Why Europe Backs Obama on Iran

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Why Europe Backs Obama on Iran

Postby Ready1 on Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:15 am

Why Europe Backs Obama on Iran

By Carl Bildt
Sweden’s foreign minister from 2006 to October 2014, and was Prime Minister from 1991 to 1994

Posted: 04/07/2015 12:18 pm EDT Updated: 4 minutes ago

PARMA, Italy -- Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu seems close to ordering a general mobilization of his country's military, and Republicans in the United States are preparing for a ferocious battle with President Barack Obama's administration, in the wake of the framework nuclear agreement with Iran. And yet the framework deal has been almost universally welcomed in Europe. What accounts for this disconnect within the West over a key regional and global threat?

Several factors are at work. One, certainly, is that Europe -- or, more precisely, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France -- has been engaged in the talks with Iran for more than a decade. Even as former President George W. Bush branded Iran a part of an "axis of evil," the key European Union members insisted that diplomacy was better than war.

And, step by step, the European approach has been vindicated. Critical to that outcome, of course, was the U.S. intelligence community's reports that all the evidence pointed to Iran having long ago -- in 2003 -- abandoned concrete plans to develop a nuclear weapon.

It is easy to see why the Iranians would have done so. So long as Saddam Hussein, who had launched a brutal eight-year war against Iran in the 1980s, and whom influential Westerners openly accused of seeking to acquire nuclear weapons, remained in power, the Iranian government's plan to develop nuclear weapons followed a certain realist logic. Once the U.S. military ousted Saddam's regime in 2003, Iran's most acute security threat vanished.

Moreover, there has long been a tactical difference between U.S. and European policies toward Iran's nuclear program. At times, the U.S. seemingly sought to eradicate any knowledge of nuclear technology from a country of which it is deeply suspicious, whereas the European approach was to seek reliable assurances that Iran would never develop a nuclear weapon. At the end of the day, the U.S. recognized that any realistic policy needed European support, while Europeans saw preventing a rush to war by the U.S. or Israel as a central policy objective...




...Finally, Israel is a key factor underlying the differences between the U.S. and Europe when it comes to Iran. Though Netanyahu's shrill words still have an attentive audience in the U.S., most of Europe regards his position as being only a little short of ridiculous.

Thus, it is nearly certain that, assuming a final agreement with Iran is reached in June, Europe's backing for it will be unanimous -- or close to it -- and that it will be eager to support Obama in his battle with opponents of the deal at home. The framework agreement has vindicated Europe's approach to resolving the nuclear dispute. The West has every reason to maintain that approach in the months ahead.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-bildt/europe-obama-iran_b_7015184.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
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Re: Why Europe Backs Obama on Iran

Postby Jericho on Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:26 am

Didn't France walk out of the negotiations? They said that Iran abandoned plans for nuclear weapons in 2003, and they know this how? US intelligence has been wrong before. It doesn't matter if the threat from Saddam is gone, Iran still desires to be a regional powers and they know Israel has nukes. A nuclear umbrella gives Iran carte blanche to do what they want.

Finally, Israel is a key factor underlying the differences between the U.S. and Europe when it comes to Iran. Though Netanyahu's shrill words still have an attentive audience in the U.S., most of Europe regards his position as being only a little short of ridiculous.


Why is this so inconceivable, especially given their Shiite eschatology? Rather they have intercontinental capabilities or not right now, they could still hurt us or Israel. It would be easy to use a suitcase bomb or fire an EMP off the a barge while giving them plausible deniability.
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