Transatlantic gulf widens after US withdrawal from Iran deal
The gulf between Europe and US after its withdrawal from Iran deal is expanding with each passing day. This was made amply clear on Wednesday when European Union chief Donald Tusk launched a stinging attack on President Donald Trump. He slammed Trump’s “capricious assertiveness” saying that the US leader acted more like an enemy than a friend.
Donald Tusk, while addressing leaders from 28 leaders from Europe and Western Balkan countries in Bulgarian capital Sofia, prior to their Summit on Thursday, urged them to form a “united European front” against Trump’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal and his move to impose trade tariffs on Europe.
According to various news sources, Tusk even compared the US administration to Europe’s traditional foes like Russia and China as he launched his broadside hours before a dinner of the European leaders in Sofia where they will discuss the issue.
Speaking to journalists Tusk said, “Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, someone could even think with friends like that who needs enemies.”
He further said, “But frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful to President Trump, because thanks to him we have got rid of all illusions. He has made us realize that if you need a helping hand you will find one at the end of your arm.”
Observers believe that the EU- Western Balkan Summit, which was supposed to bid to foster closer ties with their Balkan counterparts and to keep Russia out of their backyard, was hijacked by the transatlantic rift caused by US withdrawal from Iran deal.
The summit is being held at a time when Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif has visited Brussels on Tuesday and met with European leaders in an effort to salvage the nuclear deal after US withdrawal.
Tusk said he wanted the European leaders to “reconfirm” that they will stay in the Iran deal, as long as Tehran respects it — although Europe must now find a way to make up for the US sanctions on Iran that Trump will reactivate.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron will “present their assessment of the situation” to their colleagues, he said.
However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has recently told her country’s parliament that Europe had no choice but to stick with the ties that have bound it to Washington since World War II. She said, “Despite all the difficulties we have these days, the transatlantic relations are and will remain of outstanding importance.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May, according to here spokesman, was to tell her fellow leaders that Britain was “committed to ensuring the deal is upheld” so long as Iran honors its commitments.