Speaking to the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Abdolreza Farajirad said: “The French, especially Mr Macron, who is less traditional than his predecessors and sees things more openly, have noticed that the world is changing, and especially after the coming to power of Mr Trump the issue has become more serious for him. They have come to the conclusion that America is a lone rider and cannot defend Europe, or that Europe’s interests will not be served when they are intertwined with those of the United States.
He explained: During the Cold War Europe, along with the US, was trying to defeat a Communist state or superpower, but today, given that Russia has turned to an open economy, it is naturally considered a European state that is ready to interact with Europe. On the other hand, it is true that the Communist Party is ruling in China, but its economy is an open economy that runs a kind of capitalist system. This has led to the growth of Third World economies, especially those of China and Russia. Mr Macron has noticed that it is no longer possible to put all eggs in the US basket. If they want to achieve security and development, they must work with new emerging economies.
Referring to Macron’s remarks at a meeting of French ambassadors abroad, the geopolitics professor emphasized that there are important points in the French president’s remarks. He added: “Considering the developments taking place in the world, Macron emphasizes that if Europe does not wake up it will lag behind and this is something that cannot be compensated under any conditions. In the meantime, America can no longer be trusted in providing security. Europe must be able to protect itself.
“On the one hand, there is China with a growing economy, and it has influence in Europe, especially in Eastern Europe, said Farajirad, referring to France’s attention to emerging economies. Europe cannot go to war with China to counter its influence and prevent Beijing from cooperating with EU member states. They also cannot be economically united with the United States because the US has imposed surplus tariffs not only on China but on Europe as well.
“The United States is trying to dismantle the EU and has repeatedly encouraged other European states, especially Eastern Europe, to pull out of the EU,” he said, referring to Trump’s statements urging EU member states to exit the Union. In fact, Mr Trump does not believe in globalization and considers regional integration, especially the European Union, an enemy of the kind of economy he favours and fights against it.
Farajirad continued: “The French want to drag Europe to a direction that would create a balance in relations between the East and the West but they do not intend to get separated from the United States.” They want to halt the terror created towards Russia – on security matters – and towards China – primarily on the economic development and acquisition of companies and on cooperation with European countries and, secondly, on security issues and set the foundation for a balanced cooperation between East and West so that Europe can use its facilities, technology, exports and imports.
The geopolitics professor noted: Mr. Macron warned that NATO had failed to address Europe’s needs. He said NATO has not played a role in fighting terrorism, which is Europe’s most important dilemma in recent years. NATO has not been successful in dealing with the issues of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen and so on. Even with regard to Ukraine and the occupation of the Crimean Peninsula as well as eastern Ukraine, NATO has not been successful and all these crises have taken place on the margins of Europe. So Mr Macron wants to say that if NATO is not successful it is brain dead”.
Farajirad, meanwhile, said: “Of course, some European countries, such as Germany, still do not share the views of Mr Macron. The reason the Germans do not want to open the space to the Chinese is that the German economy is strong and it is not interested in opening up like France.
Noting that the statements by the French president marked a transformation in the West’s line of thinking towards the modern world and the United States, he said: “We have to see how much other European countries are paying attention to these remarks. As far as we are informed, most of the European states agree that they need to build a European army so that they can defend themselves with better technologies. They also want to forge better coexistence with the countries around Europe. Today, Europe is at odds with the US, both in terms of NATO and in peripheral areas such as the Middle East, North Africa and Russia. There is, in fact, only a name from “alliance” and “Western allies”, and it is not naturally pleasing to the French and one has to see how much they can get support about their idea.
Given Europe’s lack of independence from the United States which showed itself on the issue of the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), he was asked if Macron’s idea could become operational as a new world order in the near future, the analyst said: “I do not think Macron’s statement will produce quick results. This is because there are divisions within the European Union, and this may exacerbate the split.
Farajirad continued: One of the reasons Mr Macron made these remarks was related to the JCPOA. In fact, he feels Europe’s interests are at stake as all have pulled out their companies from the Iranian market and some other countries under sanctions. Two united states would not cause such harm to each other, so they cannot be united because they are weakening each other.
He added: “Mr Macron has opened the debate for Europeans to think about it as a new way of thinking. But with Mr Macron’s re-election, the idea can be deepened and more work can be done on it. If Trump gets reelected in America next year, the plan will be pursued more seriously, but if a person convergent with Europe, such as Mr Biden becomes president he would pursue Mr Obama’s line of thinking and the idea may be shelved and they may return to the same convergence and cooperation.
Asked about Iran’s approach in this respect, Farajirad said: “Considering what happened about the JCPOA it is natural for Iran to pay more attention to cooperation with the East. However, given the current limitations, even cooperation with the East also faces serious obstacles.
“Given the trend, the eastern countries follow and the development that China has and the investment it is making, Iran should have a clear strategy in relation to China and Russia, which it has but the strategy is not in good order,” he said.
Stressing that Iran should not halt cooperation with Europe, he said: “Mr. Macron’s remarks are pleasing to us. We have to work with Europe as well. We have to be like a dove with one wing dedicated to cooperation with Europe and the other wing devoted to East with China playing the central role so that we can develop the country. Given that the ruling establishment in Iran has decided not to work with the US if we are to work solely with the East, we will have problems. They must certainly compete with one another over cooperation with Iran. This cooperation is imperative and positive and should be taken into consideration. The notion that we must either choose the East or the West or Europe is not right.