Listen: As U.S. and Iran Face Off, Europe Is Stuck in the Middle
"President Trump briefly talked about Iran, as he boarded Air Force One yesterday looking at her on, we have a lot of things going with Iran. We have very prepared for. We'll see what happens. Brian hook is on the line with us now. He's a US special Representative for Iran. Mr. good morning. Good morning Noel. This standoff with Iran is escalating at the very least it appears to be escalating. Do you expect that these one thousand additional troops will be the end of the US response? Or should we expect to see more troops deployed to that region? We don't tell. Decisions in advance. But we have put in place in other thousand troops there in the region in the purpose of that is to establish to restore deterrence against Iranian attacks, which obviously affected freedom of navigation. It's a it's a threat to international trade and shipping. We are committed to working with our partners in the region, making sure that we have the right force posture in place so that we can restore deterrence referring to these attacks onto oil tankers in the Gulf of Mon. You're headed to the Gulf tonight as I understand it. Who were you talking to their what's the plan? I'll be heading to the Gulf this evening for bilateral meetings with Saudi Arabia UAE Kuwait Oman by rain, and then, from there, Elba, going onto Paris, for consultations with the, the Brits, the French and the Germans, there's a wide range of issues concerning the Iranian regime that we wanted to. Thus LB discussing runs regional aggression. Talking about the recent attacks on the two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, and also sharing additional US intelligence, on the various threat streams that we continue to see in the region, you're going to be talking to our European allies. Our European allies still favor the nuclear deal that the president withdrew from does the US want the existing deal to simply fall apart at this point. That's really a question for those that are still in the deal we left the deal about over a year ago, and that has put us into the position that we're in today that has allowed us to run a campaign of economic pressure with the goal of both denying this regime, the revenue that it needs to run an expansionist violent foreign policy. But, but it also is designed to bring her on back to the negotiating table. If you look at the forty year history of this regime, they don't come back to the table, absent pressure. And we are we've put in place, a foreign policy that has. Has denied this regime tens of billions of dollars in revenue, and that is having a positive effect in the region. Well, actually, Iran's president Hudson Honey, said this morning that Iran will not negotiate with the United States under pressure. So President Trump. The Trump administration may be open to this, but it doesn't seem to be working on Iran. Does it well running regime will say a number of things that they're not able to actually execute. They regularly threatened to close the strait of Hormuz, but they're not able to do that. So we are we know that if you look at study, the forty year history of this regime is I have they do come back to the table. They certainly will not come back without pressure. Let me take you back to our European allies. Some EU foreign ministers have made clear that they're not convinced by US allegations. That Iran was responsible for the attacks on these two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Why doesn't the United States share the evidence that it has gathered with our allies in Europe? wouldn't that help in part to convince them if that's what you're trying to do chancellor merkel's german chancellor merckel yesterday announced that there is strong evidence that iran is behind the attacks the british foreign minister said that iran is behind the attack so i think in fact our european allies have made very clear that iran is responsible for the tax in the gulf of oman we have been sharing intelligence on a very regular basis you're gonna see more countries i think follow the lead of germany and the united kingdom iran says they will be out of compliance with the nuclear agreement on the day that you're in paris what would happen on the diplomatic front if if they if they do leave the agreement or fe rena gun some of their commitments to the agreement in that agreement transom urkel yesterday addressed that same question and she said naturally there will be consequences if iran decides to make good on its threat into breach material sections of the iran nuclear deal what the kind of things that we're looking at very closely as whether iran is able to get to a nuclear weapon in less than a year the iran nuclear deal has them outside of a year we would like them as far out as possible this is still the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism they can never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon i know that we disagree with our european allies about the deal that we are completely in agreement that iran will never possess nuclear weapon and may i ask just quickly are you concerned that the u._s. is headed toward a conflict with iran i think we're doing a good job of restoring deterrence in the region back in early may we were seeing a number of credible threat streams that suggested imminent attacks by iran against american interests and the president's national security cabinet in the president made the decision to enhance our force posture in the region to share as much as possible and the the very sorts of major attacks that we feared have not occurred to date and we believe that is because we have Put in place enough deterrence measures to avoid that Brian hook US special Representative for Ron, thanks so much. Thank you. NPR's. Deborah Amos has been listening in from Berlin high debt though. Hello. What did you hear there from, from special Representative hook to things? He talked about restoring deterrence. They're not escorting tankers, yet, net is another step that they can take him. The second thing I heard him say is bringing Iran back to the table. What you hear in European capitals is. Yeah, we want that too, but you need to give you on a way to get to that table and not just, you know, pressure oil imports down to zero which has an enormous affect on the economy in particular for Iranian citizens. You need to have an opening not just put a telephone number out there and say, you know, when you're ready and that they say, is what they want here. Europeans are stuck in the middle of this standoff. Our European allies. How are they dealing with it? oh they feel it they feel are stuck in the middle and it's going to be hard for the trump administration to forge an international alliance because they don't see eye to eye on how to deal with iran what the europeans are doing is they're trying to keep trade open with this system of barter called stacks which would allow food and medicine to go to iran under the old sanctions policy nobody would sell them food and medicine and they were short of cancer drugs and nebulizers all kinds of things so the europeans are trying that it is limited the iranians don't like that it's not a great sales technique to keep them in the nuclear deal but that's what the europeans want they want the deal to hold and merkel's comments that if ron paul's out there will be consequences was the toughest that we've heard in europe in response to the iranian announcement that they may just pull out and paris deborah amos in berlin thanks"