One day after Angela Merkel said Europe can no longer rely on the US “to protect it” in the aftermath of Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear accord, stating that “It’s no longer the case that the United States will simply just protect us. Rather, Europe needs to take its fate into its own hands, that’s the task of the future”, the German Chancellor has doubled down, and said President Trump’s decision to scrap the Iran nuclear accord was “not right.”
“It’s not right to unilaterally cancel an accord that was negotiated, that was unanimously approved in the UN Security Council,” Merkel said in a speech at a Catholic religious conference in Muenster, Germany “That damages the trust in the international order.”
“What we’re seeing at the moment, which is probably the most alarming, is that multilateralism is in a real crisis” she added. She then echoed her prior warning: “I’ve said this about the U.S. decision on the Iran accord, I could say the same thing about the climate accord, the WTO – if we always say that something doesn’t suit us, and we don’t get a new international order, and everybody simply does what they want – then that’s bad news for the world.”
Or it could simply be bad news for Europe, or rather everyone but the US, and since Trump’s promise was “America first” it should hardly come as a surprise. Perhaps what Angela should be more worried about is that her disastrous “open door” immigration policy has ushered in not only Brexit but – as of yesterday – laid the groundwork for the first populist, anti-establishment government in Italy where the Five Star and League are about to form a government, which will have immigration as its key talking point.
Alas, none of this was discussed and instead Merkel kept hammering on the Iran situation, questioning whether the Iran Nuclear accord can be saved: “The extent to which we can keep this accord alive when one huge economic power isn’t taking part is something that’ll have to be discussed with Iran,” Merkel said. “We hope so, but many factors are in play and we shouldn’t pretend to be stronger than we are. That can lead to severe miscalculations.”
Nonetheless, Germany confirmed its commitment to the Iranian deal, siding with the EU, France, China, Russia, France and the UK on the issue; Merkel also said that options to save the deal without the United States needed to be discussed with Tehran and added that Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal is no reason to call into question relationships between Europe and the US.
Iran’s foreign minister Zarif is scheduled to meet with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, on Tuesday 15 May in Brussels in a meeting which will be attended by E3 Foreign Ministers (Germany, France, U.K.) to discuss Iran nuclear accord. Zarif will also meet with China and Russia on the prior two days.