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In the crisis of the Strait of Hormuz, "Europe must be detached from the United States"
Iranian Revolutionary Guards stars around the British flag tanker "Stena Impero", Bandar Abbas, Iran, July 21, 2019. Morteza Akhoondi / AP

Tribune. Iran's behavior in the Ormuz Strait, its recent seizure of a British flag ship and the general harassment of shipping require an international response . Germany must be part of the respondents. But what exactly is the answer? Like many times before for conflicts in the Middle East, the United States proposed to Europeans to participate in a military operation under American command. It is impossible for Germany to consider this option. In the current circumstances, Europe must move away from the United States and must, independently, assume its responsibility in the Strait of Ormuz by guaranteeing the freedom of navigation.

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We are put to the test as Europeans because it is a neighboring region, these conflicts will not fade with the inaction and time, and that they will concern us directly. When an essential part of the international legal order, namely free navigation, is attacked, our European prosperity is too. We owe it to ourselves to defend our interests and the validity of the international legal system. The European Union must show Iran that although it remains committed to the respect of the nuclear agreement (JCPoA), it does not accept that Iran occupies illegally free maritime areas and prevents the passage.

Iranian Representatives

If the Europeans participate in a mission of military intervention, it should be under European command rather than American. The escalation of the conflict between Iran and the United States raises the threat of a war in the Persian Gulf, which would be a disaster for the United States, Iran and the whole world . I am convinced that neither Iran nor the United States wants it. But the decision of US President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear agreement and launch a campaign of  «maximum pressure » against Iran may just lead to this result. Unfortunately, our position and our attitude towards Iran is fundamentally different from that of the United States, particularly with regard to the nuclear issue.

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In the face of the risk that the Trump Administration's policy and the Iranian response to the region pose, we must maintain a separate European policy towards Iran. However, it is needless to hide that the behavior of Iran in the region is a problem for Europe. We must be careful to consider the conflict over the Straits of Ormuz and the repercussions of the American withdrawal from the nuclear agreement in a separate way. The first has nothing to do with the second. It is the opposite of European sanctions against the Damascus criminal regime and the European decision that no oil can be delivered to Syria through European territory. . Great Britain enforced European sanctions by arresting a ship that, in violation of European law, was transporting Iranian oil and was traveling across European waters to Syria. The United Kingdom has thus become a victim of Iranian reprisals for having implemented European law.