Germany, France, and the UK have a lot invested in Iran – a lot of ongoing projects for the supply of major infrastructure.
You don’t have to wonder therefore about the opposition of Europe to the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement. First of all, it cannot have come as a great surprise bearing in mind what Trump said about Iran in his Riyadh speech.
The European deals were all done when the Iran agreement was in place – so nothing underhand there. But it does raise the question over the motives of the Europeans in wanting to preserve the Iran agreement when their financial stake is at risk.
By the same token, one can be pretty sure that Trump knew of the likely poor consequences for these Europeans if the USA withdrew from the Iran agreement and imposed sanctions that the Europeans had to follow – and that he knew that the US would benefit from the Europeans’ losses.
So a bit of financial thinking on both sides, probably.
Of course, with Iran’s declared intentions in the region, it makes one wonder why the Europeans invested so much in what was probably going to turn out badly in the end?
And it also makes one wonder why the Europeans didn’t see the writing on the wall with the Riyadh speech, and make preparations to pull back from heavy investment in Iran.