Why Is America Protecting Iran From Germany?

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi speaks during the Board of Governors meeting on June 3.
Askin Kiyagan/Anadolu via Getty Images

Why Is America Protecting Iran From Germany?

Europe is ready to go it alone.

Iran has about everything it needs to assemble a nuclear weapon. It could develop a bomb any moment it wants to. The rest of the world is getting anxious. The International Atomic Energy Agency (iaea), the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, is having a Board of Governors meeting from June 3 to 7. Germany, France and the United Kingdom have submitted a proposal to censure Iran, despite significant pressure to lay off. This pressure didn’t come from Russia or China: It came from the United States of America.

The three countries forwarded the draft proposal on Monday. Yesterday, the board approved the proposal 20 to 2, with 12 abstentions. The U.S. was among those that voted for the proposal. The censure meanwhile is more of a reprimand than a measure that would actually stop Iran. So how is the United States causing problems?

Before the actual vote, citing anonymous diplomats, the Wall Street Journal claimed on May 27: “The U.S. is arguing against an effort by Britain and France to censure Iran at the [iaea’s] member-state board in early June. … The U.S. has pressed a number of other countries to abstain in a censure vote, saying that it is what Washington will do.”

“European diplomats have warned that failure to take action would undermine the authority of the iaea,” the Journal continued. “They say it also weakens the credibility of Western pressure on Iran. And they are frustrated over what they see as U.S. efforts to undermine their approach.”

The U.S. denied the report’s claims. But if the Journal’s sources are to be believed, the U.S. was doing everything it could to stop it from happening before publicly about-facing at the last minute.

Why would the U.S. do this? In April, Iran’s Shargh newspaper reported nuclear talks have started again with America. According to Shargh, Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Amir Saeed Iravani has been negotiating with the U.S. to resurrect the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (jcpoa). The U.S. may fear pressure from other Western powers could derail negotiations.

Germany, France and the UK, sometimes called the E3, were original parties to the jcpoa. When the U.S. under President Donald Trump left the agreement in 2018, the three European states were among the most vocal protesters. This was despite Iran acquiring billions of dollars in sanctions relief while openly flaunting the deal’s provisions. Yet now America is protecting Iranian nuclear ambitions in the face of Europe. The roles have reversed.

President Joe Biden’s administration, in continuation with Barack Obama’s policies, has been clandestinely supporting Iran’s nuclear program for some time now. But it also maintained a facade with certain allies. It defended Israel from Iran’s barrage of missiles in April but twisted Israel’s arm not to retaliate. It is offering Saudi Arabia security guarantees against a nuclear Iran, even as it gives Iran sanctions waivers to continue its march to the bomb. We can now add Europe to the list.

Censure will not stop Iran’s nuclear march. It was censured by the iaea in 2022 with little more than a strongly worded memo. The current censure did little more than “call” Iran to “provide sufficient cooperation with the [iaea] and take the essential and urgent actions” needed to calm the international community down. If the U.S. wanted to maintain the impression that it was concerned with Iran’s actions, supporting this latest censure would be a good way to do so. It would be a meaningless token that would make America look good in front of the cameras while maintaining under-the-table dealings.

Anonymous diplomats told French media that the U.S. doesn’t want Middle Eastern geopolitics aggravated before the upcoming presidential elections. But it’s hard to see how a strongly worded memo would counter the Houthis’ sinking ships in the Red Sea or Hezbollah’s saber-rattling against Israel. Iran is used to meaningless finger-wagging from the international community. The U.S.’s diplomatic pressure sends a signal, not to Iran, but to Europe. It’s an open declaration to its allies that the pretense is dropped. The United States doesn’t want Iran to abandon its nuclear program.

It’s not new for America to jab at Israel when it comes to dealing with Iran. It’s not even that abnormal for America to sideline the moderate Arabs. But Europe is a whole different ball game. The UK, France and Germany are major military allies and trade partners that contribute heavily to other U.S. foreign-policy priorities, like the war in Ukraine. Snubbing these countries basically puts Iran at the top of America’s diplomatic queue. It means America values good relations with Iran more than any of its conventional allies.

In 2015, the U.S. sidelined its Middle Eastern partners to get the jcpoa off the ground. Back then, not everybody in the Western camp saw Iran as a threat. In 2024, just about everybody does—except the U.S. government. And even if it means trashing its relationship with its oldest allies, the Obama presidency 2.0 is willing to go it alone to keep its relationship with Iran.

Europe got the message. Now it too is willing to go it alone.

Europe went ahead with its strongly worded memo despite U.S. pressure. Instead of complying, the E3 sidelined the United States. Europe is starting to take matters into its own hands.

This may have taken the U.S. off-guard a little bit, ergo America’s sudden turnaround. According to the New York Times, the resolution did have some text reworded that apparently soothed some of the U.S.’s ruffled feathers. (The Journal’s sources meanwhile suggested the U.S. was upset about more than just modifiable wording.)

But Europe evidently is realizing it cannot depend on the U.S. for protection against Iran. Today, the result is a censure at the iaea. But what will Europe do when Iran becomes a greater threat?

A prophecy in Daniel 11:40 gives the answer: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.”

This is an end-time prophecy regarding two power blocs. The Bible, combined with secular history, shows “the king of the north” to be a unified power in Europe. (See here for more information.) The other bloc is south of Europe. It has a “pushy,” provocative foreign policy. (The root of the Hebrew word for “push” suggests a horned animal goring its opponent.) Verse 41 shows the fight will be over the Holy Land. Since the 1990s, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has identified the king of the south as Iran.

Iran’s rush to nuclear weapons is a provocative push against Europe. And notice: America isn’t mentioned in this prophecy.

Mr. Flurry writes in his booklet The King of the South:

On Jan. 12, 2016, just four days before the implementation of the original nuclear deal, Iran humiliated the U.S. Navy by holding some of its sailors hostage at gunpoint, parading them before the world and demanding an apology from them. It was a strong power play. The mullahs sent an ominous message to the world: You can’t rely on America for protection and support anymore—especially in the Middle East. We are now in charge here.

A lot has happened since 2016. Now the U.S. doesn’t need Iran to send the world these kinds of messages. America is happy to send them itself.

“The prophecies … point to a time when the United States is no longer a major player in the Middle East,” Mr. Flurry continues. “Once America is gone, this king of the south will set its sights on another target: the king of the north.”

Europe is starting to wake up to the U.S. exiting the picture. It won’t be long before it realizes nobody is left to counter Iran but itself.

To learn more, request a free copy of The King of the South.