Expert: Europe Could Yield to US on JCPOA

Expert: Europe Could Yield to US on JCPOA Expert: Europe Could Yield to US on JCPOA

Dan Smith, director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, said Europe may "concede" to the US over such issues as climate change and the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

"European-US relations will become deeply strained over certain issues," Smith told Tasnim News Agency in a recent interview, noting that the 28-member bloc will face two major challenges with Washington under President Donald Trump soon.

"I do not think it is possible that Europe will move to Russia. I think that the alternatives that Europe has are essentially to concede to Trump, to sort of propitiate him, to do what they think will appeal to him, to go softer on climate change, to be less strong in their defense of the JCPOA," the expert said.

Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20, succeeding Barack Obama and taking control of a divided country in a transition of power that he has declared will lead to "America First" policies at home and abroad.

Smith said Europe might also alternatively find its role in the future by being "less dependent" on the US and "less closely-bound" to it.

***Complete Reversal

The British scholar also underscored the importance of sustainable peace across the globe.

"The world had experienced two decades of increasing peace from 1990 until 2010. I mean, in the last six to seven years, the situation has deteriorated. There were 50 armed conflicts going on in 1990; there were 30 in 2010; there are now 50 again. So it is a complete reversal."

He blamed the governments of the US, Britain and France, and their policies for the prolongation of conflicts in the Middle East.

"We should always remember that the problems that created those armed conflicts in the Middle East are not the results of the Trump administration; they are not produced even by the Obama administration. The causes lie much deeper. But what we have seen in the Middle East in the past decade and a half or more is that the external interventions from the US, Britain, and France, whatever they have achieved in the short term, have been part of a deteriorating picture in the long term. And I think the same will be true in Syria."

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various militant groups currently controlling parts of it.

The SIPRI director said, "In that context, what is needed from governments and leaders within the region and from those outside is wisdom, a long view, a lot of knowledge, a deep understanding and a serious commitment to the well-being of the region as a whole and of the people who are living there rather than the individual advantage of this or that government or this or that group."

Smith noted that if that is the standard, would the Trump administration be capable of providing it?

"I am afraid by the evidence so far, which is not very much, the answer would be no," he said.


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