Friday

15th Nov 2019

EU explores business deals in Iran

The EU will send officials to Iran in early February to explore energy ties, energy commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said on Sunday (17 January), a day after the EU, the US, and the UN lifted economic sanctions on Iran.

The lifting of trade and banking sanctions will allow EU countries to restart business with Iran and discussions will focus on possible cooperation on nuclear, oil, gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency, according to Canete quoted by Reuters news agency.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 year's of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

Sanctions were lifted after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Saturday that Iran is implementing the accord signed last summer about allowing full inspections of its nuclear facilities, and halting processes that could produce weapons-grade nuclear material.

"Iran has fulfilled its commitments," EU diplomacy chief Federica Mogherini said in a joint statement with Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif.

"This is an encouraging and strong message that the international community must keep in mind in our efforts to make the world a safer place," they said.

'Challenge of cooperation'

In a separate message, Mogherini said "Implementation Day" was "a good day for Europe and the international community" and that the new development was "good for the safety and security of the region, also the safety and security of Europe".

Mogeherini also stressed that the EU was "open for cooperation, common work and also investment and business".

"I would expect that especially the Europeans that have always been present in Iran before the sanctions were introduced, will work on this challenge of cooperation," she said

For the EU, one of the main goals will be to develop the "Southern Gas Corridor" to ship gas from Iran to the pipeline through Turkey and Southern Europe, as an alternative to Russian gas.

EU member states will also scramble to get contracts in the opening market, with oil being the main prize.

 France's Total and Anglo-Dutch Shell sent executive to Tehran as soon as Saturday to talk with their local counterparts. Italy's ENI is also on the ranks to close deals for investments in Iran.

"Iran would need to attract $150 billion for development" in the next four or five year, ENI's chief Claudio Descalzi said on Italian television on Sunday.

Deals to sign

Germany, the EU's main economy and world export leader, will also want to take its share of the Iranian market.

The lifting of sanctions is "the chance to open a new chapter in German-Iranian economic relations", vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on Sunday.


Gabriel, who already travelled to Tehran in the autumn, will host an economic conference with Iran's economy minister Ali Tayyebnia in May.

At the end of January, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani will visit France and Italy. His visit will include a trip to Toulouse, home of European aircraft company Airbus.

"There will be deals to sign," an EU diplomat in Tehran told French daily Le Figaro.

Stakeholder

Southern Gas Corridor poses devastating consequences

The Southern Gas Corridor, one of the biggest pipelines ever conceived, presents severe risks and locks in a fossil fuel model instead of promoting a de-carbonised future, NGOs say.

Greek PM strenghtens ties with Iran

Alexis Tsipras was the first EU leader to go to Tehran since the embargo was lifted. He said Iran had a role to play in "stabilising the region".

EU visit to Iran designed to reassure banks

High-level EU trip designed to reassure international banks on doing business with Islamic Republic. Officials said won’t have time to meet human rights activists.

News in Brief

  1. Catalan politicians extradition hearing postponed
  2. Germany: EU banking union deal possible in December
  3. EIB: no more funding of fossil-fuel projects
  4. UK defence chief: Russia could trigger World War III
  5. Hungary's Varhelyi will face more questions
  6. Police put former Berlusconi MEP Comi under house arrest
  7. MEPs criticise Poland for criminalising sex education
  8. UK will not name new commissioner before election

Column

These are the crunch issues for the 2019-2024 EU commission

These developments will largely determine who will be running the world in the coming decades and perhaps generations. If the Europeans can't find an answer over the five years, they will be toast. And we haven't even mentioned climate change.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  3. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  5. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  6. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  7. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  9. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021

Latest News

  1. Key moments for new commission This WEEK
  2. EU threatens legal action against UK over commissioner
  3. Corruption in the Balkans: the elephant in the room
  4. Green MEPs unconvinced by Romanian commissioner
  5. EU states fell short on sharing refugees, say auditors
  6. Hungary's commissioner-to-be grilled over loyalty to Orban
  7. Widow's plea as EU diplomats debate Magnitsky Act
  8. Leftist MEPs call on EU to address crisis in Chile

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us