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The sanctions of the EU – Washington Times



ANALYSIS / OPINION:

The Chinese government is not concerned about the short-term economic impact of President Trump's tariffs. The European Union is not concerned about anything else. For a handful of dollars, they are on the side of the world's leading terrorist regime against the nation, which has protected them since 1945.

As we shall see shortly, the EU is desperately trying to maintain its economic relations with Iran despite this fact and the events of July and August.

In early July, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani – considered by some to be temperate, as if there were such a leader in Iran ̵

1; threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if the US economic sanctions were re-established. Having acted with Iranian leaders, Trump offered to meet with "anyone" from Iran at any time "without any preconditions" – an offer similar to that of a former President Obama in his 2008 election campaign.

Both The speeches by Mr Obama and Mr Trump without preconditions were weaknesses. Preconditions are important because the ayatollahs are always refusing to fulfill their diplomatic obligations. They must develop a degree of confidence by fulfilling conditions such as the withdrawal of Iranian forces from the Syrian border to Israel's Golan Heights. If they refuse, any American negotiations with Tehran would mean an endorsement of Iran's rogue behavior.

When Mr. Trump made his offer of negotiation, Iran quickly refused him and began his naval exercise in the Strait of Hormuz in the first week of August 1965.

The Strait is the narrow sea route that borders and borders Iran and Oman Almost 30 percent of global oil purchases flow. At the narrowest point, the shipping lanes are only six miles wide. Iran's annual naval exercises in the street are to demonstrate its ability to close it.

The Iranian naval and air forces were able to close the road for a short time by laying mines, sinking ships to block the shipping lanes, or oil tankers from the air. Iran will not do this for two important reasons.

First, if Iran tried to close the straits, the United States and Allied navies and air forces would quickly force their reopening. That would mean a short, violent war with Iran that Iran could not win and that could be lost in ways that threaten or end the regime's existence. The Iranian economy is in ruins due to Trump's sanctions, and there are big protests against the regime. Iran can not afford such a war.

Second, Iran's main oil export facility is on Kharg Island, north of the Persian Gulf Road. It would be a hugely attractive target in such a war.

Despotic regimes such as the Iranian Kakistokratie sometimes act irrationally. This means that a war with Iran to prevent the closure of the road is unlikely, but still possible.

Last week, Mr. Trump ordered the reintroduction of sanctions against Iran. According to The Wall Street Journal, the sanctions "forbid Iran's access to US dollars, sanction trade in gold and precious metals, prohibit the purchase of Iranian government bonds, and sanction the Iranian auto sector."

In a written statement, Mr. Trump said that America will continue to exert the greatest possible economic pressure on Iran while remaining open to negotiation to reach a comprehensive agreement that addresses Tehran's evil behavior. He also warned that nations that trade with Iran will not trade with America.

Harsher sanctions will be imposed in November to stop Iran's oil sales. China, India and other nations will continue to buy Iranian oil as they know that the president can not stop acting with them. The European Union insists that its companies be exempted from the re-imposed sanctions and have taken measures to force the President's hand.

Last Tuesday, the EU passed a "blocking law" that provides for exemption from US sanctions. In 1996, it issued a similar statute banning European companies from complying with US sanctions against Cuba and refusing to recognize court rulings enforcing those sanctions. President Clinton withdrew and liberated the EU from the sanctions.

The revised Blocking Act adds further anti-Iranian sanctions to the ban on US sanctions on Cuba. It allows EU companies to sue the United States and says that any EU company that decides to end its trade with Iran must first obtain EU permission. It is a bad bet for the EU, because any European company that continues to trade with Iran could be sanctioned itself. This President will not give in like Mr. Clinton.

American companies are often criticized for focusing too much on quarterly profits and ignoring the future. The Member States of the European Union are taking this short-sightedness to a much higher level by giving short-term monetary gains over its national security – and our – higher priority.

With the exception of some of our NATO allies, most of whom are EU members have been far too long refusing to invest in their own defense. The blocking statute of the EU is a shameful decision, which is in perfect agreement with the refusal of its responsibility to assist us in its defense.

The Iranian economy is in ruins and protests against the government are continuing. We have to keep up the pressure. China is Iran's ally and both our opponent and our largest trading partner. It is far less vulnerable to our pressure, so Mr. Trump will have to find another solution for his support of Iran.

Jed Babbin, a Deputy Assistant Undersecretary for Defense in the George H.W. Bush administration, is the author of "In the words of our enemies".

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