Trump Used “Extortion” Tactics to Force European Declarations Against Iran

By Danny C. | DCPeriodical | 01/16/20 |

Yesterday we released a story outlining Britain, France, and Germany’s formal accusations against Iran for not holding up its end of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) — the agreement put in place to limit and monitor Iran’s nuclear program.

[France, Britain, and Germany] triggered what is called the dispute mechanism in the deal. Triggering the mechanism amounts to formally accusing Iran of violating the terms of the agreement.


With the looming threat of UN sanctions on the horizon as a result, Iran wasn’t exactly impressed. The Islamic Republic’s government did its best to brush it off, calling the move nothing more than a “passive action,” but also pointed out Europe’s failure to keep its promises of protecting the nation from US sanctions.

While the three European nations claimed that by triggering the accusation they weren’t joining in on America’s “campaign to implement maximum pressure against Iran,” according to a bombshell report from the Washington Post today, in actuality the unexpected move came as the direct result of threats from Donald Trump himself, who said — in secret — that unless they did as they were told, he would “impose a 25% tariff on European autos.”

This came as a “shock” to all three countries, with one top European official calling it essentially “extortion” and a new level of hardball tactics from the Trump administration.


In what seems like an attempt to save face, European officials told the Washington Post they were well on their way to taking the measure anyway before being threatened by the President.

“We didn’t want to appear weak,” one official stated, “so we agreed to keep the existence of the threat a secret.”

Interestingly, as ZeroHedge points out, hours before the report was released, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters he suspected US bullying was at the heart of the formal accusations.

“They say ‘We are not responsible for what the United States did.’ OK, but you are independent” he began. And then added a stinging rebuke: “Europe, EU, is the largest global economy. So why do you allow the United States to bully you around?”

Since 2015, when it was signed in Vienna, Iran — who claims to have never used their uranium program to make nuclear weapons — had never breached the JCPoA. In 2018 Donald Trump withdrew America from its end of the bargain. Since then, Iran has incrementally rolled back its commitments to the deal in direct protest to the US’s campaign of “maximum pressure” against them.

Four days after the US assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, on January 6th Iran announced it was scrapping the JCPoA limits put on their enrichment of uranium until the US lifted its sanctions against them and got out of the Middle East altogether. Neither side has budged.

With Britain, France, and Germany formally triggering this dispute, Iran now has 65 days to reach a resolution with its accusers before UN and EU sanctions become more than just a possibility.

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