The Trump Administration Pressured The Europeans With A 25% Tariff To Warn The Iranians About Their Violations Of The Nuclear Deal

By Theodore Shoebat

Just days before the Europeans expressed their warning to Iran over their violations of the Iran Nuclear Deal, the Trump administration pressured them to do so with a threat of a 25% tariff. The Americans warned France, Germany and Britain that if they failed to comply, the US would impose this tariff on European automobiles. Within days the Europeans made their accusation against Iran, stating that it has been violating the Iran Deal. Such a warning could trigger UN sanctions on Iran, thus disintegrating whatever is left of Obama’s Iran Deal. Its a move that one European official described as “extortion,” and it is also another sign of the polarization between the US and the EU over the controversy that is Iran. Jeremy Shapiro, research director at the European Council on Foreign Relations, stated: “The tariff threat is a mafia-like tactic, and it’s not how relations between allies typically work”. 

One observation that is being made is that the threat was not even necessary since the Europeans were already showing signs that they were going to trigger the dispute resolution. The Americans want this device as a way to bring back UN sanctions. After the warning is made it commences 65 days of negotiations, and if nothing is settled the UN will revive the sanctions. The Europeans, on the other hand, see the warning as a way to pressure Iran to return to Iran Deal standards. A senior American official, when asked about the warning, said: “We’ve been very clear that the JCPOA was a horrible deal”. But this same US official admitted that the Europeans were going to trigger the warning anyway, making it appear unclear as to why the Americans issued the threat.  “The consensus among the Europeans about the need to hold Tehran accountable took form weeks ago and was driven by Iran’s escalatory behavior and violations of the nuclear deal,” the official said.
Officials in Germany, Britain and France said that they were already planning to initiate the mechanism, but the threat made them hesitate because they feared that if they complied they would appear weak. “We didn’t want to look weak, so we agreed to keep the existence of the threat a secret,” a European official said. According to the Washington Post:

U.S. officials conveyed the threat directly to officials in London, Paris and Berlin rather than through their embassies in Washington, said a senior European official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive negotiations.
The conservatives are very happy with Trump pulling the US out of the Iran Deal, but at the same time they’ve been having difficulty explaining what type of a deal they would propose to replace Obama’s Iran Deal, especially after disrupting whatever order the Deal brought by pulling out of the Deal in the first place. After Trump pulled the US out of the Iran Deal, the Iranians exceeded their enriched uranium limit. Why would Iran do this, if the Deal didn’t work? As we read in a report from al-Jazeera:

Iran has exceeded the limit on the amount of enriched uranium in its stockpile set out in the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, the United Nations’ atomic watchdog has confirmed.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Monday that its inspectors had verified the 300kg cap had been breached.

“We can confirm that IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano has informed the Board of Governors that the Agency verified on 1 July that Iran’s total enriched uranium stockpile exceeded [the deal’s limit],” an IAEA spokesman said in a statement.

Amano also confirmed back in March of 2018 that Iran was abiding by the rules of the Iran Deal, and then this same Amano said that Iran was breaking the rules after Trump pulled out. It indicates how the US pulling out of the deal provided the pretext for Iran to transgress the Deal. The American pressure on Germany could also act as an inventive for Germany to further polarize herself from the American security umbrella.