War drums have begun to roll between Washington, specifically President Donald Trump, and Tehran. Each is challenging the other and threatening escalatory actions, in another sign of the return of the climate of tension between the two sides, with the possibility of entering into a confrontation.
The recent warnings issued from Washington are a clear and explicit indication of the determination of President Trump to translate his words into actions, particularly in regard to the Iranian nuclear file and the deal itself. There is no doubt that these shifts in attitude will have implications on the ambition of American and European companies in obtaining shares of investments in the Iranian market which is now at stake.
It is difficult to speculate whether these companies will continue to look for possible new markets, seek privileges and do business with Iran. But the indicators speculate that it will dramatically fall in the near term at least. Because capitalism is inherently cautious, and its tentacles will point out that it is risky to invest in a politically and economically unstable Tehran. Therefore, the fear and agonies of the companies that have already entered into agreements during the past year will increase, by virtue of strong shades of doubt about the success of its investments, and its ability to compensate for what was spent in light of the continuation policy of Iran.
Despite the fact that President Trump threatened to tear apart the signed agreement between Iran and the major powers, as if it has never happened. Khamenei also threatened and vowed to get rid of the Convention as a kind of retaliation and challenge, and to show indifference to what the Trump administration plans to do. Observers believe that provocation may come from Tehran as well, especially since it had enough enough time to implement its nuclear program, which could push both parties to act dangerously.
Cancelling the deal?
The United States’ decision to cancel the nuclear deal, could be a great one, more than many can imagine, because of the aggressive attitude of Iran in defying the international community's policy, and presenting reasons for the breaches of the terms of the agreement, such as the continuing missile testing. Apart from what some media say, that the existence of other powers will guarantee the survival of the agreement, Europe will undoubtedly follow the United States in its foreign decisions, no matter what these decisions are, in order to preserve the eternal coalition between them. Europe will also fear being exposed against Russia which included Crimea as the world stood still, and also for many other historial and psychological reasons since the US has always been a shield to the backbone of European security. Consequently, Europe will not abandon its historic vital ally who granted its security for more than six decades, in order to defend Iran, with which they have no interest nor a history.
The recent warnings issued from Washington are a clear and explicit indication of the determination of President Trump to translate his words into actionsHamad al-Kaabi
There are also some other reasons why the other parties will walk in the footsteps of Trump, especially since Iran did not show much commitment to the clauses of the nuclear deal, as well as other pressing issues regarding Tehran and its human rights policies, military activities outside its borders, its support of terrorist militias, and sitting astride the top of the list of countries supporting terrorism. All of which will undoubtedly strongly push the rest of the five other countries to break its commitment to the Convention. Especially since Iran, the party concerned, doesn’t abide to it.
In this context, the possibility of Russia changing its stance with Iran is very probably, especially if the nuclear deal went out of the window and the economic sanctions returned again, which could make companies distance themselves from it, and avoid getting involved in an oscillating market because of politics. The concerns of Western companies about accessing the Iranian market for fear of the collapse of the deal are what dispels the idea of the Iranian paradise; a notion that is constantly advertised by the regime in case the sanctions were to be lifted! Soon enough, the dreams that Tehran promised foreign companies have turned, over time, to nightmares due to the unavailability of a fertile investment environment, to the lack of an economic system compatible with the political system in the country, and also in light of Iran's greed for external expansion and construction of the alleged empire that controls the area and water pathways, and navigational movement, God forbid.
Regarding the waterways, the recent Houthi assault on the Saudi frigate is another indication that Iran is continuing its pursuit of regional destabilization, its support of Houthi militias, and does not have good intentions towards the region and its peoples. This insistence on threatening stability and peace in the region, made the United States send the USS Cole destroyer to Bab al-Mandab, to maintain the security of the region, against the growing Iranian threat.
This article was first published by Al Ittihad newspaper.
Hamad al-Kaabi is an Emirati journalist and Deputy Editor of Al Ittihad newspaper. He tweets @HamadAlkaabi80.