EU should expand its Iran policy
January 10, 2013 / Fabrizio Tassinari
This article was first published in the European Voice. Read the full article here (subscription required).
European diplomatic circles have coalesced around a two-fold consensus on Iran's nuclear programme: firstly, the regime of Western sanctions on the Islamic republic is, at last, working and, secondly, the European Union has played a bold role in crafting it.
On both counts, the consensus is largely justified. The EU does seem to have squared the circle of its Iran policy. US and EU sanctions – targeting Iranian banks, trade and gas exports – are crippling the Iranian economy and severely eroding Tehran's negotiating position. The EU policy, spearheaded by the so-called E3 of France, Britain and Germany, is remarkably co-ordinated and has lent weight to the role of chief international negotiator given by the UN Security Council to Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief. Iran has become an example of ‘effective multilateralism', a practical realisation of the rule-based international system.
Fabrizio Tassinari is the head of foreign policy and EU studies at the Danish Institute for International Studies and a non-resident senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
Photo credit: EEAS