Paul Bonnifield: Iran deal criticized
August 1, 2015
To date I've not heard any responsible person comment on the role of England, France, Germany, Russia and China in relation to the Iran Nuclear Agreement; however, the success of any attempt to continue or increase sanctions against Iran depends upon the full cooperation of each of the nations. Russia is of special concern.
Russia has the power to normalize trade relations with Iran and make meaningless any effort to continuing sanctions. It can either produce, import and transport all the goods and services Iran needs.
Currently, the United States and Europe are imposing serious sanctions against Russia. It is not realistic to think Russia will continue sanctions against Iran as long as the United States has sanctions against it.
By waiting until the Congress rejects the treaty before normalizing Iranian trade, Russia will be able to make the United States look ridiculous and helpless to enforce its policy towards Iran. There is little doubt that Russia's leaders would enjoy "putting the United States in its place."
For much different reasons, China would like to normalize trade relations with Iran. They have few advantages in continuing sanctions and several national interest advantages to end the sanctions.
The critics of the Iran Nuclear Agreement need to take a long hard look at the role of the other signers. The United States is not in a strong position to continue the sanctions and it can lose an enormous amount of prestige.
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