Have the Transatlantic Stars Aligned on Iran?


Have the Transatlantic Stars Aligned on Iran?

How Biden and Europe Can Confront Iran

December 16, 2020


By Daniel Schwammenthal


There is broad international agreement that Iran poses a grave threat to regional and global security. This is unfortunately where the consensus ends. The U.S. and its European and Middle Eastern allies have been bitterly divided over how to contain Tehran's nuclear and regional aggression. The incoming Biden administration now has a unique chance to finally build a domestically and internationally united front against the Islamic Republic. It ought to seize it.

When President Obama negotiated the Iran nuclear deal—known as the JCPOA—he had Europe on his side, but not the countries most directly threatened by Tehran, especially Israel and the Sunni Gulf states. He also failed to convince a majority in the U.S. Congress.

When President Trump withdrew from the JCPOA and reinstated sanctions against the world's number one state sponsor of terrorism, he won applause from America's allies in the region, but received harsh criticism from both European partners and Democrats in Congress.

Now the stars are aligning. Having criticized the U.S.'s withdrawal from the deal for the past two years, the German government suddenly toughened its message following the recent U.S. election. 


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