Politica Internazionale

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lunedì 14 maggio 2018

Relations between the USA and Europe in danger for possible sanctions against Iran

If the negotiations with North Korea are evolving in a positive sense, the White House believes that much has depended on the pressure exerted by sanctions. The intention would be to repeat the same scheme with Iran to reduce the danger of the Tehran regime. The first step in this direction was the trump breaking of the Iranian nuclear agreement signed by Obama together with the European partners. The problem for the United States is the attitude to hold towards Europe, from the moment when the sanctions against the Iranian country will start and therefore potentially against the companies that will continue to collaborate with Tehran. The signing of the Iranian nuclear treaty allowed to drastically reduce the sanctions and opened a commercial collaboration, which, if it were interrupted, would bring significant losses to German, French, British and Italian companies. It should be remembered that only the United States came out, unilaterally, from the treaty, which is still recognized by the European Union, China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and Germany; the American attitude, therefore, threatens to move even further from its natural allies, especially if the US government were to follow up the intentions of the Secretary for national security, which provides for sanctioning European companies wishing to continue to have business relationships with Iran. However, this tactic has several contraindications, especially when compared to the North Korean situation. First of all, Iran is not North Korea: despite the sanctions, the Iranian country is not as strong as the North Korean one, it can count on an efficient military structure and it is not isolated in the diplomatic context. In addition, the position of Europeans, which is aligned with the United States for North Korea, is in total disagreement with Washington; this element constitutes a point in favor of Iran in the dispute with the United States. Trump's determination, however, is to continue towards a sanctions regime, to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Two scenarios can be set up against European companies: the first is a rigid attitude, which affects all those companies that intend to carry on the collaboration with the Iranians, with all the consequences of the case in commercial relations, first, and diplomats, after USA and Europe, which could go to influence the closest levels of collaboration between the two parties; or Washington could choose a softer way, modeled on the sanctions applied to Cuba, where European companies had been exempted from the sanctions regime. This second scenario has the advantage of preserving relations with Europe, but risks making the American sanctions against Iran ineffective, as well as being a possible sign of weakness for the American president. The impression is that the White House will not yield so easily to the European authorities, giving rise to a series of contrasts, which could aggravate the situation of American commercial closure, which the desire to sanction Iran will be a heavy aggravating factor. What is likely to materialize is a very tough trade war between the US and Europe, which will be accompanied by increasingly marked divergences in terms of international politics: a scenario aimed at breaking the West in favor of fragmentation that can only be useful to China and Russia. From the point of view of Europe, already weakened by the exit of the Union of the United Kingdom and the attitude of the Eastern countries, it is clear that the need for greater political union is no longer postponed, to achieve economic and military independence, indispensable to act in an increasingly autonomous way in the face of global problems, which are reflected in depth, up to the daily life of its citizens.

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