotic or independent political party/movement to be “paid by the Kremlin” and representing Russian interests.  The best example is France and how it treated the National Front.  I would argue that most EU states are, in one way or another, working on creating a “national security state” because they do realize (correctly) that the European people are deeply frustrated and oppose EU policies (hence all the anti-EU referendums lost by the ruling elites).

Contrary to a very often repeated myth, European business interests do not represent a powerful anti-russophobic force.  Why?  Just look at Germany: for all the involvement of Germany (and Merkel personally) in the Ukraine, for all the stupid rhetoric about “Russia being an aggressor” which “does not comply with the Mink Agreements”, North Stream is going ahead!  Yes, money talks, and the truth is that while anti-Russian sanctions have cost Europe billions, the big financial interests (say the French company Total) have found ways to ignore/bypass these sanctions.  Oh sure, there is a pro-trade lobby with Russian interest in Europe. It is real, but it simply does not have anywhere near the power the anti-Russian forces in the EU have.  This is why for *years* now various EU politicians and public figures have made noises about lifting the sanctions, but when it came to the vote – they all voted as told by the real bosses.

Not all EU Russophobia is US-generated, by the way.  We have clearly seen that these days when Trump suggested that the G7 (or, more accurately, the G6+1) needed to re-invite Russia, it was the Europeans who said “nope!”.  To the extend that there is a “EU position” (even a very demure and weak one), it is mostly anti-Russian, especially in the northern part of Europe.  So when Uncle Sam tells the Europeans to obey and engage in the usual Russia-bashing, they all quickly fall in line, but in the rare case when the US does not push a rabidly anti-Russian agenda, EU politicians suddenly find enough willpower to say “no”.  By the way, for all the Trump’s statements about re-inviting Russia into the G6+1 the US is still busy slapping more sanctions on Russia.

The current mini-wars between the US and the EU (on trade, on Iran, on Jerusalem) do not at all mean that Russia automatically can benefit from this.  Again, the best example of this is the disastrous G6+1 summit in which Trump basically alienated everybody only to have the G6 reiterate its anti-Russian position even though the G6+1 needs Russia far more than Russia needs the G7 (she really doesn’t!).  Just like the US and Israeli leaders can disagree and, on occasion, fight each other, that does not at all mean that somehow they are not fundamentally joined at the hip.  Just think of mob “families” who can even have “wars” against each other, but that does not at all mean that this will benefit the rest of the population whom all mobsters prey upon.

The Ukrainian crisis will only benefit anti-Russian forces in Europe.  There is a very high probability that in the near future the Ukronazi regime will try to reconquer Novorussia (DNR/LRN).  I submit that the outcome of such an attack is not in doubt – the Ukronazis will lose.  The only question is this: to whom will they lose:

  • Option one: they lose to the combined forces of the DNR and LNR.  This is probably the most likely outcome.  Should this happen, there is a very high probability of a Novorussian counter attack to liberate most of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, especially the cities of Slaviansk and Mariupol.  Since past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, we can be pretty darn sure of what the reaction in Kiev and in the West will be: Russia will be blamed for it all.  The AngloZionists will *never* admit that the Ukronazi regime lost a civil war to its own people because the Novorussians will never accept a Nazi regime ruling over them.  Thus, a Novorussian victory will result in more hysterical Russophobia.
  • Option two: the Ukronazis succeed in their attack and threaten to overrun Donetsk, Lugansk and the rest of Novorussia.  Putin simply cannot allow this to happen.  He has made that promise many times and he has recently repeated it during his “open line” with the Russian people.  If the Russians are forced to intervene, this will not be a massive ground invasion – there is no need for that.  Russia has the firepower needed in the form of missile and artillery strikes to destroy the attacking Urkonazi forces and to impose a no-fly zone over all of Novorussia.  If Kiev pushes on and launches a full-scale attack on Russia proper, the Ukrainian armed forces will be totally disorganized and cease combat in about 48 hours.  This scenario is what I call the “Neocon dream” since such a Russian intervention will not be imaginary, but quite real and the Kremlin will even confirm it all very publicly and probably recognize the two Novorussian Republics just like what happened in 08.08.08 when Saakashvili decided to invade South Ossetia.  So, AngloZionists will (finally!) have the “proof” that Russia is the aggressor, the Poles and Balts will prepare for an “imminent” Russian invasion and I think that there is a pretty good chance that NATO forces will move into the Western Ukraine to “stop the Russians”, even if the said Russians will have absolutely no desire (or even possible motive) to want to invade the rest of the Ukraine or, even less so, Poland, Sweden or the Baltic statelets.

I will admit that there is still a small possibility that a Ukronazi attack might not happen.  Maybe Poroshenko & Co. will get cold feet (they know the real condition of the Ukie military and “dobrobat” death squads) and maybe Putin’s recent not-so-veiled threat about “grave consequences for the Ukrainian statehood” will have the needed effect.  But what will happen even if this attack does not take place?  The EU leaders and the Ukronazi regime in Kiev will still blame Russia for the Ukraine now clearly being a failed state.  Whatever scenario you find more likely for the Ukraine, things there will only get worse and everybody will blame Russia.

The crisis in Syria will only benefit anti-Russian forces in Europe.  It is becoming pretty clear that the USA is now attempting a reconquista of Syria or, at least, a break-up of Syria into several zones, including US-controlled ones.  Right now, the USA and the “good terrorists” have lost the war, but that does not stop them from re-igniting a new one, mostly by reorganizing, retraining, redeploying and, most importantly, re-branding the surviving “bad terrorists” into “good ones”.  This plan is backed by Saudi money and Israeli firepower.  Furthermore, Russia is now reporting that US Special Forces are already working with the (new) “good terrorists” to – you guessed it – prepare yet another fake chemical attack and blame it on the Syrians.  And why not?  It worked perfectly already several times, why not do that again?  At the very least, it would give the USA another try at getting their Tomahawks to show their effectiveness (even if they fail again, facts don’t matter here). And make no mistake, a US “victory” in Syria (or in Venezuela) would be a disaster not only for the region, but for every country wanting to become sovereign (see Andre Vltchek’s excellent article on this topic here).  And, again, Russia will be blamed for it all and, with certifiable nutcasts like Bolton, Russian forces might even be attacked.  As I wrote already many times, this is far from over.  Just as in the Ukrainian case, some deal might be made (at least US and Russian military officials are still talking to each other) but my personal opinion is that making any kind of deal with Trump is as futile as making deals with Netanyahu: neither of them can be trusted and they both will break any and all promises in a blink of an eye.  And if all hell breaks loose in Syria and/or Iran, NATO will make sure that the Europeans all quickly and obediently fall in line (“solidarity”, remember?).

The bottom line is this: currently, the EU is most unlikely to become a viable partner for Russia and the future does look rather bleak.

One objection to my pessimism is the undeniable success of the recent Saint Petersburg summit and the Parliamentary Forum.  However, I believe that neither of these events was really centered around Europe at all,  but about the world at large (see excellent report by Gilbert Doctorow on this topic here).  Yes, Russia is doing great and while the AngloZionist media loves to speak about the “isolation” of Russia, the truth is that it is the Empire which is isolated, while Russia and China are having a tremendous success building the multi-polar world they want to replace the Empire with.  So while it is true that the western leaders might prefer to see a liberal “economic block” in the new Russian government, the rest of the world has no such desire at all (especially considering how many countries out there have suffered terrible hardships at the hands of the WTO/WB/IMF/etc types).

Conclusion:

The AngloZionist Empire is not based in the USA, or in the EU, or Israel, or anywhere else on the planet.  It is a trans-national entity with regional variations and which includes different interest groups under its umbrella.  You can think of it as a gigantic criminal gang racketeering the entire planet for “protection”.  To think that by presenting a “liberal” face to these thugs will gain you their support is extremely naive as these guys don’t care about your face: what they want is your submission.  Vladimir Putin put it best when he said “They do not want to humiliate us, they want to subdue us, solve their problems at our expense”.

However, if the EU is, for all practical purposes, non-existent, Russia can, and will, engage with individual EU member states.  There is a huge difference between, say, Poland and Italy, or the UK and Austria.  Furthermore, the EU is not only dysfunctional, it is also non-viable.  Russia would immensely benefit from the current EU either falling apart or being deeply reformed because the current EU is a pure creation of the US-backed Bilderberger types and not the kind of Europe the European people need.  In fact, I would even argue that the EU is the single biggest danger for the people of the European continent.  Thus Russia should use her resources to foster bi-lateral cooperation with individual EU member states and never take any action which would strengthen (or even legitimize) EU-derived organizations such as the EU Parliament, the European Court of Human Rights, etc.  These are all entities which seek to undermine the sovereignty of all its members, including Russia.  Again, Putin put it best when he recently declared that “either Russia is a sovereign country, or there is no Russia“.

Whatever the ideology and slogans, all empires are inherently evil and inherently dangerous to any country wanting to be truly sovereign.  If Russia (and China) want to create a multi-polar world, they need to gradually disengage from those trans-national bodies which are totally controlled by the Empire, it is really that simple.  Instead, Russia needs to engage those countries, political parties and forces who advocate for what de Gaulle called “the Europe of fatherlands“.  Both the AngloZionist Empire and the EU are undergoing the most profound crisis in their history and the writing is on the wall.  Sooner rather than later, one by one, European countries will recover their sovereignty, as will Russia.  Only if the people of Europe succeed in recovering their sovereignty could Russia look for real partnerships in the West, if only because the gradually developing and integrating Eurasian landmass offer tremendous economic opportunities which could be most beneficial to the nations of Europe.  A prosperous Europe “from the Atlantic to the Urals” is still a possibility, but that will happen only when the current European Union and NATO are replaced by truly European institutions and the current European  elites replaced by sovereignists.

The people of Russia, EU and, I would argue, the United States all have the same goal and the same enemy:  they want to recover their sovereignty, get rid of their corrupt and, frankly, treacherous elites and liberates themselves from the hegemony of the AngloZionist Empire.  This is why pushing the issue of “true sovereignty” (and national traditional values) is, I believe, the most unifying and powerful political idea to defeat the Empire.  This will be a long struggle but the outcome is not in doubt.

The Saker

PS: just as I was sending this article away I came across this article by Paul Craig Roberts “Is Europe Too Brainwashed To Normalize Relations With Russia?” – make sure to also check it out!

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Hypocrite!: Anger as Brexit supremo Nigel Lawson applies for French residency

‘Hypocrite!’: Anger as Brexit supremo applies for French residency

Many of the long-time British immigrants in France expressed outrage at Lord Lawson’s application for a residency permit

Nigel Lawson applies for French residency British politician and former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson participates in a debate on the EU at the Institute of Directors convention in London, Britain, October 6, 2015. 2015. REUTERS/Toby Melville

leading campaigner for Britain’s exit from the European Union has been accused of hypocrisy after applying for permanent residency in France.Former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson told newspaper The Connexion that he is applying for a permanent residency card, known as a “carte de sejour,” which it is hoped will avoid complications after Brexit.

Brexit will end the right of EU citizens to live in Britain and vice-versa. Both Britain and the bloc say they want expats to retain their current rights, but questions remain over the status of 3 million EU nationals in the U.K. and 1 million Britons in other EU countries.

Lord Lawson, 86, who chaired Britain’s Vote Leave campaign, said he was “not worried” about his status as a Briton in France. He live in who lives in an 18th century country house in Gers, south-west France,.

Pro-EU group Best for Britain said that Lawson “looks like a hypocrite.”

Spokesman Paul Butters said the thought of Lord Lawson applying for a French residency card “takes the biscuit”.

“It seemed to Lawson that no cost was not worth paying to leave. But with this news, it seems the cost will be paid by others while the former chancellor suns himself in his luxury home in France.”

There are more than 150,000 Britons living in France whose future has been complicated by the bitterly fought 2016 UK referendum that voted to leave the European Union by a narrow 52 percent majority.

Many of the long-time British immigrants in France expressed outrage at Lord Lawson’s application for a residency permit and said they hoped it would be turned down, reported The Local.

Russell Hall, who lives in the Dordogne told The Local: “What annoys so many of us is his extraordinarily blasé and casual attitude. Perhaps his wealth and privilege protect him from the chaos and disruption that will affect so many more humble Brits who have chosen to live in France, either full time or part of each year.

“It beggars belief that as many of those seeking a carte de séjour in France struggle to satisfy the many criteria and to assemble the substantial documentation in support of their application, Lord Lawson airily dismisses their concerns, saying he is “not particularly worried. It comes under the category of tiresome rather than serious.”

Why is everyone so mean about israel? Netanyahu’s awkward European tour

Source

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu toured Europe this week trying to sink the already sunk Iran nuclear deal. Annoyingly for him though, everyone kept wanting to talk about those 120 or so Palestinians shot by Israeli soldiers.

It was a frustrating few days for Bibi, because the leaders of Germany, France, and Britain didn’t seem to share the view that the best way to keep Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, was to scrap the deal which prevents them from getting a nuclear bomb.

And strangely, no one seemed to listen when he said Israeli troops firing live ammunition at Palestinian protesters was part of a plan to “minimize casualties and avoid fatalities.”

So ICYMI asks, just why is everyone so mean about Israel?

 

EU Chief calls for an end to ‘Russia-bashing’

The End Of US Hegemony: EU Chief Juncker calls for an end to ‘Russia-bashing’

Some within the EU have been looking to better relations with Russia

With America’s increasing unreliability and erratic behaviour both as it relates to international accords and relationships with its allies and partners, especially as regards trade, some within the EU have been looking to better relations with Russia, often considered a villain by the West.

With the advent of the Trump administration, Washington has withdrawn from multiple multilateral agreements, conducted extremely controversial maneuvers and not only threatened but actually applied trade sanctions and tariffs against its partners and allies.

The withdrawal from the Iran nuclear accord threatened secondary sanctions on anyone who maintained their commitment to the international accord by keeping up their end in maintaining commercial ties with Iran, also making a diplomatic splash as it is another chipping away at multilateralism and presents very real threats from nations who are considered allies and trade partners.

 

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker has said it’s time for the EU to reconnect with Russia and stop “bashing” it, in surprising contrast to those in the West who have been piling blame and sanctions on Moscow.
Juncker spoke to an audience at a Brussels think tank event on EU reform. Though his statement had a few catches, the overall message was conciliatory.

“So we have to come back to, I wouldn’t say normal relations with Russia, but there are so many areas, so many domains, where we can cooperate in a better way with research and innovation and others. Not forgetting what our differences and divergences are. But this Russia-bashing has to be brought to an end,” he said.

Juncker’s call was not entirely conciliatory, though. He said the EU would never accept “what Russia did” to Ukraine and Crimea, referring to the violent 2014 coup in Kiev that brought the current Ukrainian government to power, and the subsequent referendum held in Crimea, which resulted in over 90 percent support for reunification with Russia.

One of the chief arguments for better relations is Russia’s sheer size. “We have to have in mind that the entire territory of the European Union is about 5.5m sq km. Russia [is] 70.5m,” Juncker said.

Yet, Russia’s size (which is actually a comparatively modest 17.1m sq km) didn’t stop the EU and its allies from jeopardizing diplomacy with a mass expulsion of Russian diplomats two months ago. A total of over 100 were sent back to Russia from more than a dozen countries, accused of being spies in disguise.

The expulsion was initiated by the UK in its ongoing push to blame the March poisoning of former Russian-British double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter on Moscow. The UK itself led the way with 23 expulsions, but the US outdid everyone with 60. Most others limited the expulsions to one to four diplomats. Russia mirrored the act with an equal number of expulsions….

Following Trump’s scrapping of the Iran deal, Juncker has also declared that the US is thereby losing its global influence, and needs to be replaced. At least Russia has shown that it stands by its word, at least most of the time, whereas America is demonstrating that it doesn’t care what international law or trade rules say. America does what it wants, whether it is beneficial for global prospects or not.

If the Americans are pushing for a war with Russia let them have it at home and NOT in Europe

US Commander in Europe: We Need More Troops to Fight The Russians

US Commander of the Europe Command, Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, has called for thousands more US troops to “deter Russian aggression” in Europe. He has even suggested that the US troops should be pulled off of counter-terrorism duty and sent to Europe. Meanwhile, the Pentagon announced a massive shipment of military equipment to Europe, including tanks and other tracked vehicles. Do US military officials really believe that Russia is about to invade western Europe? Are we back in the 1940s? Or is Washington’s military-industrial complex looking for new ways to justify an ever-expanding military budget? Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

The US is becoming a threat to Europe’s economy and security

Source

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

“Iran will reject any offers by the European Community and even by the US, to return to the negotiating table and to resume the drafting of the nuclear agreement in exchange for Tehran to stop developing its missile program, pull out of Syria and it support to its allies (Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas Palestinian Jihad, Houthis in Yemen) because what is at stake is Iran’s national security, its constitution and doctrine”, said a high Iranian official involved in the nuclear programme negotiation.

“All the billions that Europe believes it can offer for Iran to restructure and modify the nuclear agreement will not change our views and our goals. Iran will certainly be affected by further sanctions, however there are economic alternatives on the table. These existed even during the days of the sanctions which lasted for decades. Today, Iran 2018 in no longer like Iran 1979. We have partners and allies around the globe. ”

The source was adamant: “Imam Ali Khamenei told us –correctly: If the Americans ask for a finger and we give it to them, they will ask for the hand, and if they take the hand, they will ask for the arm and if they get it, they will ask for the body . The objective is to subjugate Tehran to US control and push Iran away from Russia. We didn’t submit in the last four decadessince our Islamic revolution won, so it will certainly not happen today”.

The issue is to subjugate Iran: it is a matter of control, not a matter of making a nuclear bomb. It is a matter of hitting Russia’s allies who managed to defeat the US in its playground (the Middle East) allowing Russia to return, stronger than ever, to the international arena. This US objective (not very well hidden!) is in fact clearly manifested by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s 12 impossible conditions– a diktat aiming to make Iran submit and have the US define Iran’s “choices” and allies.

On the day President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, the Russian President stressed that he was not interested in the US’s stand: “Moscow is committed to all its agreements with Iran”.

Iran does not believe that Barack Obama pushed for a nuclear deal to satisfy Tehran or reward it. And that former US administration was convinced that Iran would not bow. So, it hoped that Tehran would discuss other issues (its Middle Eastern policy, for example), and would keep its distance from the Russian and Chinese giants (Washington’s available competitors), quite ready to replace the US and Europe in Iran to help overcome US sanctions.

Indeed, Iran believes that Russia, China and many other countries (like India and Turkey) will not abide by the US sanctions either. Even if Europe withdrew from the nuclear agreement within the Iranian-proposed deadline to the EU (40 to 60 days) to give sufficient guarantees, Iran will not abide by any US proposal in any case.

At the signing of the nuclear deal in 2015, Iran was divided into two parts: one part wanted to move towards establishing economic contracts with Europe and another part wanted to concentrate on contracts with mainly China and Russia.

Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 12.26.21

Today, if Europe withdraws or fails to provide adequate guarantees to Iran, other partners (Russia and China) are ready to move in. For example, if Total withdraws from the Pars gas field, China’s CNPC is ready to replace it (Total owns 50.1 percent of the stake, CNPC 30 percent and PetroPars 19.9 percent). If Airbus and Boeing withdraw from the agreement in response to US’s will and sanctions, they lose $ 39 billion and will be replace by Russian firm.

This does not mean that Iran will not lose real partners in Europe; however it has not gained much so far because it has received only $10 out of the $ 150 billions of Iran’s frozen assets in the US. Therefore, the “real loss” did not occur – because America did not abide by the agreement but left it on one side before handing it on finally to the Trump era.

“Trump does not understand that the policy of piracy and his conduct with the Middle East countries is a tribute to them and a form of blackmail which keeps them in power. Trump wants to dominate the Islamic Republic and maintain unilateral world ‘control’: Obama understood he could no longer pretend to this. Trump is just not realistically accepting the return of Russia and he refuses to share power. ”

It is true that Russia did commit itself to US sanctions against Iran, at a time when it was weak (from the 1990s and until 2011). But the situation has changed since the Syrian war. Shifts in the balance of power emerged when the “axis of resistance” in the Syrian war – along with Russia (that is not part of it, but supporting it in the Levant) – defeated the US and its European and Middle Eastern allies and prevented “regime change”. Thus, Iran – and its allies – do not feel a position of weakness at all in the face of escalating American positions against them.

President Bashar al-Assad was asked long ago to abandon the Palestinian cause and organisations he hosted in Syria and the Lebanese “Hezbollah”: he refused and war was waged against his country. Hezbollah has been offered billions to stop attacking Israel and withdrawing weapons from southern Lebanon: its secretary-general has rejected repeated Japanese and US offers. Iran also rejected billions and the lifting of sanctions to stop supporting Palestine and Hezbollah. When the US found out that the use of military force and regime change did not work in the Levant to crush the enemies of Israel and those outside its orbit of dominance, it turned to economic warfare and old-new sanctions.

Today, the European Community is joining the line of the “axis of resistance” against Trump’s bullying. The old EU continent will be the most affected by US sanctions against Iran and its US partner. Trump is behaving with what are supposed to be his European partners in the same way he is dealing with Arab countries (a policy of encouragement and intimidation, principally with Saudi Arabia, Bahrein and the Emirates).

Thus, the US has not only threatened Iran and the “axis of resistance” but is threatening European security and economy, both under threat, and from a longstanding historical ally. Trump is pushing the world towards militarism, and towards separation and alienation from the US, with its unbridled unilateral policy that refuses to accept the fait accompli: the time of unilateralism is over

Europe Must Now Show Solidarity with an Iranian Government that Faithfully Obeyed All the Rules We Drafted

Europe Must Now Show Solidarity with an Iranian Government that Faithfully Obeyed All the Rules We Drafted.

By Rory Wood,

It wasn’t just the news that the US had pulled out of the Iran Deal – that died when the White House opened its doors once again to John Bolton, a challenger to Kissinger’s status as the most unhinged sociopath in Washington history. It was the conditions drafted for a post-Iran deal world that really turned heads: that European, Russian and Chinese firms have 90-180 days to divest from Iran or meet the wrath of US financial penalties.

Without the secondary sanctions which Bolton and co have threatened on Europe the US breaking the agreement means very little. US trade with Iran only came to about $200 million last year, whereas Iran-EU trade grew to represent €20 billion. EU exports to Iran grew at an annual rate of 31.5 percent and imports grew 83.9 percent during 2016-17. From 2013 to 2017, the annual growth rate for imports was a staggering 89.7 percent, and growth for exports was 18.7 percent. For a largely economically stagnating continent, the new Iranian market comprising 80 million people is a big deal.

It’s important to make the distinction that the US did not formally withdraw from the JCPOA as most media outlets have lazily described it. The Iran deal is an agreement, not a treaty, and no mechanism for withdrawal is in place. The US simply chose to break the rules of an agreement they signed just three years ago.

To bow to American economic threats would be to enable the undermining of international law and punish those who have played along with good faith. According to all independent research, and not just Benjamin Netanyahu’s mad drawings of cartoon bombs, Iran have adhered to all the terms of the agreement and thus don’t possess the means to launch a nuclear weapon, unlike Benjamin Netanyahu, who possesses the world’s third largest stockpile.

Divesting from Iran as John Bolton is furiously demanding would be like awarding a gold star to the kid who spent all day screaming at the back of the class and making the swot who completed all his homework face the wall. It would represent a watershed moment in the dissolution of rational international relations in favour of bending over to a bully.

The EU have stood up to an aggressive Trump administration once this year and they should do it again. It may carry risks, but the alternative is to throw away sovereignty. Conservative commentators argue that it’s ‘not worth starting a trade war with the US’; the reality is that we’re already in one.

Legal protections for EU firms who want to continue trading with Iran are possible but a last resort. An appeal to the World Trade Organisation would be fruitless as they merely serve to uphold US financial hegemony at all costs. When Third World countries who are burdened with false debts or countries bullied with ill-conceived sanctions look to the WTO for assistance they are met with the response of Chief Wiggum from the Simpsons: ‘ the law is Powerless to *help* you, not punish you.’

This is a political crisis, and demands a political solution. The EU could promise to compensate firms who face US fines through selectively lowering Iranian tariffs. The most obvious Hail Mary solution, however, would be to reintroduce a blocking statute against the sanctions, similar to the one used by the EU to continue trading with Cuba in the 90s.

This would fire the starting gun for a full-on trade war, but the only other option would be to allow the sovereignty of Europe to be undermined and the US to take the seat of George Bush-era aggressive global dominance once again.

The EU could cogently claim that their hand was forced, even if they choose to go down a ‘drastic’ route. Ultimately the only errant party in this affair is the US; they can go back on the agreement if they choose, but they have no right to set the document on fire.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has indicated that if the EU can give decent reassurances on the continuation of EU trade then business could continue almost as normal. This whole affair could be reduced to a simple tantrum of a fracturing empire if the EU decide to show some steel.

 

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Featured image is from the author.

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