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Editorial: Time for EU Leaders to Rethink Iran Policies After Ballistic Missile Provocations

Time for EU Leaders to Rethink Iran Policies After Ballistic Missile Provocations

Last weekend, the Iran regime test-fired a ballistic missile. This is something that the regime has been doing on and off for a number of years now which may go a little way to explain the complacency of the world media in reporting the news. However, what is most shocking is the fact that the ballistic missile that it test-fired has the capability of reaching Europe.

What is also shocking is that the Iranian regime had the nerve to carry out such an activity when it is actively trying to persuade the Europeans to take steps to counter the effects of the United States sanctions that are currently in place.

But the worst of all is that the Europeans are actually complying with Iran’s demands. It is in the process of setting up a SPV, a “Special Purpose Vehicle”, that is simply a third-party entity that will handle the transactions being carried out by Iran and European businesses. This way, the transactions avoid being put through the international banking system, thus bypassing the U.S. sanctions.

EU countries support the measure, including the European signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the United Kingdom, France and Germany, as well as China and Russia – the other signatories to the nuclear agreement. However, despite the European support, no country wants to actually host the SPV system.

When U.S. president announced that he was leaving the 2015 nuclear deal, he gave a number of reasons for his decision. Before the announcement, he was being urged by European leaders to keep the deal in place. However, he refused to bow to pressure and he said that the United States will not remain party to a deal that guarantees a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

He gave a very extensive speech covering a long list of reasons for the withdrawal. He mentioned that the Iranian regime is the “leading state sponsor of terror” and that it exports dangerous weapons and spreads chaos across the region. He mentioned that the Iranian regime provides extensive support for terrorist militias and proxy groups, naming al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezbollah and Hamas.

U.S. president also referred to the fact that the nuclear deal lifted crippling economic sanctions that provided the regime with “many billions of dollars, some of it in actual cash” that allowed it to continue with its sinister activities. Trump pointed out that, since the deal was agreed, Iran increased its military budget by nearly 40 per cent despite its faltering economy. It used the funds to build nuclear capable missiles.

He said: “Since the agreement, Iran’s bloody ambitions have grown only more brazen. […] America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail. We will not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction. And we will not allow a regime that chants “Death to America” to gain access to the most deadly weapons on Earth.”

Faced with such a list of what can only be described a dangerous behaviour, how can the European leaders that are appeasing Iran justify their leniency? How can they decide to side with the Iranian regime which is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism with funding networks and operational cells working around the world?

Now that Iran has provocatively test-fired a ballistic missile that has the capability of reaching parts of Europe, maybe the EU leaders will open their eyes and realising that this regime should not be appeased. It should be curbed. With utmost urgency.