By Hanif Ghaffari

Merkel facing the joint game of Trump and Macron

April 11, 2018 - 9:26

TEHRAN - Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, is to travel to the United States and visit Donald Trump, the controversial President of the U.S.

The visit takes place at a time when the economic disputes between Washington and the United States have reached its pick because of the U.S. government announcement of imposing tariffs on the imported steel and aluminum.

 Furthermore, Merkel intends to negotiate with Trump trying to convince him to remain as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). This is while Trump had announced the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal by April 17.

 According to some news sources in Germany, Merkel's visit will take place on (April 27th). However, the German Foreign Ministry has refused to confirm this news. In any case and regardless of the exact time of this visit, it will definitely take place before the end of April.

 It should be noted that the Western media are trying to introduce this visit as an attempt by the German chancellor for saving the JCPOA, and have refused to address other disagreements currently raised between America and Europe.

Despite the propaganda of the German media over their chancellor's visit to the United States and the way it's going to affect the fate of the nuclear accord, there are points that should be regarded carefully: Merkel's visit to the United States will take place after "Emmanuel Macron's" visit to the White House, and the meeting between the young French president and Trump.

 During the last year, Paris has played a leading role among the European players in cooperating with the U.S. policies. The Elysee Palace has since emphasized the reform of the nuclear deal by imposing new nuclear restrictions on Iran after 2025 and limiting the missile power of our country.

But the German authorities have had more cautious positions. As a whole and compared with France, we can say that Berlin's policies towards the JCPOA had been less dependent to the U.S.

 The main question here is whether the German Chancellor is to follow the joint U.S.-French game from now on? In other words, is the Chancellor of Germany and the French President about to take the same stance towards the JCPOA in their visit to the U.S.? Or will each of them take a different approach over the nuclear deal and its fate?

Last September, the Bloomberg reported that in the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, there was a controversy between Germany and the two other European countries (Britain and France) about how to deal with the nuclear accord.

 Accordingly, Paris and London were trying to convince Berlin on "the necessity for reforming the nuclear deal." However, Germany has recently taken a different approach from its two European partners over limiting the missile power and putting regional sanctions against Iran.

During a recent European Council meeting in Brussels, the European troika, in a united position, sought to convince other EU member states on the need for limiting Iran's missile power and imposing regional sanctions against Iran. The European troika has argued that the sanctions are necessary to keep the JCPOA going.

 However, some European countries, including Italy, Spain and Austria, opposed this argument and have declared that there is no guarantee that Trump will remain as part of the nuclear deal even with the EU's sanctions against Iran. In this case, the European Union's credibility will be put under question by its new sanctions against Iran.

In any case, Merkel may ask Trump to put off his decision on imposing nuclear sanctions against Iran once again, providing EU with more time to come to an agreement over this issue. However, it is quite possible that Trump and Macron are going to simultaneously discuss other approaches and strategies to confront Iran.
 As emphasized, the type of cooperation between the French President and the German Chancellor, and the issues that the two intend to discuss on their visit to the United States, will enormously affect the U.S. and the EU's decision on how to deal with the nuclear accord.

 The German Chancellor is deeply worried to be a victim of Trump and Macron's bargain over the JCPOA. This is what has happened before in 2017. At that time, Trump first made a deal with the French on a change in the content of the JCPOA, forcing German authorities to cooperate with him in this way. Can this experience be repeated during the separate visits of Merkel and Macron with?

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