Trump Won’t Risk a War He’s Not Certain to Win – Analyst on US-Iran Escalation

Tuesday, May 14, 2019
By Paul Martin

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unexpectedly decided to attend an EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels to discuss Iran. During the talks, the sides appeared to sharply disagree on the matter, with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini urging Washington to exercise restraint amid the recent escalation of tensions.

Pompeo, for his part, shared information about “escalating” threats from Iran at the meeting in Brussels, according to his representative. Sputnik has discussed the meeting in the wake of the escalation between Iran and the United States with Sami Hamdi, Editor-in-Chief of the International Interest and geopolitical risk consultant.

Sputnik: The foreign ministers of France, Germany, and the UK have discussed Iran’s recent decision to stop implementing parts of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal. What could the EU response be to the deadline Iran gave Europe to implement their commitments under the deal?

Sami Hamdi: The EU is likely to ask for more time. By more time, they will openly reject Iran’s deadline but privately express the view that as US elections are not that far away, it is worth waiting to see if Trump wins another term or not. If he does, then serious discussions about the future of the nuclear deal will take place. If he loses, then it is likely that a Democrat president may restore the deal and lift some of the added sanctions on Iran.

Iran will want more than that. The EU may make promises to develop its “clearing house” designed to circumvent US sanctions. Iran is unlikely to buy into that. However, Tehran’s options remain very limited and they may well accept the option to wait until the US elections.

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