With Trump making one of the worst, most reckless decisions by an American president in U.S. history he has, unwittingly, provided a brilliant opportunity for European nations to begin the process of breaking away from decades of American dominance.
What Trump did was senseless in that he called the Iran Nuclear Agreement a complete disaster, that it was not working, and was allowing Iran to continue nuclear development behind the scenes. But, as he does with other issues, he presented no facts or evidence to back up his contentions.
No doubt when he pulled the plug he felt confident that Britain, France and Germany, even though they strongly believed that the agreement should remain in effect, would simply fall in line and join the U.S. withdrawal. After all, isn't that what they always do, fall in line, when directed to do so by the U.S.?
Well, this time the outcome may be entirely different and Trump may be in for a big surprise, one that he won't like at all.
Trump's contention that this is a highly faulted agreement that needs to be ended is just one more misguided statement on his part. And his statement that inspections are almost non-existent is ridiculous and ignorant of what is really happening.
The IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Association, the highly respected world inspection organization, has been closely monitoring what goes on in Iran to assure that this nation is complying with the agreement.
To further try to discredit this agreement John Bolton, Trump's new National Security Adviser, in a cable news interview, sent out a subtle message that if these U.S. allies do not reject this agreement that the U.S. might impose sanctions on some of their companies that would involve technology trade.
Bolton's warning was a typical threat that is used by the U.S. to force other countries to "toe the line", i.e., to do as they are told if they know what's good for them. In his cocky manner, he said, "I think the Europeans will see that it's ultimately in their interest to come along with us."
Well maybe Bolton and his boss, Trump, should think a bit deeper before they make these threats against their allies who have Russia and China strongly siding with them on this matter.
They should understand that, besides Britain, Germany and France, the vast majority of the other 23 members of the European Union also want this agreement to remain in effect.
At various sites across Iran that have involved Iran's nuclear development program, the IAEA has highly sophisticated equipment that monitors activities and transmits key data constantly to its headquarters in Viennna where scientists conduct studies to assure compliance. There are also teams of inspectors on the ground in Iran that watch closely for any violations.
These intensive inspections have been going on in Iran since the inception of the agreement in 2015 and the IAEA has regularly issued reports to all those involved in this agreement plus the UN that indicate their findings. So far they have not seen any violations by Iran.
Now are there any concerns that Iran may be doing some kind of illegal nuclear development at locations of which the inspectors are not aware? Yes, that's true and so the IAEA continues to expand its search to determine if there are any such activities going on. So far they have found none and have declared that, thus far, Iran is fully complying with the provisions of the agreement.
Since France, Germany and the UK, supported by the rest of the 28-member European Union, most certainly want this agreement to stay in effect they now have an opportunity to save it by refusing to join with the U.S. in withdrawing.
So let's do a "what if analysis" What if the U.S. allies have had enough of these threats and decide to join with Russia and China and continue to adhere to the Iran Nuclear Agreement?