How Germany Leads Europe in the Appeasement of Iran

Oct. 29 2020

While the European Union, and many of its individual members, likes to hold itself as the great defender of human rights and international law—and rarely hesitates to condemn Israel for alleged breaches—it has consistently been slow to speak out about the misdeeds of the Islamic Republic. Benjamin Weinthal, focusing on Germany, writes:

Germany’s eagerness to do business with Iran’s regime has been a constant since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. . . . Iran’s 1979 seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran and taking hostage of 52 American diplomats and citizens, who were held for 444 days, did nothing to upset German-Iranian relations. Likewise, Europe works not only to keep Iran’s regime afloat but also, witting or unwittingly, to enhance Tehran’s military apparatus through the provision of dual-use goods (civilian technology that also could have a military purpose).

[The] trade numbers and deals between Germany and Iran bespeak a profound indifference to international security and the safety of the Jewish state. This despite Chancellor Angela Merkel’s famous declaration to Israel’s Knesset in 2008 that the security of the Jewish state is “non-negotiable” for her administration.

The massive gap between her rhetoric and her actions betray a largely pro-Iran regime foreign policy. . . . Europe’s most powerful economic engine, Germany, and the rest of the EU, have sadly opted to align themselves with the Islamic Republic of Iran on the pressing issues of Iran’s nuclear program, and its stomach-turning human-rights record.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Angela Merkel, Europe and Israel, European Union, Germany, Iran

How Israel and Its Allies Could Have a Positive Influence on the Biden Administration’s Iran Policy

Nov. 25 2020

While the president-elect has expressed his desire to return the U.S. to the 2015 nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic, this should not in itself cause worry in Jerusalem; it has never been the Israeli government’s position that a deal with Tehran is undesirable, only that the flaws of the deal negotiated by the Obama administration outweighed its benefits. Thus Yaakov Amidror, Efraim Inbar, and Eran Lerman urge Israel to approach Joe Biden’s national-security team—whose senior members were announced this week—to urge them to act prudently:

To the greatest extent possible, such approaches should be made jointly, or in very close coordination with, Israel’s new partners in the Gulf. These countries share Israel’s perspectives on the Iranian regional threat and on the need to block Tehran’s path to nuclear weapons.

For Israel, for Iran-deal skeptics in Washington, and for her partners in the region, the first operational priority is to persuade the incoming U.S. national-security team to maintain full leverage on Iran. Sanctions against Iran should not be lifted as a “gesture” without a verified Iranian return to the status quo ante (at the very least) in terms of low-enriched-uranium stockpiles and ongoing enrichment activities.

In parallel, there may emerge a unique opportunity to close ranks with the French (and with Boris Johnson’s government in London) on the Iranian question. On several issues (above all, the struggle for hegemony in the eastern Mediterranean, against Turkey), Jerusalem, Abu Dhabi, and Paris now see eye-to-eye. On Iran, during the negotiations leading to the [deal] in 2015, the position of France was often the most robust. In 2018, President Macron was willing to reach an operational understanding with Secretary of State Pompeo on [key issues regarding the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities].

Last but certainly not least, it should be clear to the incoming U.S. national-security team that any attempt to negotiate must be, can be, and (as far as Israel is concerned) firmly will be backed by a credible military threat.

Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: France, Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, US-Israel relations