This drawing by David Klein captures the nuclear negotiations between Britain, France, and Germany on one side and Iran on the other. (I hate the term "cartoon" for drawings that aren't intended for humor.)
Leon de Winter is right in his analysis of the failure of soft power when it comes to disarming Iran, and his final paragraph is especially chilling.
And yet Britain's Jack Straw, France's Philippe Douste-Blazy (and his predecessor, Dominique de Villepin) and Germany's Joschka Fischer (and his successor, Frank-Walter Steinmeier) talked on, clinging to a postmodern European belief in a world where any conflict can be resolved with enough reason and mutual understanding. The Troika offered the mullahs economic carrots and alternative sources of nuclear power--as if energy had anything to do with it--while Iran did what any football team does when it's ahead: It played for time. This it used very well to push ahead with its clandestine nuclear program.
Did the Troika know that Iran knew that Europe was weak? Of course. Europe's posturing was empty from the start. The only weapon that the EU was willing to consider, as a last result, was an economic boycott that would harm Europe's commercial interests more than Iran's. ...
Thanks to European illusions about soft power, the free world has two options left on Iran: disaster or catastrophe. America and Israel will bleed for Europe's lack of conviction.
Which illustrates why countries don't have "allies", they have interests. Allies are other countries with the same interests as yours in a given context. Unfortunately, America often ends up standing alone.