Washington and Europe play a “chicken game” on Iran’s nuclear deal

Europe and the Trump administration differ fundamentally in "what is a good and acceptable resolution" of the dispute, according to Forrer. That difference was made even clearer by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's speech this week, in which he said that sanctions will now depend not only on Iran making more nuclear concessions, but on reviewing its foreign policy, stop conducting tests of ballistic missiles and liberate US citizens in captivity.

"What Pompeo articulated is very different from what the EU could articulate," said Forrer. "Where does it end? Because the quote solution for the US is not the same solution for the EU."

According to Forrer, the final impact of the crack could be difficult to measure. For example, it may be difficult to know to what extent European frustration over Iran's nuclear deal influences the ongoing trade talks with Washington.

European leaders did not hide their frustration at a summit in Bulgaria last week after the US UU exit.

"I think the real geopolitical problem is when you do not have an opponent or an enemy or an unpredictable partner," said European Council President Donald Tusk. "The problem is when your closest friend is unpredictable, it's not a joke, this is the essence of our problem today with our friends on the other side of the Atlantic"


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