Grenell to Germany: working around US Iran sanctions shows disrespect

says 'carrot and stick' approach has worked on Korea, "but not yet on Russia"


The US Ambassador to Germany is simply incorrigible; in today’s news, he speaks as if not bowing to US policy is lèsemajesté, that old crime from royal times against the dignity of the sovereign. — Translator note.

In today’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung:

Avoiding sanctions against Iran is inadvisable, says Richard Grenell, American ambassador to Berlin.

European states had built an arrangement for continuing to trade with Iran.

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The shield against US Iran sanctions, that the EU states have established, has led the American ambassador to Germany to make indirect threats against the participating states.
He sees the so-called Instex mechanism as “disrespect” for American policy – and states “bypassing American sanctions is not advisable.”
After all, President Donald Trump wants to use sanctions to force Iran back to the negotiating table – and thus prevent it from developing nuclear weapons and promoting its missile program.
At the end of January, Germany, France and the United Kingdom set up a special purpose vehicle named Instex to circumvent the US economic sanctions. Instex can be used to settle payment in Iran transactions when private banks are no longer willing to do so because of imminent US penalties. For example, Iran could continue to deliver oil and other products to Europe. The money would then be calculated and flowed not through banks in Iran, but to European companies that sell drugs, food or industrial goods to Iran.

Grenell has repeatedly violated diplomatic etiquette with blatant instructions to allies in the past. Shortly after taking office in May last year, he urged German companies to stop doing business in Iran as a consequence of the American withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Tehran. Later, he caused irritation with his self-proclaimed desire to “necessarily strengthen other conservatives across Europe.” Most recently, he openly threatened sanctions with German companies involved in the planned Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2.

The issue with Iran follows the American president’s foreign policy strategy, Grenell said, calling it the “Trump Doctrine.” This two-pronged approach follows the principle of “carrot and stick”, he told the “Welt am Sonntag”: “It has worked so far in North Korea so far, and somewhat in Venezuela. Grenell’s interim conclusion on the strategy game: “It has not worked on Russia so far, but we continue.”

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