The United States is losing its influence in the world: Canadian analyst

July 10, 2020 - 16:20

TEHRAN - Edward Corrigan, an international lawyer and analyst from Canada, tells the Tehran Times that the power of the United States is declining in the world, and Europeans are taking steps “to separate themselves from the Americans economically and politically.”

Corrigan also says the European countries signatory to the 2015 nuclear deal have only “paid lip service” to the agreement and failed to meet their obligations.

"It is true that the European parties to the JCPOA have only given lip service to the agreement and not fulfilled their obligations,” the Canadian lawyer says. 

He says has “has not received the economic benefits it was promised" under the nuclear agreement.

Following is the text of the interview:

Q: The International Atomic Energy Agency's Board of Governors voted for a resolution drafted by the UK, France, and Germany, which demands Iran to grant access to the IAEA to two locations under the allegation of undeclared nuclear activities there. Why did the E3 draft the resolution?

A: In my opinion, the UK, France, and Germany were responding to pressure from the United States and the Trump Administration. They were throwing a bone to Donald Trump after these countries refused to support the United States' attempt to extend the arms embargo against Iran that is due to expire in October 2020. 

The U.S.'s argument that not extending the arms embargo against Iran would trigger an arms race in West Asia is laughable. The United States is already selling billions in military equipment to its Arab Allies. The United States is already selling billions in military equipment to its Arab Allies. The United States failed spectacularly at the United Nations Security Council, with none of the Security Council members supporting the United States and its bogus interpretation of the JCPOA. They all rejected the argument that the United States was still a participant in the agreement after withdrawing from it in May 2018 and despite the U.S. reimposing sanctions on Iran. Germany also opposed the American attempt.  

Iran also did not want to set a precedent that the United States, or Israel, could make unsubstantiated allegations and send the IAEA chasing after alleged violations. Israel, which provided the "intelligence" on Iran's alleged violations, is well known for fabricating intelligence to accomplish its own political goals.

Q: The United States urged the United Nations Security Council to extend an arms embargo against Iran due to expire in October, but it faced resistance from China, Russia, and even European allies. How do you assess this?

A: The United States failed spectacularly in its attempt to extend the arms embargo against Iran. Russia and China strongly opposed the extension. Even American allies like Britain, France, and Germany also did not support the extension under the JCPOA Agreement. All agreed that the United States was no longer a party to the agreement. The U.S.'s argument that not extending the arms embargo against Iran would trigger an arms race in West Asia is laughable. The United States is already selling billions in military equipment to its Arab Allies.
The other consideration is that the United States is losing its influence in the world. Donald Trump's erratic behavior and terrible policies have greatly undermined his chances of re-election. Its allies and enemies know that he probably will not be re-elected in November 2020. The world community and even his close allies are biding their time until he leaves office. However, they are all aware that Trump can still do a lot of damage between now and the time he leaves the presidency in early 2021.

Q: European countries have never seriously stood up to the U.S., and Iranian officials argue that Europeans have done nothing to salvage the JCPOA. What do you think?

A: It is true that the European parties to the JCPOA have only given lip service to the agreement and not fulfilled their obligations. Iran has not received the economic benefits it was promised. The Europeans are afraid of the United States' economic power and control of the world's financial system. Trump also scares them because his tactics are those of a bully who likes to throw his weight around.

Q: Experts argue that if the Islamic Republic allowed inspection of the sites named by the Israeli sources, it would set a wrong precedent that would be against the interests of all countries. What is your opinion?

A: It is not a good precedent for an enemy of a country to provide so-called "intelligence" against its enemies and start wild goose chases after alleged violations. There must be credible proof from objective sources. The Israelis are long known for fabricating false information and "creating facts" to support their political objectives and to hurt and discredit their perceived enemies.

“Israeli is well known for fabricating intelligence to accomplish its own political goals.”Q: Tehran labels the IAEA's inspection demand as a political game and a proof of the nuclear watchdog's lack of impartiality when it comes to Iran. Therefore, Iranian officials have refused to allow IAEA access to alleged nuclear sites. In your view, what will be possible consequences for Iran?

A: I do not believe that the consequences will be severe. There have been at least 12 reports from the IAEA that Iran has fully complied with the imposed restrictions on its nuclear program. Iran is correct to question spurious allegations based on alleged Israeli intelligence. Other similar allegations have all been proven false.
 Iran could allow the IAEA inspectors to visit the two sites or deny the IAEA access without strong proof of alleged Iranian violations. Iran could also withdraw from the JCPOA due to the other parties' noncompliance. Iran also has the option of withdrawing from the Nuclear Arms Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel is not a signatory, and it has between 90 and 400 nuclear weapons.
The United States and Israel want to perpetuate the view that Iran is hiding nuclear research of a military nature. This ploy also to distract both the American and Israeli electorate from domestic political problems and scandals.

Q: In your view, why are the United States and its European allies taking such actions?

“Trump’s tactics are those of a bully who likes to throw his weight around.”

A: The Americans are trying to distract their voting population from the many scandals of the Trump administration, its mismanagement of the economy and the botched handling of the COVID-19 epidemic. Europe is still afraid of Trump, and the economic power the United States still controls. However, they recognize that the United States is a declining economic and military power. They are taking steps to separate themselves from the Americans economically and politically. I also think the Europeans are afraid of Trump's s erratic and sometimes crazy behavior. They are biding their time until Trump leaves office or is kicked out.

Q: Russia and China have been expressing dismay over the U.S. brutal policies against Iran. For example, recently China submitted a statement to the IAEA, saying “the root causes of this situation lie in the unilateral and bullying practices of the U.S.” How do you assess China and Russia’s stances?

A: Russia and China are strongly opposed to United States unilateral sanctions against Iran and also other countries like Venezuela, Syria, and even North Korea. China called this behavior bullying. Russia compared the United States' actions to put a foot on the neck of Iran, making an analogy to the brutal murder of George Floyd, caught on video, and the Black Lives matter campaign against racial discrimination against blacks in the United States.
Trump's "America First" policy is destabilizing to the world, undermines diplomacy, and also does not work. Unilateralism and bullying are not going to win friends for the United States or for Donald Trump.

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