Last week, the foreign ministers of Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia, and Iran met to devise a way to protect the last-named country from the recently renewed U.S. sanctions. Clifford May comments:
French, British, and German leaders . . . continue to insist that the nuclear deal is a reasonable bargain. In exchange for economic benefits, Iran’s theocrats have promised to slow—not end—their illicit nuclear-weapons program. [Although] Iran’s theocrats don’t actually acknowledge having a nuclear-weapons program, . . . they are threatening to accelerate it if the Europeans don’t fully compensate them for economic losses caused by the re-imposition of American sanctions.
Just prior to last week’s meeting, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani phoned France’s President Emmanuel Macron and told him that the [proposal being considered by the Europeans] “does not meet all our demands.” . . . In what kind of negotiation does one side make “demands” of the other? . . .
On Sunday, the German publication Bild reported that Germany’s central bank plans to turn over to Iranian officials 300 million euros in cash that will then be flown to Iran. That Iran’s rulers are in need of bundles of cash only highlights how weak their economy has become. Decades of mismanagement and corruption are the primary reasons. But re-imposed American sanctions—with new rounds to hit in August and November—are taking a toll. . . .
Meanwhile, . . . Belgian authorities have detained an Iranian diplomat in connection with a plot to bomb a rally in France organized by an Iranian opposition group. . . . At present, however, British, French, and German leaders appear loath to offend Iran’s rulers and anxious to accommodate them. Which raises this question: if appeasement is the European policy toward the Islamic Republic now, what will it be if the regime achieves its ambition of becoming the nuclear-armed hegemon of the Middle East?
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