A US-led conference in Warsaw this week that was intended to isolate Iran has ended up isolating America instead — highlighting one of the central problems of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy.
The two-day, hastily organized summit, which ended on Thursday, was billed as a Middle East security conference. But it was an open secret that the gathering of more than 60 countries was really about getting the world on board with America’s tough-on-Iran policy, even though the US denied that was the case.
This annoyed European allies, many of whom sent only low-level diplomatic staff — or not representation at all — to attend the meeting. The discord on the issue of Iran dates back most recently to last May, when the US withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and European allies like France and Britain agreed to remain in the accord.
Their reason was simple: Although Trump said Iran tried to obtain a nuclear bomb, European nations saw no indication that Tehran sought one. And even though US intelligence agencies agreed with that assessment, Trump spurned the dealmakers by backing out of the landmark diplomatic pact, reimposing sanctions on Iran, and threatening to penalize anyone who imports its oil.
But then it got worse for the Trump administration. Europe worked out a method in January to bring in Iranian energy while avoiding American financial reprimands. That allowed Europe to keep the nuclear deal on life support while curbing the damage America’s sanctions could wreak on Iran’s economy.
Now that the Warsaw conference is over, it’s clear that the meeting has deepened the rift between Europe and America — all because of the Trump administration’s stubborn insistence on the fact that Iran is currently seeking a nuclear weapon. However, he is right to point out that Tehran is doing terrible things, such as propping up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, launching missiles, and supporting terrorists in the region.