Europeans turn a blind eye to the lessons of history.
In a public broadcast last Sunday (December 1, 2019), Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu castigated the European Union (EU) states for appeasing Iran, while the Islamic Republic and its henchman are slaughtering people in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon. He charged the Europeans of failing to learn lessons from history, and that their own people, and history itself, will not forget their behavior. Netanyahu urged them to reconsider their attempted circumvention of the U.S. imposed sanction against the murderous Iranian regime.
France, Britain, and Germany issued a joint statement on November 30, 2019, that “warmly welcomed the decision taken by the six governments (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Norway and Sweden) to join INSTEX as shareholders.” Based in Paris, INSTEX (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges) is a financial vehicle that allows Iran to continue to sell its oil, and in return, import other products and services, using a barter system rather than U.S. dollars. Naturally, the products the Iranian regime will purchase will be from the same European countries.
This European convoluted system called INSTEX is meant to appease the Iranian regime, which is currently murdering its own people, most of them the poor, who for years were the regime’s most loyal constituents. At the same time, the regime of the Ayatollahs, and the repressive Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and the people harassing Basij militia, are also killing Sunni minorities in the Kurdish areas, Arabs in Khuzestan, and Baluch in Baluchistan.
The Europeans are deliberately undercutting the U.S. sanctions against the nuclear arms seeking Iranian theocracy, and simultaneously betraying the brave demonstrators in Iran, (as well as in Iraq, and Lebanon), who are risking their lives in seeking change from the corruption of the regime, and their failed economy. The Iranian demonstrators have targeted the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani. While the ostensible reason for the protests in Iran have do with the tripling of oil prices, the Iranian people also complain of lack of freedom, human rights abuses, and lack of religious freedom in the Islamic Republic. The cruel irony is that the Europeans are siding with an oppressive regime, against the U.S., who saved them in two world wars, and rebuilt western Europe with the Marshall Plan immediately after WWII.
PM Netanyahu called the EU move a betrayal of Middle Easterners “standing up to Iran and its henchmen.” He told the Europeans that they “should be ashamed of themselves.” He added that their cooperation with Iran “encouraged the Iranian regime’s repression of its citizens.” The people of Iran, Netanyahu said, are “fed up with the siphoning off of their treasures and their lives to Iran’s wars of aggression in the region.” He pointed out that while Iran has bombed oil facilities in Saudi Arabia and is rushing to enrich uranium in order to acquire nuclear arms, the European states are bending over backwards to provide Iran with concessions. “Now is the time to ratchet up the pressures on Iran, not to lessen them,” he said. Netanyahu added that the European states are enabling an extremist terror sponsoring regime to develop nuclear arms and acquire ballistic missiles. As such, he said, they are courting disastrous consequences for themselves and the rest of humanity.
Iran has increased its uranium enrichment and stockpiling of nuclear material in recent months in contravention of the 2005 nuclear agreement, as a way to pressure the Europeans to make the INSTEX system work for them. This has alarmed the Europeans who rushed to appease the mullahs with concessions, rather than punish Iran for its transgressions, and the breaking of the nuclear agreement. The Europeans are not as naïve as to believe that the practitioners of dissimulation, better known as Taqiyah, would all of a sudden be true to the 2015 nuclear agreement. The Ayatollahs regime has cheated all along, denying UN inspectors visits to military facilities, and secretly building additional nuclear facilities.
Given it Nazi legacy and the Holocaust, Germany should be particularly sensitive to the Jewish state’s concerns about Berlin’s dealings with the fanatical Iranian regime. Germany, according to Russian RT-TV (May 11, 2018), is not particularly concerned. Michael Tockuss, who is with the German-Iran Chamber of Commerce Association in Hamburg, commented after the U.S. sanctions were announced that German businesses will find a way to keep their doors open in Iran. “Even during the sanctions time, there was business between Europe and Iran,” Tockuss noted during an interview with Marketplace. “The backbone of trade between Germany and Iran is done by these small and medium companies in the field of machinery and plant manufacturers. And these companies, they have a different risk calculation than international big operating companies. A lot of them, they don’t have set ups in the U.S., and they are not as frightened as international operating companies. As long as there is a legal basis according to German and European law, I can guarantee you these companies will continue to do business with Iran.”
European leaders hate President Trump just as they previously despised George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. The latter U.S. President helped liberate them from the menace that was the Soviet Union. All along, these same European leaders have depended on the U.S. for their security and continue to do so now. The EU leaders resent President Trump in particular because he has insisted that Canada and the EU members of NATO spend at least 2% of their GDP on their own defense. The EU ungrateful leaders are doing their best to weaken the U.S. influence and strength in the Middle East. Appeasing the fanatical regime in Tehran, while undercutting the U.S. imposed sanctions is a case in point. Britain, France, and Germany are allegedly protecting the P5+1 Iran nuclear deal or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The plan however, guarantees that Iran will have a nuclear bomb within a decade, and does not curb Iran’s aggression throughout the Middle East and beyond. Nor does the JCPOA prevent Iran from developing ballistic missiles that will ultimately have a range capable of reaching all corners of Europe and perhaps the U.S.
PM Netanyahu recognized early on the weakness of the JCPOA, and boldly addressed the U.S. Congress on its dangerous shortcoming. Donald Trump, even before being elected president, sensed that the Iran nuclear deal was a “bad deal,” and called for amending it to cover the elements mentioned above. Iran’s refusal, its aggression and terror worldwide, and its continued ballistic missile development, prompted the Trump administration to withdraw the U.S. from the P5+1 nuclear deal, and impose sanctions on Iran.
Netanyahu is keenly aware of the Holocaust and the European antisemitism that led to it. As a student of history, he knows the danger that can come from a fanatical dictatorship with a religious zeal. He sees the Europeans appease Tehran’s murderous regime in somewhat similar light as the appeasement of Hitler’s Nazi dictatorship. Netanyahu knows that one cannot ignore the Iranian leaders tirades against Israel, and their threat to “wipe Israel off the map.” The European leaders at the time, ignored Hitler’s tirades against the European Jews, and today’s European leaders choose to ignore Iran’s. Netanyahu is prophetic in his understanding that the Europeans live for “today” and the hell with “tomorrow.” That is why the European leaders are childless, and thus refuse to learn the lessons of history.