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It is so frustrating that the EU doesn't have the capacity or the courage to stand up against these unjustified and illegal sanctions. We really are powerless in the face of the whims of a capricious fool and his warmongering friends.



That's also... largely not true?

Europe was the only party that ever had /any/ power. The US did not have much of an economic relationship with Iran to begin with. Therefore, their sanctions were mostly symbolic. It was EU sanctions that eventually forced Iran to the negotiating table and made the nuclear deal possible. As the article shows, the US has the power to be cruel. But the price being paid is humanitarian, not economic.

Accordingly, in succeeds only in killing children, not creating pressure. This is best shown by Iran's decision to stay in the JCPOA. The US is being ignored, because it is comparably irrelevant in purely economic terms.

The EU has also passed legislation prohibiting EU companies from implement US sanctions and indemnifying them against US fines: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45085205. And there's an EU venture to replace US institutions in Iran-bound financial transactions: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2019...


> The EU has also passed legislation prohibiting EU companies from implement US sanctions and indemnifying them against US fines

These moves have mostly been symbolic. Trade with all large European companies, from Total to Peugeot has been ceased. Also, no European bank has been willing to trade with Iran under the threat of U.S fines.

> And there's an EU venture to replace US institutions in Iran-bound financial transactions

Good gesture, but also symbolic. In practice, the new mechanism is mostly a gesture towards U.S for its unilateral sanctions, than a vehicle to enable trade with Iran.

Edit: typo


I understand US sanctions ban any company doing business with the US to also do business with Iran. Companies doing business with the US is pretty much 100% of large companies in the world. So US sanctions did affect all commerce with Iran, not just US commerce with Iran.


Yes. Read my comment again. Following that US attempt to change longstanding international law is, in turn, illegal in the EU. Companies are indemnified against damages, and the EU will presumably try to claw these back if it ever comes so far.

Does something in all this need to give? Yes, definitely. Presumably, the US will shy away from trying to enforce. If not, US courts are actually somewhat likely to uphold long-standing precedents in international law, because the only other possible outcome is a completely unworkable quagmire going forward where no company could simultaneously operate in the EU and the US.


Unfortunately, things are not as you describe them. All the major EU companies have ceased their trading with Iran, as risks are too high and of course it's impossible to punish somebody for not trading with a foreign country.

The only meaningful thing for the EU to do would be to retaliate by sanctioning US companies and freezing US assets to compensate for the effect of the US sanctions. Which would mean full scale economic war and sanctions on the US, something the EU of course cannot afford.


The meaningful thing that needs to be done is that Iran needs to solve their government problem.

If I recall, the US had to do something like that back in 1776, and Germany had to have some assistance in it back in 1939-41.

Growing pains.


Iran had a somewhat democratic government until the US overthrew it and replaced it with a monarch in the 50s. Iran subsequently had another revolution with a total purge of foreign influence in 1979. Subsequently a huge number of Iranians were killed in the Iran-Iraq war, where the US supported Iraq.

Modernization can happen, but only if it's not visibly pro US.


I can only guess, but I think the parent was being sarcastic, insinuateing that the current US policy towards the Iran points to a new Gulf war.


The US didn’t overthrow the Mossadegh gov’t in a coup. It did back the opposition during a very turbulent time in Iranian history (massive protests against the Mossadegh gov’t), but to say the gov’t would have survived in the absence of US involvement is a major overstatement.


> The US didn’t overthrow the Mossadegh gov’t in a coup.

On the contrary:

In August 2013, sixty years afterward, the U.S. government formally acknowledged the U.S. role in the coup by releasing a bulk of previously classified government documents that show it was in charge of both the planning and the execution of the coup, including the bribing of Iranian politicians, security and army high-ranking officials, as well as pro-coup propaganda. The CIA is quoted acknowledging the coup was carried out "under CIA direction" and "as an act of U.S. foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government".

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_Iranian_coup_d'état


Exactly. The CIA aligned itself with already existing groups within Iran to lend assistance in the coup. People act like without the CIA Iran would be some functioning democracy. Iran was a huge mess of competing factions at the time. The Mossadegh gov't would have fallen regardless. The CIA just decided to help out.

Very similar to what happened with Vietnam and the Diem regimen.


> The CIA aligned itself with already existing groups within Iran to lend assistance in the coup.

No, it (and the British who actually started trying to pull off a coup first) paid people and deployed propaganda from multiple different angles, and including false flag operations, to energize multiple, mutually antagonistic factions in order to destabilize the Mossadegh regime; a lot of the anti-Mossadegh opposition was organized crime groups paid by the CIA to put up a front as political opposition. They didn't care about the politics; they did care about the money.

Heck, even the Shah—the monarch who superficially seized total power in the coup—was opposed until the CIA threatened to depose him as well if he didn't go along.


Not sure your comment contradicts anything I wrote.


The US don't really have an history of backing down on these matters. I don't see any responsible CEO taking a life or death bet on which will win between the US and the EU.


I don't think that's how it works at all. The US sanctions can hit any EU company trading with Iran. So the problem is not (only) direct trade between the US and Iran, but trade by any company in the world which also wants to have a US presence.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/europe/2018-10-10/eu...


Those anti-sanctions do not really work. Take the telecom for example-who tries to protect there us-investments - by cutting loose all iran buisness.

In the end big evil bullys always get there way.


Iran sanctions didn't start with Trump. But you already knew that. The US has been choking Cuba for decades, for example.

Also, immoral/unjustified != illegal.


The specific sanctions mentioned in the article did either begin with Trump, or were revived after previously being dropped as part of the JCPOA.

And while the treatment of Cuba is indeed appalling, or at least incongruous in relation to, say, Saudi Arabia, there are rather meaningful differences between the parties.

Thawing relations with Cuba was among Obama's signature achievements. This included the reopening of Embassies, allowing travel, and vastly increasing legal avenues for trade and investment.

Some (but not all) of this has been delayed or cut back under the current administration. At the same time, Saudi Arabia enjoys unprecedented support and access at a time where they are more hostile in Yemen, Qatar, and The Streisand Lobby at the Istanbul Consulate.



The UN is completely toothless. Whatever they say is as relevant as if it had been said by a local court in Kazakhstan.


The US government action was deemed illegal under the terms of a treaty (in that case the Treaty of Amity of 1955), which the US freely negotiated and entered into and ratified. What is the point of any nation entering into treaties with the US, if it's going to just ignore and violate them at the whim of whoever happens to be president at the time?

As a condition of easing sanctions, Iran filled the rector core of it's active nuclear reactor with concrete and was found to be in compliance with all the terms of the agreement. Good luck getting any other nation to enter into negotiations like that with the US in good faith again.

The Iranian regime is awful. They're appalling extremists and oppressive tyrants. No argument there, but that's on them. It doesn't justify recklessly violating treaties and unilaterally breaking agreements, and establishing a track record of doing so. If anything, demonstrating a track record of honesty and respect for straight dealing is even more important when dealing with such people.


So are you saying it's not illegal, or are you saying there won't be any consequences for this crime?


I am saying it's not illegal because the UN doesn't make law, and I know there will be no consequences for this "crime" because the UN can't enforce anything and no country which is in good terms with the UN will want to piss off the US.

Having said that, I do NOT condone sanctions in any form.


This is of course true, as law enforcement depends on what is called "the monopoly of violence". And this is of course impossible when dealing with major powers in the current world.


In that sense, it is the US with currently the largest military presence in Europe


Doesn't mean it's legal. Plus the UN is not toothless, it has been very effective at achieving what is was founded for, preventing another world war.




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