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Days before Europeans warned Iran of nuclear deal violations, Trump secretly threatened to impose 25% tariff on European autos if they didn't | WaPo |

A week before Germany, France and Britain formally accused Iran of breaching the 2015 nuclear deal, the Trump administration issued a private threat to the Europeans that shocked officials in all three countries.

If they refused to call out Tehran and initiate an arcane dispute mechanism in the deal, the United States would impose a 25 percent tariff on European automobiles, the Trump officials warned, according to European officials familiar with the conversations.

Within days, the three countries would formally accuse Iran of violating the deal, triggering a recourse provision that could reimpose United Nations sanctions on Iran and unravel the last remaining vestiges of the Obama-era agreement.

The U.S. effort to coerce European foreign policy through tariffs, a move one European official equated to "extortion," represents a new level of hardball tactics with America's oldest allies, underscoring the extraordinary tumult in the transatlantic relationship.

Iran: Europeans cannot invoke nuclear deal dispute mechanism | France24 - Nov. 2019 |

JCPOA Dispute Mechanism Already Used by Iran, Spokesman Tells EU3

    Mousavi said, "First of all, it is necessary to explain that the measure by the three European countries is deemed to be a totally passive action taken from the position of weakness. The process of settlement of disputes over the JCPOA was triggered by the Islamic Republic of Iran more than a year ago with the formal letters that our country's Minister of Foreign Affairs has sent to the JCPOA Joint Commission's coordinator. Thus, nothing new has happened, be it in terms of the processes or in operational terms."

Trump threat has been hanging over relations with Europe for over a year ...

Trump expected to delay European auto tariff decision: EU officials | Reuters - Nov. 11, 2019 |

    The Trump administration has a mid-November deadline to decide whether to impose threatened "Section 232" national security tariffs of as much as 25% on imported vehicles and parts under a Cold War-era trade law.
by Oui on Wed Jan 15th, 2020 at 08:27:33 PM EST
by Cat on Wed Jan 15th, 2020 at 08:43:57 PM EST
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"US-CHINA trade deal"
How a Hidden Parliamentary Session Revealed Trump's True Motives in Iraq
Iraq's caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi gave a series of remarks on January 5, during a parliamentary session that received surprisingly little media attention. During the session, which also saw Iraq's Parliament approve the removal of all foreign (including American) troops from the country, Abdul-Mahdi made a series of claims about the lead-up to the recent situation that placed Iraq at the heart of spiking U.S.-Iran tensions.
After the feed was cut, MPs who were present wrote down Abdul-Mahdi's remarks, which were then given to the Arabic news outlet Ida'at. Per that transcript, Abdul-Mahdi stated that:
...The Americans are the ones who destroyed the country and wreaked havoc on it. They have refused to finish building the electrical system and infrastructure projects. They have bargained for the reconstruction of Iraq in exchange for Iraq giving up 50% of oil imports. So, I refused and decided to go to China and concluded an important and strategic agreement with it. Today, Trump is trying to cancel this important agreement.
After my return from China, Trump called me and asked me to cancel the agreement, so I also refused, and he threatened [that there would be] massive demonstrations to topple me. Indeed, the demonstrations started and then Trump called, threatening to escalate in the event of non-cooperation and responding to his wishes, whereby a third party [presumed to be mercenaries or U.S. soldiers] would target both the demonstrators and security forces and kill them from atop the highest buildings and the US embassy in an attempt to pressure me and submit to his wishes and cancel the China agreement....
After six weeks of intense protests, Abdul-Mahdi submitted his resignation on November 29, just a few days after Iraq's Foreign Minister praised the new deals, including the "oil for reconstruction" deal, that had been signed with China. Abdul-Mahdi has since stayed on as Prime Minister in a caretaker role until Parliament decides on his replacement.
Indeed, according to news reports, Zhang Yao -- China's ambassador to Iraq -- "conveyed Beijing's readiness to provide military assistance" should Iraq's government request it soon after Soleimani's assassination. Yao made the offer a day after Iraq's parliament voted to expel American troops from the country. Though it is currently unknown how Abdul-Mahdi responded to the offer, the timing likely caused no shortage of concern among the Trump administration about its rapidly waning influence in Iraq.
Russia is also playing a role in the current scenario as Iraq initiated talks with Moscow regarding the possible purchase of one of its air defense systems last September, the same month that Iraq signed eight deals, including the oil deal with China. Then, in the wake of Soleimani's death, Russia again offered the air defense systems to Iraq to allow them to better defend their air space.
WSJ News Exclusive | U.S. Warns Iraq It Risks Losing Access to Key Bank Account..., 12 Jan
by Cat on Sun Jan 19th, 2020 at 01:51:40 AM EST
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