- - Monday, June 25, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

President Donald J. Trump’s decision to remove the United States from President Barack Obama’s disastrous deal with the mullahs in Iran has created a flawed hysteria by the mainstream media and members of the European Union. The media’s reaction is predictable. Any action by Mr. Trump results in an opposite reaction. The Europeans’ love affair with the regime in Iran should not come as a surprise — they make millions of dollars trading with Tehran. But it’s a tenuous relationship similar to a scorpion who bites an acquaintance who then acts surprised that the scorpion would turn treacherous.

The Iran deal, which was never ratified by the Senate as a treaty, makes it a diplomatic farce. The Obama administration, in a 2015 letter to then-Congressman Mike Pompeo, made it clear that the deal was a political commitment made by Mr. Obama. It was never a “signed document.” The Iranian parliament never intended to vote on the agreement since Iranians were too busy screaming, “death to America.” It wasn’t worth the paper is was written on.

Despite its flimsy legal status, the agreement was a dramatic shift in policy for the Middle East. The Iranian government’s aggressive interventionist foreign policy sent shock waves through more moderate Arab countries that were dumbfounded the American government would embolden Iran and its plan to expand its Islamic revolution throughout the Middle East.

The fear of Iran has overtaken the hatred of Israel as a driving force for Middle East diplomacy. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other nations have quietly forged a working relationship with the Israeli government as a way to limiting Iran’s power and influence in the region. In fact, Mr. Trump’s policy reversal was applauded not only in Jerusalem but in many Arab capitals.

Yet our European allies, particularly the Germans, continue to hold hands with the Iranians and now other Arab countries are responding. Saudi Prince Muhammad bin Salman recently took steps to freeze new business with Germany, despite the Kingdom’s nearly $8 billion worth of exports sent to Berlin. The Germans have decided that protecting its industry is more important than protecting peace in the region.

The European Union exported more than $13 billion in goods to Iran in 2017, a 66 percent increase from the days before Mr. Obama’s promise to help the Iranian economy. German companies, particularly Siemens Corp., for instance, had a booming business in Iran. In 2016, the Germans shipped more than 3 billion euros worth of goods and services to the Iranian regime. British exports were also increasing before Mr. Trump pulled the plug.

Siemens, which was preparing to ship three gas turbines to Iran, now has forced a re-evaluation of its industrial policy with the mullahs. Yet, the politicians of the European Union continue to bang the drum not only for Siemens but for other of their industrial giants like Airbus.

As we can see, the impact of the Trump administration decision to re-isolate the Iranian regime is having its desired impact. Despite lobbying and political pressure from the Europeans, businesses recognize that the American market is more lucrative to their bottom line than the Iranian regime. And unlike in the past, when the Arab nations spoke in one voice, we now have allies in nations like Saudi Arabia that agree Iran is a danger to peace.

• John Ligato is a former Marine and deep cover FBI special agent. His book, “The Near Enemy,” is based on his experiences with the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

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