A national defense analyst says it is unfortunate that three of the U.S.'s staunches allies are working around the U.S. sanctions against Iran.
According to German media reports, France, Germany and the United Kingdom have created a state company, known as a "special purpose vehicle," to allow Iran to continue to trade vital goods like medicine and food.
That allows companies to be insulated, in theory, from American sanctions by dealing with a third party, but it sets up a potential confrontation with President Donald Trump and his dealings so far with Iran and its regime leaders over the Obama-era nuclear deal.
Bob Maginnis, a senior fellow for national security at the Family Research Council, says this move by the three U.S. allies is fully expected because none of them share America's concern about nuclear weapons in the hands of the mullahs.
"And so you have the pressure of the EU to keep business up," Maginnis explains, "to keep commerce flowing even from France, Germany and the United Kingdom, which ostensibly are some of our best allies, is just the nature of how countries operate. It's their best interest to keep it up."
What happens next, says the national security analyst, is a tough decision from Trump.
"Is he going to sanction them for violating our sanctions against the Iranians because of their ballistic and nuclear threat?" Maginnis wonders. "Otherwise, we just kind of turn our heads and allow this to go forward."