Foreign Policy

European Officials Bribed Into Accepting Iran Nuke Deal?

Iran's foreign minister threatens to expose bribe deals if Europe follows Trump's lead.

Thomas Gallatin · May 15, 2018

After President Donald Trump’s decision last Tuesday to pull out of Barack Obama’s dubious Iran nuclear deal, which was followed by threats to reimpose economic sanctions against the number-one state sponsor of terrorism, Iran’s foreign affairs minister issued his own threat via a bombshell revelation. H.J. Ansari Zarif stated, “If Europeans stop trading with Iran and don’t put pressure on the U.S. then we will reveal which western politicians and how much money they had received during nuclear negotiations to make #IranDeal happen.”

Now, the Iranians aren’t exactly the most trustworthy bunch. That’s a huge part of the problem with the deal. But Zarif’s charge that several European leaders were essentially bribed into accepting the Iran deal is entirely plausible.

Recall that after Obama completed the Iran deal back in 2015, Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer wondered, “The most astonishing thing [about the deal] is that in return, they [the Iranians] are not closing a single nuclear facility. Their entire nuclear infrastructure is intact. They are going to have the entire infrastructure in place either for a breakout after the agreement expires or when they have enough sanctions relief and they want to cheat and to break out on their own.”

Krauthammer’s observation was accurate. So what exactly did the rest of the world get from the Iran deal? Why did so many of Europe’s leaders sign on to such a bad deal? The answer is twofold: As far as reining in a rogue regime’s efforts to gain nuclear weapons, the West got nothing; as for opportunities for lucrative business deals, that was most definitely in the cards, as Zarif may have just alluded to. And this revelation might also explain why European leaders are scrambling to salvage the deal. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire argued, “Do we want to be vassals who obey decisions taken by the United States while clinging to the hem of their trousers? Or do we want to say we have our economic interests, [and that] we will continue to do trade with Iran?”

Memo to Le Maire: U.S. GDP ranks first in the world and accounts for 23% of the world’s GDP. Iran is 29th, accounting for less than 0.5%. What was that about economic interests again?

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