Germany and France are often viewed as the EU pillars in their common European foreign policy. After Brexit, their role has become even more significant. Consequently, the Euro-Atlantic ...
Germany and France are often viewed as the EU pillars in their common European foreign policy. After Brexit, their role has become even more significant. Consequently, the Euro-Atlantic relations have been affected by the ways these countries react to the US’s foreign policies when they are against European values, including the tenets of the international rule of law. The US withdrawal from Iran’s deal with 5+1 concerning Iran’s nuclear program (known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and abbreviated as the JCPOA) is a case regarded as unlawful by the UN. It can be used to test how much these two countries show resistance to the US in case of disagreement. This article draws a comparison between Berlin’s reaction to the US withdrawal from the JCPOA vise-à-vise Paris’s response to the same event. The distinctions between these responses and the reasons behind them will be analyzed by drawing on the theory of neoclassical realism. Furthermore, it will be argued that while Germany’s political structure and its historical developments speak volumes about its disposition to being more conservative and taking less restrictive measures towards countries like Iran, for France, tipping the balance of power is an important factor that accounts for the country’s tendency to form an alliance with the hegemon in recent years.