One week to drop the Middle East in turmoil
As the earthquake comes with progressive waves, Trump’s two decisions to withdraw from Iran nuclear deal and to move the US embassy from Israel to Jerusalem, further quaked the Middle East. The current US administration policies seem to reflect the president figure: hasty, risky and partly reckless. The outcomes are catastrophic for both the equilibrium of the region and the international cooperation.
In a strategic area for the definition of global powers in the international scenario, these two interventions strengthened the historical alliances with Israel and Saudi Arabia, definitively defining the US front.
May the 8th, US withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal
Throughout his whole electoral campaign, Donald Trump showed his position regarding the agreement. Nonetheless, the decision he officially took on the 8th of May astonished the most.
Many believed indeed that President Trump was threatening Iran to reimpose economic sanctions just to obtain a better deal in the end, but now this option has clearly expired. Many seem to think that this position on the agreement has been taken more on the basis of dismantling the Obama legacy and on damaging the historical enemy Iran, rather than on a specific plan.
The statement of the US President resulted in a united reaction in Europe; Germany, France, Italy and the UK, following the answer of The High Representative of the Union Federica Mogherini, showed the will to continue to respect the deal.
This is one consequence of this infamous decision: the redefinition of international relations, the division of the Atlantic block in two.
The United States strengthen their key alliances in the region with Saudi Arabia and Israel, creating a real front against the common enemy Iran.
The two countries have different interests in weakening Iran. The former aims to prevail as the spiritual leader of the region, the latter has military strategic motivations since the strong “presence” of the Shia country around its borders in Lebanon and Syria.
On the other hand, the Europen Union find itself in a position that supports the deal, together with Iran, Russia and China and opening new possibilities of collaboration by shaping a brand-new international scenario.
The agreement survival after the US withdrawal is the challenge for EU, the opportunity to emerge as an actor in the international theatre. However, this inevitably puts under pressure the Atlantic alliance, or in other words the principal representative of the liberal democratic order.
(Stoyan Nenov, Reuters)
Moreover, this change of positions seriously threatens the credibility, not only of US but of all Western actors, in matters of diplomacy. The deal indeed was an incredible achievement of inclusive diplomacy as means of peace that could have worked as examples and precedents.
It seems a paradox that in this exact period while withdrawing from the Iran nuclear agreement, the US is having a talk with North Korea on denuclearization.
May the 14th, the official inauguration of US embassy in Jerusalem
On the 14th of May two major events took place, one very close to the other: Trump’s decision of moving the American embassy from the recognized capital city of Israel to the city of Jerusalem, and the Israeli snipers shooting on Palestinians protesting for the American embassy inauguration along the fence of the border between Gaza and Israel. Diplomatic celebration and 59 deads.
Why the protests, and why moving the embassy?
Jerusalem is the Holy City for the three monotheistic religions, and the object of political and spiritual contention. The decision of moving the embassy in Jerusalem is the international diplomatic proof of the American recognition of the city as the capital of Israel, with all the implication that this has, especially with respect to Palestine.
Theoretically, when the state of Israel has been created, Jerusalem was established as a separate entity.
The protests were the direct expression of this, and the inauguration was extremely close to the “nakba”, the catastrophe, the 70° anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel when thousands of Palestinians fled and abandoned their homes.
(Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
The decision is a clear provocation and abuse of power of both the states. Israel peeking its long-lasting policy of colonialism and Zionism expanded its borders and military and political control over strategic territories. The US on the other side pushed and eventually implemented a decision clearly violating international law (in 1980 the UN Security Council declared void a law of the Israeli Parliament which recognized Jerusalem as the capital and also encouraged every state that had a diplomatic mission there to leave the city) taking a controversial position to support its historical allied and to respond to the internal right wings claims of the Christian evangelicals.
Jared Kushner, the senior advisor of President Trump, while Palestinians were deliberately killed in what was supposed to be a non-violent protest, stated “The United States stands with Israel because we both believe in freedom. We stand together because we both believe in human rights. We stand together because we believe democracy is worth defending. And the United States stands with Israel because we believe we know that it is the right thing to do.”
These words would seem ironic if not provocative, but the absence of an international unite and common reaction, the lack of a statement by leaders in EU condemning both the diplomatic event and the killing, makes them way more dramatic.
Once more a clear implication is the failure of diplomacy, of constructive dialogue to find a common solution that doesn’t involve violence.
In a “state” oppressed and defined as ghetto or open-air prison, the US took a position that ended up worsening its condition and creating turmoil. The States seem now far from representing an example of liberal and democratic values.
The United States intervention was aimed at strengthening its alliance with two key players in the region, president Trump took radical and controversial positions in this sense, without considering the potentially disastrous outcomes.
(Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)
Consequences do not only concern national boundaries of those directly involved, but are also spread over the entire region. The “theatres” where these relations of powers and escalation of tension could erupt in direct conflict are Syria and Lebanon where the fronts are clear and far to reach a peaceful solution.
The withdrawal from the nuclear deal and the inauguration of US embassy in Jerusalem destabilized the region spreading uncertainty and escalating the anger and the violence. These two events ring out from the Middle East as an alarm, announcing chaos; a mayday on these days of May.
(featured image Haitham Imad/EPA)
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
I am Giorgio, born and bred in Rome, in 1997. Currently attending the B.A. in Global Governance. I am passionate in international politics and global trends and I want communication to become my profession.