Well, if Iran wanted to test the waters and see if there were actually any teeth in that infamous nuclear agreement they signed with Obama and five European nations in 2015, they got a pretty good message back from France on Tuesday. After announcing to the world that they had more enriched uranium in their stockpile than was allowed by the multinational pact, Iran was greeted with this retort from European leaders: Okay, but we’re not happy about it!
Exceeding the limit could culminate in the return of all international sanctions on Tehran but one European diplomat, asked if Europe would trigger the dispute resolution mechanism enshrined in the accord, said:
“Not for now. We want to defuse the crisis.”
A second diplomat said Britain, France and Germany would focus on bringing Iran back into compliance and that they wanted to gain more time for dialogue.
“In the immediate term, Iran must return to its obligations. There is room for dialogue,” a French diplomatic source added.
Meanwhile, back in the U.S., President Trump said that Iran was “playing with fire.” Of course, Trump no longer needs to worry about the specific tenets of the agreement, seeing as how he de-certified U.S. involvement last year. Even so, Trump has been clear that it is his administration’s priority to ensure that Iran does not get their hands on a nuclear weapon, even signaling to reporters that it is the one issue that would trigger war against the Islamic Republic.
That’s a far cry from our former partners in the agreement, who seem glad to let Iran do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t mean missing out on that sweet, sweet Iranian oil. Or, you know, actually siding with the Evil Mr. Trump on anything. And when it comes to those signatories who are less adverse to criticizing the U.S. outright – like China – their diplomats are blatantly blaming Trump for being the “root cause of the current tensions.”
Well, fools, you couldn’t be more wrong. Iran brought these tensions on themselves when they refused to live up to the terms of the (already terrible) agreement. And they will be the ones to cool them when they decide they are better served by negotiations than war. A little international help might get them to clarity a little sooner, but then again European cowardice is frankly nothing to be surprised about.