Iran and the European Union
- Since the early 1990s, relations between the European Union and Iran have correlated with Iran's domestic situation. Relations have grown closer during times of political openings in Tehran and tenser when the regime becomes more repressive.
- To address political, economic and human rights issues, the European Union has preferred to conduct relations with Iran in a dialogue format, instead of through the usual Trade and Cooperation and Political Dialogue Agreements.
- Britain, France and Germany have taken the diplomatic lead on nuclear negotiations with Iran. They established a framework that kept the door open for indirect and direct negotiations between the United States and Iran.
- Since 2005, the nuclear controversy has surpassed all strategic issues—energy, Middle East security, trade and even human rights—in EU-Iran relations. As a result, the EU policy has increasingly resembled U.S. policy on Iran. A decade of independent and imaginative EU policy ended with the passage of U.N. Resolution 1929 in June 2010.
- 18.4 billion Euros, down 45 percent compared to 2008
- Machinery and transport equipment - 54 percent
- Manufactured goods - 16.9 percent
- Chemicals - 12.1 percent
- 10.3 billion Euros, fairly constant
- Energy and energy related products - 90 percent
- The EU is committed to getting Iran to negotiate in good faith, despite repeated setbacks and deteriorating bilateral relations.
- Iran’s performance on human rights will be a key to EU actions. Further deterioration on rights issues could lead to additional EU travel bans against officials tied to abuses. The human rights issue could also increase the European parliament’s role in shaping the European debate on Iran policy.
- EU actions on Turkey will be influenced by what Ankara does with Iran. Turkish-Iranian relations will be closely watched. And the question of whether Turkey acts European or drives “eastward” will become an increasingly crucial question for European decision makers and academia.
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“The Iran Primer” brings together 50 top experts—Western and Iranian—in comprehensive but concise overviews of Iran’s politics, economy, military, foreign policy, and nuclear program. Each link connects to a complete chapter on one of 62 subjects in 10 categories. Printable PDF attachments also are at the bottom. Timely analysis is added weekly. The book also chronicles U.S.-Iran relations under six U.S. presidents. It probes five policy options. And it offers timelines, bios of top leaders, and data on nuclear sites and specific sanctions resolutions. And it provides context and analysis for what lies ahead. Click here to order the book.