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JCPOA, Ukraine war, Gaza genocide: Dissecting the farce of EU’s ‘peace project’

By Ramin Mazaheri

It is amazing how little discussion there is in Western capitals about how catastrophic the European Union has been since it truly got started in 2009 with the Lisbon Treaty.

Having reported from Europe since that year and to have witnessed year after year anti-austerity discontent, and to see that culminate in bloodshed against the Yellow Vests every Saturday for six months, and then to see such little discussion about its undeniable democratic failures is astounding.

What is the measuring stick used to gauge EU success, one often wonders?

For many, the EU was deemed a success simply because there had not been a major war among its member nations, which were the most volatile on the planet during the 20th century.

In 2012, even as the Age of Austerity was producing massive and unprecedented protests across the Eurozone, the Nobel Peace Prize was shockingly awarded to the European Union for its purported “contribution to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights.”

Europe’s official response to the happenings in the besieged Gaza Strip, and the subsequent intensification of the siege and indiscriminate bombing of civilians by Tel Aviv, definitively ends any notion that the European Union has changed the hearts of the European elite from war to peace.

A global reassessment of the EU’s image largely began with its insistence on fuelling the Ukraine war with weapons, which is something Nobel Peace Prize winners generally don’t do (with the obvious exception of former United States President Barack Obama).

The “we’re good, Russia is evil” insistence of Europe wasn’t accepted because the world saw how the EU had studiously failed to implement the Minsk agreements since 2014.

Outside of the West, there is near-total unanimity that the Israeli regime and its allies are aggressors, usurpers and terrorists in occupied Palestine.

Europe’s encouragement of a second Nakba - another massive ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, this time in the besieged coastal strip of Gaza - is viewed worldwide as a move against global peace.

EU’s arrival actually ended European diplomacy

What’s unfortunate is that the European Union has actually removed Europe from the international diplomatic stage, due to its very structures but also due to its complete subservience to Washington.

There is absolutely no difference anymore in foreign policy between the United States of America and what’s effectively the “United States of Europe”.

Europe’s neutering from the international stage has serious consequences - the days where a country such as France could stand up to events like the second US invasion of Iraq are no longer remotely possible.

The creation of Brussels has gutted the sovereignty and power of individual European nations, and thus the world comprehends that there’s no national leader in Europe even worth paying attention to - they are so powerless over their budgets, borders, armies, laws, etc.

Brussels itself, however, is also perceived as powerless blowhards. Absolutely nobody cares about what Ursula von der Leyen says - anyone paying attention knows she was out of her depth as a mere cabinet minister in Germany, and not even among the most popular politicians in her own country.

Why are even we talking about her? Some politicians have finally dared to say exactly that openly recently: As head of the European Commission, her responsibilities don’t even include foreign policy, so her slavish pro-Israel worship means nothing on a political level.

On Thursday, more than 800 EU officials wrote to von der Leyen, denouncing her “uncontrolled” support of the regime in Tel Aviv. The signatories of the letter said they“hardly recognize the values of the EU” and added that there is a “seeming indifference demonstrated over the past few days by our institution towards the ongoing massacre of civilians in the Gaza Strip, in disregard for human rights and international humanitarian law”.

The officials called out the commission’s double standards as it considers the blockade of Ukraine by Russia as an act of terror, while “completely ignoring” Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The vocal opposition to von der Leyen critically reminds us that there is no respected true center, for European foreign policy, and this is by design: the fragmentation of an essentially federalist system amid such a diverse continent, which now even includes former communist countries, allows for greater domination by the US, which where the structures of the EU were originally conceived.

It’s important to remember that Germany’s Angela Merkel only gained such global prominence during the European Financial Crisis because Germany had the most control over Europe’s bailout money, but in a foreign policy crisis, Germany has no such special clout.

By reducing the individual sovereignty of its member states, the EU has totally relinquished any influence in foreign policy which isn’t approved beforehand by Washington.

This is not only something that is now damaging peace in the world, it’s yet another reminder of how the bloc has failed.

Iran was the first to reveal EU’s true anti-peace intentions

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the obvious proof that this version of a pan-European project is not a peace project and that its foreign policy is totally subservient to Washington.

In the summer of 2003, the “E3” - Britain, France and Germany - first began engaging Tehran on a serious level, on the issue of Iran’s peaceful nuclear energy program.

It’s notable that the 2003 discussions began around the idea of nuclear weapons: from their point of view, the West was obviously worried that Iran could achieve military parity.

France and the United Kingdom are especially jealous of other countries getting nuclear weapons - after all, this is a key reason why they were two of the five nations given permanent veto power at the United Nations.

Of course, Iran has demonstrated for two decades that it is not even trying to produce nuclear bombs. The country’s nuclear program is purely for energy purposes.

What did Iran want in the summer of 2003? The same thing since the 1979 Islamic Revolution: Acceptance of the reality of revolution and acknowledgment of the Iranian government’s democratic legitimacy.

From a diplomatic point of view, 2003 was Iran’s effort to see if this new Europe (the euro had been fully introduced just one year earlier) was willing to prioritize its own citizens and interests over Washington’s demands.

After many years of discussions, the JCPOA hoax would be conceived, signed and betrayed by the Western signatories. What began in 2003 was, ultimately, a failed experiment by Iran: to see if Europe could and would separate from Washington on a key foreign policy issue.

Europe proved to be too much a tool and too little a craftsman. For two years, Iran expected that European pressure would bring Washington to the bargaining table and that acceptance of Iran as a legitimate state would finally be agreed upon.

However, they wouldn’t even guarantee Iranian access to the EU’s market even after Iran provided unprecedented inspection access to the United Nations nuclear watchdog.

Europe’s feet-dragging, obstacles and refusal to produce any diplomatic advancement only proved that Europe was no longer able to act in their own sovereign interests.

In 2006, the still-nascent EU officially joined the Iran negotiations as part of the EU3+3 (EU, France, UK, Germany and the US, Russia and China) but the damage to European credibility was done.

To this day, Iran and the EU still don’t have formal diplomatic relations.

Iran definitively re-oriented towards China because Europe refused to act as a peaceful mediator, and the protector of its citizens’ interests, between the revolutionary Iran and the reactionary United States.

In 2021, when Europe refused to act as a peaceful mediator, and the protector of its citizens’ interests, between Russia and Ukraine armed by the United States, Russia definitively re-oriented towards China.

In 2023, who will re-orient as a result of warmongering Europe’s immoral support of Israel? Will it be Turkey, Saudi Arabia or further abroad?

The most obvious choice appears to be Muslim Africa: the ongoing wave of anti-French imperialism coups will surely point to Palestine as a reason to distrust a still-imperialist West.

How much things have changed in 20 years: hypersonic missiles, the world’s best drone program, the region’s best missile program, producing the most famous general of this century, besting pro-Western forces, equipment and tactics in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen - Europe only engaged Iran in 2003 because they wanted to prevent military parity but they have obviously failed.

Ukraine and Palestine have completely wiped out the notion that Europeans are interested in being those who are supposed to be blessed - the peacemakers. This modern fact was first revealed by revolutionary Iran, just like so many key historical trends after the end of the USSR in 1991.

If the West would establish peaceful diplomatic relations with Iran - ending their belligerent stance against a 44-year-old democratic revolution - they would soon be choking with remorse for their belligerence because Iran’s terms have drastically changed since 2003: it has earned the right to be much more demanding now.

What a tragic failure for the average peaceful European citizen, who has been continually betrayed by this liberal, elitist, and pro-imperialist version of a “pan-European project” with its perpetually unmet promises of stability, democracy, prosperity and peace.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His latest book is ‘France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values’. He is also the author of ‘Socialisms Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’.

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV)

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