President Donald Trump’s decision to reimpose tough sanctions on Iran unless it takes further steps to curb its nuclear program may have been spurned by the political leadership in Britain, France and Germany, but major companies in those countries are pulling in their horns and canceling deals with Iran that would violate the sanctions.
Sanctions take effect Nov. 4.
Siemen’s, a key supplier of oil and gas equipment to Iran, now says that it is not accepting new orders in Iran.
The two top container carriers — 2M partners MSC and Maersk Line — are both pulling back from their deals in Iran.
Maersk Tankers says it is no longer making new agreements for loadings in Iran and will wind down its existing contracts before the November deadline.
Danish product tanker firm Term has also suspended all loadings in Iran, effective immediately.
This pullback will be even more evident when international insurers of maritime shipping refuse to do business with Iran or on cargoes shipped to and from that country.
The fact is that the governments in London, Paris and Berlin have no choice but to go along with the U.S. and with Trump.
The sanctions the U.S. is now enforcing are both primary — on American companies — and secondary — on foreign companies doing business in Iran.
We are, in essence, offering a choice to European and other international companies: Do business with Iran or with the U.S.
Since Iran’s GDP is only $431 billion and the U.S. GDP is $19.4 trillion — almost 50 times as large — the choice is really easy to make.
Europe may make noise, but in the end it has to comply.
Iran will have to knuckle under or suffer such economic damage to its already inflation-ravaged economy that regime change becomes most likely.
Trump has lowered the boom.
Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton as well as a political author, pollster and consultant.
His most recent book, “Rogue Spooks,” was written with his wife, Eileen McGann.
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