The coming clash: Why Iran will divide Europe from the United States

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details October 2017
Publication Date 25/10/2017
ISBN 978-1-911544-36-4
Content Type ,

Policy recommendations in the Policy Brief

+ European governments and the EU should safeguard the JCPOA and vigorously plan for contingencies should the US continue to backtrack on the nuclear deal. This should primarily focus on legal, political, and economic measures that can ringfence European companies from the enforcement of US secondary sanctions.

+ Europe should also pursue the political openings created by the nuclear deal to engage in tough diplomacy with Iran on non-nuclear issues. The most promising areas for tangible, albeit incremental, progress include: freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf, reducing the violence in conflicts in Yemen and Syria, and lowering tensions in Iraqi Kurdistan.

+ The EU should facilitate dialogue with regional powers with the aim of creating greater transparency over ballistic missile capacities in the Middle East.

+ European countries and the EU should further nurture the channels they have developed with the Iranian leadership to help counterbalance the impact of Donald Trump’s polarising narratives on regional developments.
US President President Donald Trump is not easy to get along with. On many global security issues, Europeans take very different approaches than the new American president. But perhaps nowhere is the difference more profound than on the question of Iran. Given the president’s harsh rhetoric and his efforts in October 2017 to put that talk into practice, a transatlantic clash on the issue seemed almost inevitable.

The author argued that European countries should prepare to minimise the damage and preserve their strategic interests on non-proliferation and the pursuit of stability in the Middle East.

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Related Links
International Crisis Group: Middle East Report, No.181, January 2018: The Iran Nuclear Deal at Two: A Status Report
ECFR: Commentary, 12.01.18: From Iran to North Korea, German policymakers are at a loss
International Crisis Group: Op-Ed, 21.01.18: Destroying the Iran Deal While Claiming to Save It

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