The top executive of Chinese telecom giant Huawei is being detained in Canada, awaiting extradition to the U.S. to face charges of violating U .S. sanctions on Iran. She may soon have company.
Now the European Union, ostensibly an ally of ours, is getting ready to defy the Iran sanctions.
“European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said a ‘special purpose vehicle’ meant to help companies do business with Iran will be completed by the end of the year,” reports Bloomberg news.
“I would expect this instrument to be established in the coming weeks, so before the end of the year,” Mogherini told reporters in Brussels.
This “special purpose vehicle,” or “instrument,” will provide companies a way to move money in and out of Iran since Western banks will not, fearing legal action by the U.S. (See: Huawei, above.)
Sources say Russia and China would have to be involved for the scheme to work. Both countries are experienced in busting the economic blockade.
The United States re-imposed economic sanctions after scrapping the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed by the Obama administration.
President Trump called the deal “the worst in history.” It does nothing to restrain Iran’s terrorism, its killing of dissidents abroad, ballistic missile program and support for Hezbollah, the Syrian government, the Houthis in Yemen and Shia dissidents across the Middle East.
Just as Iran’s missiles can reach Europe, its terror plots can, too.
Danish authorities recently accused Iran of trying to assassinate an Arab separatist leader living in Denmark, and French officials say Iran’s ministry of intelligence was behind a plot to bomb a rally of Iranian opposition groups in Paris in June. Meanwhile, Belgium charged an Iranian diplomat with planning to murder Iranian exiles.
One might think this would motivate the usually supine European Union to stop doing business with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. Sadly, that’s not the case.
So, why is the EU so eager to send moola to the mullahs?
Germany drives the EU, and German policy is driven by its ever-hungry industrialists, particularly Siemens AG. Iran has been a profit center for Siemens.
Rising from the ashes of Auschwitz crematoria (which it built), Siemens has used the dark arts of crony capitalism to grow into a global energy, infrastructure, automation, health-care and engineering conglomerate.
Siemens was one of the first companies to make a deal with Iran after the Obama administration lifted sanctions in January 2016. It signed contracts worth billions to build railroads, power plants and natural gas compressors for the Islamist regime.
Long before Huawei did business with Iran, Siemens’ subsidiary Nokia provided Tehran’s ayatollahs with the surveillance apparatus to spy on opponents’ phone calls and social media activities during the Green Revolution, according to Iranian human-rights activists.
You can’t say “Iran nuclear deal” without “nuclear,” and you will find Siemens’ fingerprints there, too.
Siemens built Iran’s nuclear reactors in 1979 and sold Iran spare parts ever since in violation of international sanctions.
Siemens software controlled the uranium enrichment centrifuges at the center of Iran’s drive for an atomic bomb. When the Stuxnet computer virus monkey-wrenched Tehran’s nuclear program, Siemens reassured its Iranian customers the problem could be easily fixed – with Siemens’ help.
Siemens announced it would pull out of Iran after the U.S. reimposed sanctions, but it is eager to find a way back in.
Washington is watching the Europeans closely.
“We will carefully review alternative measures being considered to circumvent our sanctions and are confident that we can prevent evasion,” a Treasury Department said. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo describes the payment scheme as “disastrous policy,” the New York Times reports.
Brussels says its new moola-for-mullahs scheme will be ready to go by the end of the year.
The Trump administration could impose sanctions directly on the EU operation and shut it down. We won’t have long to wait.