The attempts of European countries, specifically France, Germany and Britain, to safeguard the nuclear agreement with Iran were met with criticism in the Saudi press. Articles in Saudi newspapers accused these countries of being even more eager to maintain the agreement than Iran itself, adding that their commitment to it is motivated by economic interests in an attempt to extricate themselves from the economic crisis afflicting Europe.
It was also claimed that, since these countries are unable to vouch for Tehran's military or economic behavior, by preserving the nuclear agreement they endanger the security and stability of the region and of the entire world. One of the articles even called on the Gulf States to forego some of their own commercial interests and pledge to impose sanctions on European companies that cooperate with Iran, in order to pressure Europe to change its policy vis-à-vis the nuclear agreement.
The following are translated excerpts from the articles:
Senior Saudi Journalist: Germany, France Can't Guarantee Iran's Good Conduct; Their Policy May Spark New Wars In Region
'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, former editor of the Al-Sharq Al-Awsat daily and former director general of Al-Arabiya TV, wrote: "[The fact] that the Iranians continue to launch ballistic missiles at heavily populated Saudi cities, by means of the Houthis, their proxies in Yemen, indicates the magnitude of the danger that threatens us all. Despite the spread of the organized violence by the Iranian regime, the governments of Germany and France are proposing to turn a blind eye to the wars orchestrated by Iran and to maintain the nuclear agreement with it … They sell their pro-Iranian stance with the claim that it is intended to prevent the Iranian regime from resuming its development of nuclear weapons, and they attempt to rationalize its policy.
"However, amid this openness [towards Iran], neither the Germans nor the French have the ability to vouch for Tehran's military or economic behavior. And then, these countries conveyed misguided messages to Supreme Leader [Khamenei] conveying that his position against the U.S. is correct and that he is not required to amend his regional policy. The message that Merkel and Macron conveyed may lead to chaos and more wars in the region…
"The nuclear agreement is the worst agreement in modern history and it must be fixed. The Middle East– despite its terrible standards – has never experienced wars, violence, and dangers such as those that afflicted it during and after the agreement was signed. The future will be [even] worse so long as the regime in Tehran believes that the world powers have conceded the means to call it to account.
"With its passive policy, Europe wants one of two solutions: either that the U.S. assume the yoke of military confrontation, or that the countries in the region burn. Europe [itself] is incapable of taking the decision [to go to] war, and the same goes for a joint military action. [In fact,] if it hadn't been for the American intervention in Bosnia, it is possible that the crisis would still be ongoing today in Europe itself.
"Can the Germans and the French present us with their vision for a solution for Iran's misdeeds in Iraq, in Syria, in Gaza, and in Yemen? They do nothing other than strive to sell weapons. Yet [at the same time], they refuse to send forces, or intelligence reports, or logistic support, except for a symbolic French force in Syria, which cannot be said to create any change on the ground. Therefore, their favoring of Iran comes at the expense of the angry Iranian people and the countries in the region, which have been transformed into Iranian targets. All that they can do is brace themselves for wars on an even larger scale."
Cartoon in Saudi daily: Europe enables Iran to paste the nuclear agreement back together (Saudi Arabia, May 12, 2018)
Europe Wants The Iran Deal As A Means To Overcome Its Economic Crisis; Iran Is The Hitler Of The Middle East
Muhammad Al-Sa'd wrote in the daily 'Okaz: "The Europeans were wrong if they hoped that, once integrated in the international community, the notorious agreement that [U.S. President] Obama signed [with Iran] in their name would satisfy the evil [hunger] of the fascist Iranian regime. Iran is a multifaceted revolutionary entity that aspires to establish a Shi'ite imam-led state that recognizes no borders and embraces terror and proxy wars. It inaugurated its revolutionary state in 1979 with a large-scale war against Iraq. Then it turned to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and today it is committing vast massacres in Yemen and Syria. It has also turned Lebanon into its garbage dump and an arena [for attaining] its military goals.
"The Europeans' goals are clear: deriving as much profit as possible from the Iranian resources, which have gone untapped for three decades, in order to overcome the economic crisis that is afflicting the old continent and which has shackled it and saddled it with large debts and high unemployment levels. Had it not been for the German economy, Europe would have slipped down an endless slope of [economic] slowdown and collapse...
"It was clear at the time that France, Germany and Britain wanted the [nuclear] agreement even more than Iran itself. France put its weight behind it, with the aim of putting [its oil company] Total back in charge of producing and manufacturing Iranian oil and gas. The Germans were looking for alternatives to Russian gas, which had brought them humiliation, making them dependent on the Kremlin. The British have revived their colonialist dreams of controlling the eastern shore of the [Persian] Gulf and bringing their investments and industries into the Iranian market.
"The Europe and American left, and the [American] Democratic Party, which have been infiltrated to the bone by the Iranian lobby, all exploited Obama's naïve [outlook] and his desire for a personal accomplishment, and pushed him to spearhead the project for rebranding Iran. They rewarded Iran for nothing with [a prize] that did not belong to them.
"Iran is nothing but a parasitic country within the Arab region, and it is inconceivable to let it expand for the sake of investments and gas profits. Saudi Arabia is not a low barrier that can be skipped over in promoting [various] projects. Now that the failed project [for rebranding Iran] has collapsed, we shall clearly see who profits and who is harmed by the demise of the Western-Iranian love-fest. The peoples of the Middle East, who have been massacred by the Iranian terror, will surely feel safer than before after they shackle the plot of the [Iranian] mullah regime and divest it of its nuclear claws. Saudi diplomacy, too, has scored a resounding victory, because it is the one that broke the back of this project without paying a military price, and it is the one who said from the start that it would never be part of it, would not tolerate it and would not negotiate about it, and that is [exactly] what happened.
"The losers will be the owners of Western companies, banks and factories, from the gas and oil producers to the car manufacturers, infrastructure [companies] and aircraft [manufacturers], as well as the military agreements – which all counted on investing with the 'Hitler of the Middle East', and then the investments went down the drain, while Hitler remained."
Cartoon in Saudi daily: "Iran's nuclear facilities" (Al-Madina, Saudi Arabia, May 13, 2018)
Bahraini Columnist: We Should Join Sanctions On European Companies Trading With Iran
Bahraini columnist Sawsan Al-Sha'er wrote in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: "The three European countries of Britain, France and Germany are tripping over each other to reassure Iran that they are committed to the nuclear agreement because it is 'crucial to [their] collective security'... Iran heads the list of countries that violate human rights, yet Europe turns a blind eye to the reports that condemn it when [the French oil company] Total, for example, wishes to do business [with Iran]. Business deals with Tehran are the decisive factor in [their] decision whether to join the nuclear deal with [Iran] or withdraw from it, and [they] prioritize their commercial interests over concern for collective security or any other human value. If security interests them, [they should realize that] Iran poses a threat to them – yet they do nothing, or else tie their collective security to their commercial interests. So let's at least make them pay heed to their interest in trade with us, in order to hold them to their [former] positions on sanctions on Iran!
"What worries the Gulf countries that were harmed by this agreement is that it has allowed Iran to freely expand in our region. Therefore, there is no choice but to find a way to deter it, confine it to its original borders and convince Europe that the Gulf countries, too, want some guarantee of their security and stability... If British Foreign Secretary [Boris] Johnson demands that Trump provide [suggestions for] amending the agreement as an alternative to withdrawing from it, which will [nevertheless] guarantee that [Iran] does not attain nuclear weapons, then we, in turn, must demand of Johnson to provide alternative ways – not mere statements – to stop Iran's interference in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen!
"We must also be prepared to give up some of our own commercial interests in order to defend our security and stability, and declare our commitment to the sanctions that will be imposed on European countries cooperating with Iran, forcing them to choose between Iran and ourselves, and so they do not think that our doors will remain open to them. Just as Iran is now demanding guarantees, we should demand them as well...
"[Iranian Supreme Leader] Ali Khamenei explicitly states that he does not trust Europe one whit. Addressing Iranian officials, he said [recently]: 'You shouldn't trust them. If you want to make an agreement, you must obtain tangible guarantees; otherwise [Europe] will do exactly what the U.S. did... The commander of [Iran's] Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps [also] said that the European countries are not to be trusted, because they are not independent...
"If the nuclear agreement with Iran did not deter it from spreading terror and chaos, invading Arab countries and supplying weapons and ballistic missiles to [various] militias, and if Iran does not trust Europe, what good is this agreement?"
Germany Takes A Is Hypocritical Stance On Iran, Serves As Godfather Of European Anti-American Activity
In the Saudi Al-Watan daily, journalist Safouq Al-Shamari wrote in the Saudi daily Al-Watan: "Germany preaches to the world about democracy and human rights and brings up these issues at every opportunity, while at the same time supporting the Iranian regime. More than that, it serves as godfather to European anti-American activity. I don't know whether Germany is ignoring the fact that the Iranian regime is [responsible for] the killing of half a million Syrians and the exile of ten million for sectarian reasons, or [actually thinks that] Iran is handing out roses in Syria. German politicians made a lot of noise and threatened to halt arms deals with Saudi Arabia even prior to the war in Yemen, on the pretext of [Saudi violations] of human rights and democracy. Yet at the same time, whoever listens to what the German politicians say about the nuclear agreement [with Iran is likely] to get the impression that the Iranian regime is Mother Theresa.
"I don't know a more morally two-faced country than Germany. Some may say that France is the one investing the greatest efforts to defend the nuclear agreement with Iran, but France at least says openly and candidly that it is defending its economic deals and doesn't pretend [that it is because of] human rights or democracy, [like] other countries do…
"Everyone knows about Germany's railway deals with Iran. There is no need for lies and hypocrisy… Germany is prepared to sacrifice the Arabs and its interests with the Gulf States, especially the commercial ones, which are double those it has with Iran, and this for the sake of the Iranian regime which the world has designated as the foremost sponsor of terror and killing, which violates the rights of its people, tortures them, and is the godfather of destruction in its neighboring countries. Despite [all] this Germany goes on harping about human rights.
"The European outcry against cancelling the agreement with Iran has greatly increased the suspicions of corruption on the part of those who stand to benefit, [such as] politicians who profit from the agreement, [especially considering] the Iranian regime's eagerness to buy loyalties and to pay bribes and then to make provocations…
"Many things are said about President Trump… but to be honest, I respect him for keeping his election promises, although I oppose the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine. But at least he is not a man of many faces like the Europeans. Germany took in Syrian refugees, and at the same time actually supported their murderer and the one who exiled them – Iran."