The US and Europe have failed to build upon their greatest cooperation success in over a decade, the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. While Europe has advocated conditional engagement, President Trump, alarmed by Iran’s growing influence in the Middle East, has re-oriented US foreign policy towards confrontation. He aims at containing and isolating Iran through delegitimation, sanctions and support for an anti-Iran coalition made up of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Most importantly, Trump is determined to condition America’s continued participation in the nuclear deal on Europe’s agreeing to exert further pressure on Iran by unilaterally changing the terms of the deal. But going along with the US president’s demands would be a mistake for Europe. For all its imperfections, the nuclear deal serves Europe’s interest in the upholding of the non-proliferation regime and preventing the Middle East from descending into further instability.
1. The roots of Trump’s hostility towards Iran
2. The three pillars of Trump’s Iran policy
2.4 Gambling with the nuclear deal
3. Europe at a crossroads
3.1 Europe’s interest in the JCPOA
3.2 A strategy to defend the JCPOA
3.3 The JCPOA as Europe’s entryway to Middle Eastern geopolitics