The following is our translation of an article from RIA Novosti with commentary, and notations [in square brackets] by Vince Dhimos.
Europe is on a roll, and if Jim Rickards is right in his audio presentation that we discussed here, the IMF, led by Christine Lagarde, is transforming the Special Drawing Rights, launched by the IMF in 1969, into an actual bona fide currency rather than the basket of currencies that has been used by the IMF for reserve purposes. That would be a really big deal. But as I mentioned there, even so, the Europeans are moving to make themselves immune to sanctions. Which is the subject of the translation below.
The article in Fortune referred to by Ivan Danilov is linked here.
I have reported in July of 2017 that the currency to challenge dollar hegemony will most likely be the euro. Then Jim Rickards recently issued an insider report that the IMF is plotting to use the Special Drawing Rights as a bona fide currency. Whether this turns out to be true or not, the confirmed information we now have in hand clearly shows that Europe is on the forefront of the movement to cut the world’s economic and financial umbilical cord with the “Land of the Free.”
Let's spell out the importance of this historic turning point.
First, when Russia entered the war in Syria, and when Putin showed the world his unstoppable hypersonic missiles last March, the world turned a corner because the US could no longer wage war with full impunity anywhere it pleased. So since then, the US has been relying heavily on sanctions to slap around states that refuse to come to heel. But now, Europe has accomplished a master coup, breaking free of US sanctions.
Let us not forget that the US' harassment of Iran has nothing to do with US interests. This constant pressure on Iran is due to the termendous influence that Israel and Saudi Arabia hold over the US government, as discussed here, here, here, here and here.
For now, the gamut seems to have been run. Military intervention in check, sanctions in check. We will see what the US does next. It probably won't go down without a fight.
The conspiracy of European leaders against the United States "will infuriate Trump"
A few days before the European Union confirmed this operation [development of a system circumventing sanctions] against the States at an official level, the respected American journal Fortune wrote that “the European Union will soon infuriate Trump” and the reaction of official Washington confirms this assessment.
It would seem that the European Union just created an official channel for circumventing the sanctions that the US imposed against Iran, but on both sides of the Atlantic it is clear to everyone that this is not about Iran, but that the EU has thrown out a double challenge: on the one hand, the dollar system and, on the other hand, US control over European countries’ foreign policy. In terms of symbols, we can say that if the American eagle has its “sanctions talons” pulled, you’ll get a rather funny-looking but aggressive chicken, this is why the issue of circumventing the Iranian sanctions has become so fundamental. The authors of the by-pass scheme — Germany, France, and the United Kingdom — designed it in such a way that the responsibility was collective. That is, this situation can have only one of two outcomes: either Berlin, Paris and London set a precedent for collective disobedience to Washington and defiantly humiliate American diplomacy and the entire Trump administration, or the Trump administration defiantly “returns to their stall” the European vassals who wanted too much freedom.
The so-called INSTEX (Instrument In Support Of Trade Exchanges) is a German-French-British mechanism that allows European companies to do business with Iran without using dollars and without direct transactions with Iranian structures that could be traced and blocked by the State Department. It has already received a lot of press, but there are a few key points that deserve special attention.
Firstly, it should be noted that in the process of creating this mechanism, Berlin and Paris united with London and that this joint anti-American work was carried out despite the acute conflict between Great Britain and the rest of the European Union countries in the context of the upcoming Brexit. This is paradoxical and incredible, but the facts indicate that the desire to “punish” the Trump administration is so strong in European capitals that even the “scandalous divorce” between the UK and the EU could not prevent unification around this idea.
US President Donald Trump threatened to destroy Turkey if it attacks the Kurds in Syria. Political analyst Dmitry Yuriev on radio Sputnik spelled out the trouble with the US policy in the region.
The second important aspect of the current situation: the Europeans have demonstrated hitherto uncharacteristic stubbornness and readiness to pursue an independent policy, despite direct threats from the Trump administration, which were voiced through “leaks” to American news agencies and, most likely, were also transferred to Berlin, Paris and London through the appropriate diplomatic channels.
"The White House is warning the Europeans that if they try to circumvent US sanctions against Iran, they will be subjected to heavy fines and punishments. The EU is calmly implementing the plan, which, if implemented, could aggravate transatlantic relations," reported the Associated Press.
The consistency and courage of the leading European powers is especially valuable in view of the fact that prior to the creation of the current tripartite mechanism, countries such as Austria and Luxembourg, traditionally financial and banking centres of Europe, abandoned the role of the “host countries” of the structure through which transactions with Iran will pass, and this refusal was motivated by pressure from the United States. However, apparently, the issue turned out to be so fundamental that the leading EU members decided to take matters into their own hands and divided the responsibility into three: the structure itself will be located in France, its head will be a German banking specialist, and the organization's supervisory board will be located in the UK.
It is abundantly clear that American diplomacy has completely lost this round and has in general demonstrated a lack of understanding of European sentiment and the seriousness of the intentions of the leaders of Germany, France and the United Kingdom. Last year, the US ambassador to Germany celebrated a victory when German banks refused to work with Tehran, and the Western media wrote that it was hardly possible to create a European mechanism to circumvent American sanctions.
Usually, it is safe to bet that European countries will not be able to agree on a complex issue, but this time, American foreign policy is faced with an exception to the rule.
If you look at things cynically, then you can say that the Trump administration has done more for the unity of the European Union than all the officials of the European Commission put together. Moreover, if the Europeans get away with this “Iran conspiracy” now, then the main instrument of US foreign policy [sanctions] will be useless, and you don’t need to be a prophet to see the next move in this game. If Washington tries to make good on its threats to impose sanctions for Nord Stream 2, the same mechanism will simply be extended to work with Russian companies, which makes the sanctions, by and large, meaningless. Of course, the Trump administration still has the “last argument”: imposing restrictions not on companies, but on Germany, France and the UK as states, but if the US president has the bravado to take such a crazy step, then he is in for serious internal political problems, and European Leaders will have simply the perfect reason to adopt virtually any measures, and these measures will even receive public approval.
Paradoxically, the most vulnerable element of the by-pass scheme is Iran itself, which does not like the limitations of the European solution to the sanctions problem. Official Tehran’s irritation and nervousness is understandable: the economic situation is complex, and so are domestic politics, the Europeans missed the deadlines for creating a mechanism for by-passing sanctions (it should have been ready in November last year), and now they still need to get the bugs out , which will most likely take several precious months.
However, the most important thing in this story has already happened: old Europe has demonstrated the will to free itself of US dictates, and the forms in which this will is put into practice in the future is not so important. The important thing is that Washington does not like this European freedom much.
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