By Mehrnoosh Aryanpour

“Iran Deal” is here to stay, with or without America

October 9, 2017

The author of this piece is a partner at Gide, the thoughts contained herein are her own and should NOT in any way be as Gide's opinion or as a legal opinion.

We know the American president has made it clear that, in his opinion, the deal, which was struck between an international coalition to barter a significant relaxation of sanctions and economic re-engagement with Iran in exchange for deferring Iran's further nuclear developments for a decade, is "the worst deal ever" and "the stupidest deal of all time".

We also know that the rest of the world, including countries which were part of that negotiation as well as those that had no part in it, unequivocally support the deal, and believe in Iran as a reliable trade partner, source of stability in the region and advocate for common sense and peaceful, realistic policies in what must be one of the most complex parts of the world.

Now the time has come to choose.  The world may now be forced, by dint of its contractual commitments to Iran, to decide which it fears more: the specter of America's wrath, carried out through the economic tyranny of OFAC, the ubiquity of the U.S. dollar, and the insidious influence of America's global money-center financial institutions OR the prospect of abandoning a deal which all parties to it, including the Americans, know to be working, in exchange for embracing the whims of an American nation more focused on presidential self-aggrandizement than global problem-solving.

The author of this piece is a partner at Gide, the thoughts contained herein are her own and should NOT in any way be construed as Gide's opinion or as a legal opinion.

At this time, it is hoped that the world has learned what Iran has long known: Trump America cannot be trusted as a reliable partner for trade or finance, peace or prosperity.  Trump America can, however, be trusted to break its commitments, fail to uphold the ideals on which it was founded as a nation, and continue, as it has for so long, to pick the "losers" of nearly every global conflict and international hotspot since the Second World War.  

What does this mean in practice?

1. The world will soon recognize that anchoring the global financial system to the dollar is unadvisable.  For convenience, and for lack of better suitable choices, the world chose the U.S. dollar as its de facto reserve currency after Bretton Woods.  The prospect of the Euro, as the unit of account and medium of exchange affiliated with a reinvigorated Europe, one possibly bolstered by a new fiscal union, is a compelling alternative.  Banks, businesses, and brokers of the world's largest financial transactions, many of which are happening in Iran, understand the sense of using a medium of exchange which cannot be manipulated by the paper tiger that is the U.S. Treasury or abused to ill effect by OFAC, its in-house hit man.  The Euro works better both as a global reserve currency and as an option for worldwide payments and deal denomination than the U.S. dollar, the Trump-taint of which is now undeniable.  It is quite possible that a probable schism between America and its former European allies over the dollar will mark a watershed moment for the demise of dollar hegemony.

2. The world will also recognize that the decades of bad PR engineered by America and its Middle East satellite-state cronies, including Saudi Arabia, has all the substance of a Saturday morning Trump-tweet.  Iran is not, and never was, the Axis of Evil that America perceived it to be.  In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.  Not only will America's welching on "the deal" show its true colors, it will also reveal the nature of Iran as a balanced, sensible nation thriving in a difficult time and place against all the obstacles laid before it by certain antagonistic western powers. Moreover, it will indisputably demonstrate what Iran's leaders have long known: when it comes to keeping promises, America may not be at the top of the ranks, and that's never been more true now.  Europe's eyes are open, and it will not abandon the interests of its constituent nations and their leading companies which have committed tens of billions for the Iranian re-engagement based on the fundamental sanctity of the JCPOA.  It is more likely that Europe will stand by Iran, continue with its commitments under the deal, and turn a cold shoulder to America's patently unreasonable foreign policy, than any other outcome.

3. America may, thereafter, as has been the case with every ill-formed policy initiative promulgated under the farce of the Trump presidency, throw a short-lived tantrum only to realize that some things don't work as well in practice as they do in campaign-trail bombast and bluster. From its failures with repeal-and-replace to building the wall with Mexico, to jumping ship on NAFTA or the Paris Climate Accord or enforcing a terribly crafted immigration ban, the Trump administration has shown what it does best is FAIL.  And fail it will in its attempts to abrogate what was and remains a collective milestone for global diplomatic cooperation: the "Iran Deal" is here to stay, with or without America.