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Charles Lane argues that relations between Germany and the US are becoming strained as a result of "double standards" in trade and diplomacy with Iran

By Charles Lane   January 1996

Foreign Affairs

November/December 1995

German-American friendship has been a pillar of the western alliance in the post-cold war era. Helmut Kohl and Bill Clinton enjoy a natural rapport. But when it comes to dealing with Iran, Germany and America have consistently been at odds. Although the two governments have assured each other that their objectives in the near east are the same-to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons, supporting terrorism, and disrupting the Arab-Israeli peace process-they differ radically over means. The US has tried to isolate Iran diplomatically and strangle its economy. Germany-and Europe-favour engagement (“critical dialogue”) built around a…

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