Iran and European Union (EU): A New Partnership?
The Russian invasion of Ukraine was a turning point for many countries on different levels. Across western Eurasia, the existing systems such as political, economic, energy and transportation networks are being impacted. Countries are attempting to mitigate the war’s negative effects while forming new trade synergies at a quick pace. For instance, Germany and Qatar have signed a long-term energy deal to export Qatari natural gas, as the Germans seek to lessen their reliance on Russian supplies. For the past 30 years, United States and European Union has kept Iran marginalized systematically from energy trade and multiple projects that connect Middle East with European Union. European countries are highly dependent on Russia; almost 38% of the natural gas is being imported. For that reason, Europe is striving to find new options and end the dependency on Russian gas.
Despite of imposing sanctions on Iran for a huge time period, the intensity of the invasion and new economic sanctions on Russia has pushed US and EU to review Iran’s economic exclusion. For that, Iran also has to think about the Iran and European Union relationship for energy and transit projects. After suffering various sanctions, it seems like Iranian administration is harnessing new economic opportunities that has emerged due to the Ukraine war as well as Russia’s isolation. Therefore, and seriously looking upon European-Iranian partnership for its own benefits which is quite evident. On 15th May 2022, it is said by the Iran’s oil ministry official that Iran is considering gas exports to Europe. The idea was contemplated because of the rocketing prices due to ongoing war.
On the other hand, talks between Iran and US are being held to revive 2015 nuclear deal. Currently, the talks are in a state of deadlock but the EU is making efforts and a last ditch-attempt to save the nuclear deal. The EU policy Chief Josep Borrell has said in a statement: “EU will do everything possible to bring Iran nuclear talks back on track and ensure full compliance with the treaty”. With this we can analyze that a new partnership is budding between the two, on the basis of mutual interests. It will help Iran grow economically in both the cases, even if Iran exports gas to EU or the Iran nuclear deal revive as the sanctions will be removed. Whereas, European Union’s dependency on Russian gas can be reduced having Iran as a new partner.