As World Powers Push To Implement Iran Nuclear Deal - Who Needs America?
At the United Nations. The Trump administration wanted support to restore economic sanctions on Iran. European nations as the U. N. Security Council were having none of it. It was a humiliating defeat for Washington. Robert Malley is here to help us make sense of this rift. He's a former White House negotiator for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and the current president of the International Crisis Group in Brussels. Robert. Why are European nations rejecting Washington's request for more sanctions? Well, I think it's going to take a step back and and try to look at what the Trump administration was trying to do. President withdrew from disagreement some time ago and value to the agreement by reimposing unilateral U. S sanctions even though Iran at the time had been living up to the deal. That is not just me saying it. The U. S. Was saying it itself. The nuclear inspectors were saying it as well. So the US withdraws from the deal and then comes back a year or two later and says. We now want invoke a provision of this deal that we have withdrawn from him that we have violated in order to force other countries. The U. N system as a whole to reimpose collective sanctions on Iran and European countries have been saying for some time. Something that says you do not have the ability to bring back these sanctions since you walked away from the deal under which these sanctions were going to be re important, but at the same time Iran is violating the terms of the 2015 around nuclear deal. So why not hold him to it? I mean, the European countries are trying have invoked a dispute resolution mechanism in the deal itself to try to work out this problem with the rains. That's the way to tell is supposed to work. Iran into European nations and others. Russia and China are supposed to sit down, which they have done episodic in covert. 19 has since gotten in the way, so they still keep the calibrating the response. But it just doesn't compute for Europeans and they told the U. S. For a long time. Let's try to work together to try to resolve this rather than you going your own way and violating the deal withdrawn from the deal. And then, as I said, invoking A provision of the deal to try to reimpose sanctions. But why can't the remaining countries who are in the deal with Iran? Why can't they snap back the sanctions? They could. Of course, we could send back the sanctions. They certainly would be in their right to snap back the sanctions. They just don't see the logic to snapping back sanctions against the country that had been faithfully respecting the provisions of the deal until the U. S withdrew. From their view is the best way to get back into compliance is for the U. S. Two. Restore its sanctions relief and for Iran to come back into compliance with the deal, But they're hard to imagine that happening under the trump. Well, yeah, it's not. So where does that leave? The European countries were still part of the deal? What's the strategy? It is them ism in a waiting game. They want to see. You know the vote that happened of Security Council was one vote. The important one is the one that's gonna happen in the U. S on November 3rd and they want they're waiting to see as so many whether vice President Joe Biden is elected or President. Trump has re elected vice president Biden is elected he has committed To returning to the in which case if Iran returns into compliance, we're back to no more or less where we were before, and if they don't then the Europeans might well consider reimposing sanctions. If President Trump is elected. I think their view is the secure. The nuclear deal is buried. And at that point, let's turn the page and see where we go. Just happened to you and Was an exercise to buy time by the Europeans and others. Let's see what happened in November and see whether the nuclear deal can live to fight another day in job after General 20. Okay, let's turn to Russia and China Since the nuclear deal was signed in 2015, Russia and China have kind of changed their behavior toward Iran, and they're reportedly now interested in resuming arms sales to Tehran. How do you see their change of heart towards their own? Not that it's really change of heart. I think they've always wanted to maintain strong relations with the RAF, although they were concerned by the prospect of Iran developing a nuclear weapon, I've suspected you might see some arm cells to Iran occurring and the conventional weapons in balance between Iran and neighbors is such a lot would have to do a lot to make up. I think this is not necessarily going to be a game changer. I don't expect that we're going to see a major arms purchase from Iran's simply because they are suffering from huge economic problems of their own. What could this diplomatic standoff mean for the future of the Security Council? You know, it's not good for the Security Council security because we really are in analysis in Wonderland world where the U. S is going to say, 30 days from now, the U. S will say sanctions back the rest of the council and the rest of the world will say no, That's not the case And so you'll live into with two parallel universes. That's not good, but let's also put it in perspective. It's not the first time the Security Council has gone through a crisis. Just think back to the Iraq war, so there have been other cases. Where the council has got through huge divisions. I think there's two lessons to be drawn. We're going to see those crises and the Security Council will survive them. On the other hand, the Security Council is not that effective a body when the main powers that comprise it are not able to speak in one voice that's reflected in the Security Council, which is simply a mirror image of the state of global politics. Robert Malley is the former White House negotiator for the 2015 Iran