German Chancellor Angela Merkel received a standing ovation for her speech at the Munich Security Conference. The top German official condemned the US’ recent unilateral moves, namely, its withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia and the nuclear deal with Iran.
Merkel said that the overall architecture underpinning our world as we know it has collapsed into many tiny parts.
Mohammad Marandi, Professor of English Literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran, an Iranian-American academic and political analyst:
I think what the Americans are doing is they’re trying to divide Europe anyway.
I believe that the United States wants to see a weak and divided Europe, and they are backing or putting more focus on Eastern European countries like Poland, that’s the reason why the recent conference was held in Poland, made the major European powers quite unhappy. So I think the Americans are trying to divide Europe on the one hand, but on the other hand, I think the Americans are basically sacrificing Europe. The reason why they don’t want to see increased oil or gas exports from Russia is because the Americans want to force the Europeans to buy much more expensive gas from the United States. In other words the Europeans would pay out of their pocket to fund America, and that shows an increasingly selfish attitude by the regime in Washington, even when it comes to its own allies or so-called allies.
Europe is not on its own, the whole of the international community supports the nuclear deal. Russians and the Chinese as two key members of the international community and permanent members of the UN Security Council also support it, so it’s not as if the Europeans are on its own, but at the moment the Europeans have not shown the amount of strength and independence that the Iranians expect from them. And by showing signs of weakness the Europeans are telling the international community not to take them so seriously. So I think it’s very important for Europe to be able to show itself to be strong, but also the West-Asia and the Asia [regions] where Iran, Syria, Iraq exist is a key region for Europe, both economically but also security wise, so any instability in our part of the world creates major problems for Europe.