Gulf Crisis: Europe "Bet on the Wrong Horse”
Following the targeted killing of Iranian General Soleimani by the United States, the EU states are seeking a joint response to the escalation in the Gulf. So far, Europe has been "managing its powerlessness in the region," says political scientist Jan Techau of the German Marshall Fund.
Q: The German Minister of Foreign Affairs has said that Germany will try to be a “moderating influence on both sides.” Is this what the U.S. expects from its allies?
Jan Techau: I don't think that the Americans actually expect very much from the Europeans collectively, and certainly not that they have a moderating influence on America. But I don't think that the role of Europe in the region in general is valued very highly by the United States. This should be emphasized. What the Americans expect, if they expect anything, is that Europe, when it looks at the region and at Iran, should focus more on the role of Iran and its proxy wars in the region, in other words, on the destabilizing role of Iran in the region. The Americans always find that the European perspective lacks the fact that Iran is knee-deep in conflicts in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and also in the Gaza Strip, where it has a destabilizing influence. The Europeans are always talking about the nuclear agreement, and America would like to see a more strategic view of the region as a whole from the Europeans.