Monday

24th Sep 2018

Opinion

The need for global cooperation in stopping Iran

  • World security and stability will once again depend on international action and a renewed commitment among partners and friends to unite to protect ourselves from the radical Iranian regime. (Photo: Recovering Sick Soul)

When Iranian minister of foreign affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks to the Munich Security Conference this weekend, his words are likely to be misleading at best and deceitful at worst. But it is nonetheless appropriate that Iran be represented at this premier world security conference because Iran continues to be the greatest threat there is to world security.


Mr. Zarif may proclaim, as he has before, that Iran will “never initiate war” even though it is obvious that is exactly what Iran has done, for years, either directly or indirectly through radical Islamist terrorist proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group


Mr. Zarif may again accuse the United States of breaking the Nuclear Agreement between Iran and the P5+1, but, of course, it is Iran that has broken at least two explicit obligations of the Agreement and tested ballistic missiles in defiance of UNSC Resolution 2231 which endorses the Nuclear Agreement. 


America has a new president and his views about Iran are quite different from his predecessor. After Iran recently tested those ballistic missiles, president Trump’s national security adviser publically put the Iranians “on notice” that the US would respond to such belligerent behaviour. And then the Trump administration’s Treasury department imposed new economic sanctions on Iran. 


Thus far the US has been alone in standing up to Iran, but if the US remains alone, Iran will only grow stronger, bolder, and more threatening to the rest of the world. Therefore the support of the European allies is needed.

Roaring missiles


The relationship between the United States and Iran is on course to regress to what it was in a previous, dangerous era. The significant difference today is that Iran is stronger, wealthier, and emboldened by the Nuclear Agreement and the surge of cash it brought them.

Analysis from the Institute of War recently set out details showing how Iran was preparing its military for “quasi-conventional warfare hundreds of miles from its borders.” 


Forces on the frontlines in Iraq, Syria and Yemen and have been joined by thousands of fighters tied to the IRGC, commanding new loyalty throughout the region. Threats of “roaring missiles” have come from senior military officials in Iran, and vocal hostility towards the US grows. Addressing Iran’s escalating aggression should be on everyone’s minds as the Munich Security Conference convenes.

Europe’s leaders in particular cannot allow doubts they may have about the new administration drive a wedge between our existing international partnerships.  Think of the tragedy in Syria—enabled by Iran’s support for the Assad regime—where barrel bombs fall on innocent civilians and cause a massive refugee influx and security risk in Europe.  It is in both European and American interests to check Iran.


Trans-Atlantic cooperation, which is celebrated in Munich every February, has been one of history’s greatest success stories—bringing stability and prosperity, checking aggression and expanding freedom.

Clear signal

This conference can send a clear signal to Iran by employing new non-nuclear sanctions based on Iran’s regional aggression, human rights violations, and support of terrorism—all of which were not affected by the Iran Nuclear Agreement.


The hope that the Iranian regime would adhere to the spirit of the nuclear agreement and become more moderate was far too optimistic from the beginning, and looks impossible now. The political and religious leader of Iran, ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has stressed in several very clear statements, that Iran is not willing to change its policy. The hope in Germany and in many other states of the world that Iran would accept the existence of Israel as a state, has been bitterly disappointed. On the contrary, Iran is organising exhibitions in which the Holocaust is denied.


As both rhetoric and actions escalate, world security and stability will once again depend on international action and a renewed commitment among partners and friends to unite to protect ourselves from the radical Iranian regime.


Although during his campaign president Trump said he would tear up the Iran Nuclear Agreement, that seems unlikely now in part because the new administration wants to work with our allies on a new policy toward Iran.  

We hope European leaders will respond in kind to this different approach by the Trump Administration.

Joseph I. Lieberman, a former U.S. senator from Connecticut and 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, is chairman of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI). Dr. August Hanning, the former director of the Federal Intelligence Service of Germany (BND), is senior advisor to UANI.

US urges Europe to spend more on Nato

US threatened to reduce its involvement in Nato if Europeans did not spend more. It also criticised Russia, amid confusion on Trump's foreign policy.

News in Brief

  1. ECB's Draghi set to clarify role in secretive G30 group
  2. Half of EU states at risk of missing recycling target
  3. Commission refers Poland to EU top court over rule of law
  4. Open Society Foundation takes Hungary to court
  5. EU court asked to rule on halting Brexit
  6. EU threatens Switzerland on stock trading
  7. Italy's new basic wage restricted to Italians
  8. UK tycoon offers to create pro-Brexit party

Will the centre-right stand up for EU values?

Time for Christian Democrats in the EP to show where they stand on Hungary and on the EU's founding principles, say Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International in a joint text.

Europe needs more modern leadership

If Europe wants to be a global leader, our political leadership has to change dramatically. Power needs a new face in Europe, and it needs to get legitimacy from the people, argues liberal MEP Sophie in 't Veld.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. Missing signature gaffe for Azerbaijan gas pipeline
  2. Every major city in Europe is getting warmer
  3. No chance of meeting EU renewable goals if infrastructure neglected
  4. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  5. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia
  6. Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit
  7. Salzburg summit presses for bigger Frontex mandate
  8. UK's post-Brexit plan 'will not work', EU says

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  3. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  5. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  6. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future
  9. ACCAEmpowering Businesses to Engage with Sustainable Finance and the SDGs
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersCooperation in Nordic Electricity Market Considered World Class Model
  11. FIFAGreen Stadiums at the 2018 Fifa World Cup
  12. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Work Together to Promote Sustainable Development

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us