May Joins Trump Against Iran. How Can This Affect The EU?
At the request of the United States, Britain off the coast of Gibraltar detained an Iranian tanker, allegedly transporting oil to Syria. Will Donald Trump and Theresa May turn the rest of Europe against Iran?
While the Democrats spoiled the military parade in honor of US Independence Day for Donald Trump, good news came to him from the distant Mediterranean. Offshore Gibraltar Gibraltar, the Grace 1 oil tanker was stormed and detained. The vessel sailed from the Middle East was detained after it had made a detour across Africa. The end point was to be Syria.
Since the Syrian Arab Republic has been under EU sanctions since 2014, oil supplies to Damascus are considered illegal by Britain. According to the shipping data, the oil belongs to Iran, although the ship’s documents, which Reuters has familiarized with, point to Iraq. EU restrictions apply, among other things, to the Banijas refinery, located in Tartus, where Grace-1 was supposedly going to deliver crude oil.
Regardless of the source of fuel, the behavior of Britain can be regarded as an attempt to extend EU sanctions to third countries. Exactly for this, the European Union itself criticized the United States. When European TNCs escaped from Iran under the threat of American sanctions, Brussels declared the struggle against the American oil embargo and created a mechanism to circumvent it - INSTEX. The same irritation was on the face of German politicians when Trump threatened sanctions against the "Nord Stream - 2".
Today is a completely different situation. The EU country itself is pressing the enemies of Washington. In Iran, the actions of Great Britain were perceived as a lunge against themselves. The Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the British ambassador and handed him a note of protest.
Is the EU independent?
To predict the consequences of today's incident, it is necessary to understand the motives of London. Did he act independently? Or coordinated their actions with Brussels and Washington?
Judging by the statement by the Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrelya, Britain did not act independently. He said the tanker was arrested "at the request of the United States to the United Kingdom." Madrid, which disputes the ownership of Gibraltar in London, said that the incident occurred in the waters of Spain.
The behavior of the British is contrary to the course hitherto held by Theresa May. At meetings with the Americans, she and her ministers defended the “nuclear deal” side by side with the rest of the EU leaders. Even if Downing Street acts on the orders of the White House, this fact is not a mitigating circumstance for Tehran. Capture is capture. But the other side is important here - what will be the reaction of the rest of Europe. Will the EU disown the "Englishwoman" in the end, or show all-European anti-Iranian solidarity.
US pits the EU with Iran
If the dispute is not resolved in the near future, Iran can respond mirrored by delaying some British ship, even realizing that London acted at the request of Washington.
If the Islamic Republic begins to “butt” with Britain, it will be more difficult to count on the EU's favor. In Brussels, such a move can be regarded as an attack on a member country of the union - and according to the Treaty of Lisbon and the North Atlantic Treaty, Europeans must respond collectively to such aggression.
The reaction of John Bolton, who called the arrest of the tanker "great news", shows that now everything is going according to the American scenario. By engaging May in a conflict with Rouhani, Trump could provoke Iran to respond to an EU country. As soon as this happens, all the prerequisites will appear for the EU to finally go over to the side of America, break the “nuclear deal” and impose sanctions against the Iranians.
If Berlin and Paris go in the wake of London and Washington, this will be another proof that Europe has failed to emancipate from the United States.