Pam Barker | Director of TLB Europe Reloaded Project
We’re publishing an RT two-fer, first on Merkel and Putin’s commitment to the JCPOA with Iran, and second Bryan MacDonald’s opinion piece on the thawing of relations between Russia and Germany, coming as it does at a very timely moment. There is a clear intention for all parties to keep trade going with Iran, contrary to the Empire’s wishes, and, as mentioned by MacDonald, an intention to show German independence from the US in terms of foreign policy. That would indeed be a first as most commentators regard European leaders as poodles of the Empire. Nord Stream II WILL go ahead!
As a reminder, the Iran nuclear deal or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was created under Obama in July, 2015 to restrict Iran’s nuclear development, under supervision from the IAEA, in order to escape billions of dollars worth of nuclear-related sanctions. For precision, this from Wikipedia:
Under JCPOA, Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98%, and reduce by about two-thirds the number of its gas centrifuges for 13 years. For the next 15 years Iran will only enrich uranium up to 3.67%. Iran also agreed not to build any new heavy-water facilities for the same period of time. Uranium-enrichment activities will be limited to a single facility using first-generation centrifuges for 10 years. Other facilities will be converted to avoid proliferation risks. To monitor and verify Iran’s compliance with the agreement, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will have regular access to all Iranian nuclear facilities. The agreement provides that in return for verifiably abiding by its commitments, Iran will receive relief from U.S., European Union, and United Nations Security Council nuclear-related sanctions.
Trump then made the controversial decision to withdraw from the agreement in May 2018, which was opposed by Germany, France and the UK. Again from Wikipedia:
On 8 May 2018, Trump announced United States withdrawal from JCPOA. Following the U.S.’s withdrawal, the EU enacted an updated blocking statute on 7 August 2018 to nullify US sanctions on countries trading with Iran. In November 2018 U.S. sanctions came back into effect intended to force Iran to dramatically alter its policies, including its support for militant groups in the region and its development of ballistic missiles.
It was Iran that then withdrew from the deal, whilst still being willing to liaise with the IAEA, on January 5th, two days after the assassination of Soleimani and al-Muhandis. From Reuters:
Unlike the United States, which on Friday imposed new economic sanctions on Iran, the Europeans have given Tehran more time to avoid nuclear proliferation rather than begin a process that could lead to a reimposition of U.N. sanctions.
And who was the driving force behind both moves, to renege on the JCPOA and assassinate a state actor? Why, Anything-for-Israel, I-Lied-For-the-CIA Christian Zionist himself, Mike Pompeo. We highly recommend Mike Whitney’s piece for Unz titled Did Pompeo Dupe Trump Into the Soleimani Hit??
Merkel and Putin agree Iran nuclear deal should be preserved by all means
President Vladimir Putin and Chancellor Angela Merkel have agreed that preserving the Iran nuclear deal is a matter of “tremendous importance,” stressing that the agreement should be kept by all means necessary.
Both leaders believe that the 2015 agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), still can and should be preserved, despite the latest spike in tensions sparked by the US assassination of a top Iranian general.
Speaking to journalists in Moscow following her meeting with Putin, Merkel said that “everything must be done to keep the JCPOA going” and vowed to use “all the diplomatic tools to help this agreement.”
It is not perfect but it is still an agreement and it involves responsibilities for all the parties involved. And we want to keep it.
Putin also described the deal as “tremendously important” and said that both Moscow and Berlin agree that all parties need to “come back to the deal.”
After the US refused to abide by the agreement, Iran announced suspension of its obligations as well. I would like to underscore that these obligations were voluntarily embraced by Iran. Iran is ready to come back to full compliance with the JCPOA.
Iran has rolled back all the restrictions it had committed-to under the 2015 nuclear deal, following the US assassination of Quds Force commander Major General Qassem Soleimani, as well as a barrage of crippling sanctions imposed by Washington after America itself left the agreement.
Putin further expressed hope that a special-purpose vehicle called INSTEX Europe, created to facilitate trade with Iran and circumvent US sanctions, would soon “be up and running” and that European nations “would deliver on their promise to create an independent mechanism free of the dollar influence.”
So far, Europe’s endeavors in this area have not been particularly successful. The mechanism was originally created in early 2019, but was apparently limited to what the European nations called high-priority “humanitarian goods,” such as food and medical supplies. Meanwhile, European companies have been in no rush to trade with Iran, out of fear of losing the American market as a result of possible sanctions.
Merkel in Moscow: As Trump pushes his weight around, Russia-Germany relations defrost
As Iran and the United States seemingly limbered up for war, Russia and Germany, as the continent’s two most powerful countries, have a special responsibility to protect it from any fallout.
Merkel’s decision to travel to the Russian capital may be conceived as a signal to Washington that:
a) Berlin remains capable of mounting an independent foreign policy, if pushed,
b) the Germans won’t be cowed by sanctions the US has placed on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which further connects their country directly to Russia’s gas supply network, and
c) Merkel wants the US leadership to know she agrees with Moscow about Donald Trump’s order to murder Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. Russia has labeled it “reckless” and the Germans have questioned the legality of the killing.
Especially given that she was already due to visit Moscow in May for the 75th anniversary of Soviet Russia’s victory over the Nazis.
Washington’s move to sanction the pipeline amounted to straight-up racketeering, right out of the mafia playbook. It’s trying to force Germany, a supposed ally, to buy liquefied gas from US companies, which is more expensive than the product it gets from long-time supplier Russia.
Germany and Russia need each other. They are Europe’s most powerful economies, measured by purchasing power parity. And together, they are home to around a third of its population. Moscow relies on revenue from its exports to the German market and Berlin would be in serious bother without access to Russian resources.
Geopolitically, they also complement each other, in many ways. From all points west of the Poland-Belarus border, Berlin is the most influential player. But east of that, and south of the Black Sea, Moscow is in the driving seat. The Germans will be eager to see how Moscow’s influence in the Middle East can be leveraged – a region where they have little, or no, clout.
On Saturday, there is much to discuss, with Libya, Syria, Iran and Ukraine top of the agenda. Just this week, Iran and the US clashed in Iraq and Tehran gave up on an international nuclear deal, which both Berlin and Moscow have championed, although Donald Trump had already rendered it essentially useless last year. Meanwhile, Turkey, which both Merkel and Putin view as an important player, sent soldiers to Libya.
Ukraine itself is another important issue for the two leaders, given that it has driven a wedge between Germany and Russia for well over half a decade now. Put plainly, Moscow believes that the EU over-reached by attempting to bring Kiev into its sphere of influence in 2013, although it accepts the heavy lifting was done by pro-US/NATO elements in Brussels, and is aware Berlin was never super keen on EU membership for the Ukrainians.
The Germans think Russia was overly aggressive in its response to the 2014 ‘Euromaidan.’ Berlin rejects Moscow’s re-absorption of Crimea, believing it to be a dangerous ‘precedent’ in redrawing European borders (which, of course, ignores Germany’s own role in the collapse of Yugoslavia). And it also holds Russia responsible for fueling the Donbass conflict, through its support for the self-declared republics.
When it comes to Libya, Putin and Merkel are basically on the same page – they both want an end to the fighting.
They’ve never been especially personally friendly, but Putin will miss Merkel when she finally steps down. The German chancellor is the last remaining Western leader who featured in both his stretches as Russian president.
This year will be pivotal in terms of what sort of Germany-Russia relationship she leaves behind. The countdown begins on Saturday.
Published to The Liberty Beacon from EuropeReloaded.com
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