Europe: Snap Back Iran Sanctions or Snap Global Backbone | Opinion

It was a powerful image. French President Macron walking among the smoldering ruins of the Port of Beirut, mobbed by a traumatized Lebanese people and promising a lifeline to a nation feeling abandoned by its own leaders.

Meanwhile, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson dispatched medics, deployed the HMS Enterprise and released five million pounds in humanitarian aid.

Angela Merkel's Germany announced it would send a 47-strong rescue team, along with one million euros in immediate aid via the German Red Cross, to establish first aid stations in Beirut and provide medical equipment.

These laudatory humanitarian gestures helped those leaders sidestep the elephant in the room—Lebanese Hezbollah and its puppetmasters in Tehran.

The Beirut mega-blast may have been an accident. But the ammonium nitrate bomb that killed nearly 100 people and destroyed the Jewish community's headquarters in Buenos Aires in 1994 was not. Nor were stockpiles of ammonium nitrate discovered across Europe. The 150,000 Iranian missiles embedded within Lebanon's civilian infrastructure, in the year 2020, are certainly no accident. They are all pointed at Israel; if, and when, Ayatollah Khamenei decides to attack, it will guarantee massive death and destruction on both sides of the border and utter devastation for the Lebanese people.

And, of course, the ayatollah is always making threats. In light of this week's historic Abraham Accord, establishing formal relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, we recall threats issued by Iran against Dubai earlier this year after the United States eliminated Qassem Soleimani. The ayatollah, at the time, threatened to destroy both Dubai and Haifa.

So, you might think that the leaders of France, Germany and the U.K. would join U.S. President Donald Trump in launching "snapback" sanctions against the Iranian regime in order to keep ever-more dangerous weapons out of their hands.

Think again.

Failure to take such action means that in just a couple of weeks, the U.N. prohibition on the transfer of conventional arms to and from Iran will expire.

China, Russia and perhaps other players are ready to sell advanced jets, tanks and offensive and defensive military systems, just in time for Tehran to increase its threats to the Gulf states and Israel, and to upgrade its support for global terrorism.

Would the Middle East be a safer, more peaceful place if, in three years from now, Iran would be free to pursue its ballistic missile development and speed up its nuclear centrifuge capabilities?

French President Emmanuel Macron and German
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel JOHN THYS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

What kind of mullocracy will tomorrow's European leaders have to deal with if, two years after that, all remaining UN prohibitions expire?

In fact, the "snapback" option was put in place by then-President Barack Obama as a way to win over a wary Congress that never fully bought into the notion that the Iranian regime wouldn't cheat on the nuclear deal from day one.

And cheat the regime did. Early and often. So brazenly that Germany, France and the U.K., who still clung to the deal, were themselves forced to call out Tehran.

Here's a partial list of Iran's nuclear perfidy, compiled by the IAEA:

  • Enriched uranium to a purity greater than 3.67 percent
  • Increased its low-enrichment uranium stockpile to more than 300 kilograms
  • Stored excess amounts of heavy water
  • Tested advanced centrifuges
  • Restarted enrichment at the Fordow enrichment plant

And for good measure, the IAEA reports that Iran refuses to allow international inspectors at its suspected nuclear sites.

Bottom line: It is difficult to fathom the hesitancy of European powers to jointly trigger the snapback provision designed for just such a scenario as the one the world faces today. It is an indispensable tool that was inserted into the Iran nuclear deal not by President Trump, but by then-President Obama.

Is President Macron serious about saving the people of Lebanon? Is Boris Johnson serious about leading a U.K. that weakens tyrants and stands for freedom for the long-suffering Iranian people? Is Angela Merkel still committed to Never Again witnessing a genocide against the Jewish people?

If so, then they must snapback their backbone and derail, once and for all, the ayatollah's delusional and genocidal goals—before it's too late.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the associate dean and director of the Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Rev. Johnnie Moore is the president of the Congress of Christian Leaders and a commissioner on the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom. Their forthcoming book on Nigeria with Harper Collins is entitled The Next Jihad.

The views expressed in this article are the authors' own.

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