Between God and the Sugar Dates: Lessons for a "Geopolitical" EU from the US–Iran Crisis

Author
Tommaso Emiliani
Content Type
Commentary and Analysis
Institution
Istituto Affari Internazionali
Abstract
The killing of top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani by a US drone strike on 3 January 2020, followed by the Iranian retaliation on US military bases in Iraq, left many Europeans wondering how – if at all – the European Union can foster de-escalation in the Middle East. The EU is presently stuck between a deepening strategic rift with its US ally and its inability to advance its independent interests and policies vis-à-vis Iran. It is now clear that Europe cannot protect its relations with Washington while also salvaging the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iranian nuclear deal. Borrowing from an old Persian proverb, Europe cannot have both God and the sugar dates.
Topic
Sanctions, Military Affairs, Trade, Transatlantic Relations, Coronavirus
Political Geography
Europe, Iran, Middle East, United States of America, European Union, Gulf Nations