Economic Relations between Iran and Europe
France has a relatively independent position, but Germany and the UK
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!