The Forum for Partners in Iran's Marketplace

October 2018, No. 89


Economic Relations between Iran and Europe

France has a relatively independent position, but Germany and the UK have
pro-US inclinations.

Dr. Ahmad Naghibzadeh, Lecturer at the University of Tehran

Europeís outlook on Iran can be viewed from two perspectives. From political point of view, stability and no-war status are the most important indicators for Europe. The second outlook is economic whose main goals include oil imports from Iran and export of European artifacts and having a big share of the Iranian market. The Iranian market is neither the most important market in the world nor the largest market in the region but has its own attractions. If Arab countries are after purchase of European armaments, Iran is seeking civilian artifacts, especially European cars, and Europeís help with the oil industry, road construction and electricity. The market in Iran is so vast that can bring some of the big and small European companies out of bottleneck.

From the Iranian perspective, European countries are divided into two political-military and other economic categories. UK, France and Germany, to some extent, fall under the political-military category; because these countries take political considerations into account in their dealings.

France has a relatively independent position, but Germany and the UK have pro-US inclinations. Even after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal) was signed by Iran and the big powers, certain European countries showed great enthusiasm to evaluate the Iranian market, but Germans were not so eager as though they were aware of the American stance towards the JCPOA. But the economic considerations of Germany, Italy and Spain are much simpler and more transparent than other countries. Iran is also more interested in small countries such as Belgium and Scandinavian states, because it finds their lack of political interventions more confident.
The post-JCPOA era is divided into two periods: the Obama era and the Trump era. Relations between Iran and Europe have always been a function of Iran-US relations, or in other words, a function of the American perspective on Iran. There are two reasons for this: One is that from the civilizational point of view, Europe and America fall in one set; secondly, because political-economic-military bonds exist between the two continents and bring Europe under American control. Otherwise there are no other obstacle on the way of Iran and Europe.

Europe, which has already tasted the bitterness of American bullying, is aware of the US imposition on Iran, but it has no other way but to respect the hierarchy of power. Before the JCPOA, the Europeans thought that Iran would completely come under the influence of Washington and, as a result, did not insist on the success of the nuclear talks, but after they realized that opposition to the United States was part of the Islamic Republicís identity, they felt they were in the best position to use the opportunity.

As a result, they are trying not to let the US resume its old outlook on Iran and become a barrier in the way of relations between Europe and Iran. But the interconnection between American and European companies is so strong that Europe would undoubtedly side with the US if it had to choose between Tehran and Washington.

Thatís why it would be much better if Europe did not have to make a choice in this respect!


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  October 2018
No. 89