EU to gain the most from the agreement with Iran

Seyyed Abbas Araghchi, Iranian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs in charge of Legal and International Affairs, Mohammed Javad Zarif, Iranian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, Helga Maria Schmid, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), and James Morrison, Head of cabinet of Catherine Ashton (from right to left). (EC Audiovisual Service, 20/11/2013).

Seyyed Abbas Araghchi, Iranian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs in charge of Legal and International Affairs, Mohammed Javad Zarif, Iranian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, Helga Maria Schmid, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), and James Morrison, Head of cabinet of Catherine Ashton (from right to left). (EC Audiovisual Service, 20/11/2013).

The fall of oil prices right after the European Union negotiators, working on behalf of the E3+3 group, reached an agreement with Iran, was the first and infallible sign that this was a step towards the right direction, at least for the energy importing countries. In the Geneva negotiations, the West was represented by Catherine Ashton, the High Representative/Vice-President of the European Commission, while the Iranian mission was headed by the country’s foreign minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif.

This is an interim nuclear agreement of six month duration, reached between Iran and the E3+3 group, which comprises three EU countries (France, Britain and Germany) plus US, Russia and China. The main provision of the agreement obliges Iran to “halt enrichment of uranium at 5% purity”, while the E3+3 group will have to lift trade sanctions of up to $7 billion.

A strategic breakthrough

In every respect this is a major breakthrough in world politics and is bound to change the strategic relations of key players in the Middle East. All interested sides will be forced to rearrange their foreign policy standing, despite the limited and rather vague content of this initial pact. Presumably the main agreement to follow within six months will have far-reaching repercussions.

The European Union had a crucial role to play in this affair. The EU’s Foreign Service has been working during the last four years towards an agreement. The President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso made a statement on Iran talks: “The agreement found in Geneva between the European Union, negotiating on behalf of the E3+3 countries, and Iran is a major breakthrough for global security and stability. I would like to congratulate in particular Catherine Ashton, the High Representative/Vice-President of the European Commission, for this accomplishment which is a result of her tireless engagement and dedication to the issue over the last 4 years”.

A statement with similar content was issued by the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy:” This step shows the commitment and courage by all parties, including by Iran under newly elected President Rohani. I commend all for their efforts. And I commend EU High Representative Ashton for her crucial role – as negotiator on behalf of E3/EU+3 and cochair of the talks. Her dedication and perseverance have been key in brokering this first agreement”.

In many respects this agreement was a much-needed development for the EU. For one thing the Union needed an external success story to counterbalance the failure of its “The Eastern Partnership” strategy, meant to extend its influence to Eastern Europe. However, Ukraine, the main target of this EU strategy, made a last-minute U-turn and refused to sign a Partnership Agreement with the Union, despite the fact that this road could lead to an application for full membership after some years. Instead, Kyiv run to Moscow and singed the Eurasian Union, a Russian sponsored trade and judiciary union.

A success story for the EU

The European Union, as a huge importer of energy, mainly in the form of crude oil, has a lot to gain form the rapprochement with Iran, both in the short and the long run. Firstly, spot prices of oil fell and are expected to remain weak in the near future. Given that the EU imports most of its oil from the Middle East, a long-term arrangement strengthening peace initiatives in this tormented region, may have multiple positive effects on Europe. The EU as a major exporter of goods and services to the eastern Mediterranean and beyond has a lot to gain from the release of the growth potential of this region.

 

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

3 vital skills for the age of disruption

Jo Cox’s murderer believed the ‘leave’ campaign leaders that the ‘remain’ vote is treason

Libya: Heavy shelling and civilian deaths ‘blatant violation’ of international law – UN envoy

The ECB must extend its money stimulus beyond 2018: Draghi reckoning

How cities, not states, can solve the world’s biggest problems

MEPs adopt new Fisheries Partnership with Morocco including Western Sahara

International Literacy Day: What you need to know about youth literacy

EU: 13 major banks may pay fines 10% of worldwide turnover

Putin becomes the ‘perfect enemy” for the West

May threatens the EU with a wild Brexit indifferent to Scotland, Northern Ireland and the City

This company is breeding millions of insects in the heart of London

EU-Belarus: MEPs back agreements on readmission and visa facilitation

A healthy human future depends on healthy oceans. Here’s why

Peacekeeping chief highlights challenges facing UN Police

Airships, solar planes and Soviet-era sea skimmers … here’s how we fix air travel

Can agroforestry save India’s rivers and the farms that depend on them?

These countries create most of the world’s CO2 emissions

5 ways Coca-Cola is cleaning up its plastic footprint in Africa

Europe split in confronting the US sanctions on Iran, Washington isolated

Global leaders must take responsibility for cybersecurity. Here’s why – and how

Vendor Pulse – 2000

UN chief urges Somalis not to be ‘deterred’ by latest deadly terror attack

‘Collective amnesia’ over causes of global financial crash – human rights expert

Yemen: Tackling the world’s largest humanitarian crisis

France breaks budget promises once again and the EU’s finance offices are shaking

Charges against Baha’i in Yemen must be dropped: UN experts urge release of detainees

Rising insecurity in Central Africa Republic threatens wider region, Security Council told

Implementation of EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: EU mobilises €663 million in humanitarian assistance

LETTER FROM AFGHANISTAN: Elections serve up food for thought, for Afghan youth

How to Create a Clear Vision For the Future of Healthcare

From violence to dialogue: as land conflicts intensify, UN boosts efforts to resolve disputes through mediation

UN film festival encourages young people to promote peace, dialogue and empathy

MEPs condemn criminalisation of sex education in Poland

Climate change brings a host of other risks for businesses

Costa Rica has doubled its tropical rainforests in just a few decades. Here’s how

Intergenerational, intercultural, interactive – The 2015 edition of JADE’s Generations Club: Transforming Europe into an entrepreneurial society

‘An unprecedented fiscal response’ – political and business leaders on managing the coronavirus crisis

Stigmatized, shunned and shamed, International Widows’ Day draws attention to their unique needs

90% of plastic polluting our oceans comes from just 10 rivers

EU budget: Commission proposes most ambitious Research and Innovation programme yet

What business leaders can learn from jazz

Security Council marks transition from 15 years of UN peacekeeping in Haiti

Burnout is a pandemic. Why don’t we talk more about it?

Alarming level of reprisals against activists, human rights defenders, and victims – new UN report

State aid: Commission approves €12 million Danish scheme to compensate damages caused by cancellations of large public events due to COVID-19 outbreak

Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct of Amazon

Budgetary Control Committee asks for stronger measures to protect EU spending

Financial transactions tax gets go ahead

The mental domain in times of a pandemic

Four in 10 indigenous languages at risk of disappearing, warn UN human rights experts

What can Darwin teach the aviation industry about cybersecurity?

Discovering Europe: Free EU rail pass for 18 year olds

Health conditions for citizens of Yemen’s key port city ‘remain critical’ says UN agency

Commission presents its response to Antisemitism and a survey showing Antisemitism is on the rise in the EU

These are the world’s most future-proof cities

UN Assembly calls on all States to observe Olympic Truce throughout Tokyo Summer Games

The EU parliamentary elections, explained

From Model T to EV: a short history of motor vehicle manufacturing

If we can build the International Space Station, ‘we can do anything’ – UN Champion for Space

Want to shop more sustainably and recycle better? This app could help

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s