Tuesday

9th Mar 2021

Greek PM strenghtens ties with Iran

  • Tsipras (l) met with Iranian leader Khamenei (Photo: Greek PM office)

Greece and Iran pledged on Monday (8 February) to strengthen the political and economic cooperation between their two countries in a series of meetings where Iran's geopolitical importance was emphasised.

During a two-day visit to Ispahan and Tehran with business leaders, Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras said Greece wanted to become "an energy, economic and trade bridge between Iran and European Union”. He was the first EU leader to go to Iran since the lifting of UN sanctions last month.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

A few days before the visit, Hellenic Petroleum and the National Iranian Oil Company agreed on the first oil deal for Iran since the sanctions were lifted. In Tehran, the Iranian oil minister said Iran planned to sell 300,000 barrels per day to Europeans.

Iran held discussions with the Greek delegation on more cooperation in fields such as the financial sector, medicine and health, culture and education, infrastructure, transport and the construction industry.

The two countries signed a memorandum for political deliberations and a roadmap for the improvement of bilateral cooperation.

“This visit can be a good start for increasing exchanges and long-term cooperation between the two countries," Iranian leader Ali Khamenei said in a meeting with Tsipras, praising Greece for its "independent policy and line".

Tsipras, who has tried to develop ties with countries like Russia and China, for his part, praised the Iranian people's "determining role in history and also in defending their ideals and independence".

Terrorism

Faced with a massive influx of refugees coming from Syria or Afghanistan through Turkey, the Greek PM also said in a meeting with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani that Iran could "play a role in stabilising the wider region from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean".

The Iranian president, who is trying to give his country international respectability despite its support of Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad, said his country was ready to help in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group.

“Iran is ready to expand its cooperation with the EU and Greece,” Rouhani said.

Tsipras' visit to Iran comes ahead of a planned visit by EU experts to explore energy ties, and after a trip by Rouhani to Italy and France, where several commercial contracts, including on energy and one for more than 100 Airbus aircraft, were signed.

EU explores business deals in Iran

The lifting of sanctions against Iran after it complied with an international nuclear deal could open oil, gas, and industrial markets for EU companies.

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. EU industry lobbies for 'double' CO2 perks
  2. Italy passes 100,000 corona deaths, and it's not over
  3. Mask-buying affairs embarrass Germany's top party
  4. EU talks on Kosovo and Serbia mark 10-year anniversary
  5. Ex-PM says Erdoğan pulling Turkey away from EU
  6. Report: EU to blacklist Myanmar conglomerates
  7. Suspected Chinese hackers hit EU banking regulator
  8. Belgium: Political pressure to abandon curfew

Opinion

Why Russia politics threaten European security

Russia could expand hostile operations, such as poisonings, including beyond its borders, if it feels an "existential" threat and there is no European pushback.

Analysis

Ten years on from Tahrir: EU's massive missed opportunity

Investing in the Arab world, in a smart way, is also investing in the European Union's future itself. Let's hope that the disasters of the last decade help to shape the neighbourhood policy of the next 10 years.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance
  2. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  3. CESIKlaus Heeger and Romain Wolff re-elected Secretary General and President of independent trade unions in Europe (CESI)
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersReport: The prevalence of men who use internet forums characterised by misogyny
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic climate debate on 17 November!

Latest News

  1. Von der Leyen on vaccines: 'We're tired of being the scapegoat'
  2. Ethiopia: Time to tell the truth, Ambassador
  3. EU Commission 'surprised' by Belgian travel ban extension
  4. Lack of legal clarity on EU 'pushbacks' of migrants at sea
  5. Africa and Arab world still in vaccine race starting blocks
  6. Frontex's 'serious incident reports' - revealed
  7. Women hit 'disproportionately' hard by Covid-19, report finds
  8. EU 'Future' Conference plus Covid recovery talks This WEEK

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us