September 30, 2018 | Lodhi’s Speech at UN
September 29, 2018 | China rebuts US allegations
| Russian missiles challenge
September 28, 2018 | Iran defies America
| Britain and the EU
The EU is taking a path its partners across the Atlantic are sure to object to. Europe wants to negotiate Iran’s participation in the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), a system of pipelines designed to deliver from Iran to Europe.
For this reason if no other, the EU is not likely to change its position of sticking to the nuclear deal made with Iran in 2015.
The pact has been criticized by US President Donald Trump. He wants an additional agreement a stronger regime of inspections by the IAEA, for fresh sanctions on Tehran not to be imposed.
In keeping with this, the State Department has sent strong messages to the EU to work with Washington.
But Europe resists.
For instance, the French Foreign Ministry it was only prepared to discuss the detail of Iranian missile activities and no more. And, EU foreign-policy head Federica Mogherini said that “this issue cannot be related to the accord”.
What this translates into is that EU wants “business as usual” with Iran and the supply of gas through the Southern Gas Corridor is an important conduit.
The Southern Gas Corridor project, worth US$41.5 billion, is intended to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russia’s Gazprom, which provided the EU with 151 billion cubic meters of gas in 2016.
The EU is keen on increasing these supplies by 80-100 billion cubic meters of gas annually – and Iran’s participation is an imperative.
With this, European energy companies could play a major role in modernizing Iranian gas infrastructure, which stands directly in the way of threatened US sanctions against Tehran.
The US is caught in a Catch-22 situation on how to handle Israel from putting a spoke in the wheels of the SGC, if this, it’s only satellite in Middle East, draws a red-line on any dealings with Iran, even if it means America’s European allies have to turn to Russia as the only other option for additional gas supplies.