Thursday

2nd Apr 2020

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

Support quality EU news

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

... or join 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.

In Saudi Arabia, contacting the EU is a crime

Women's rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul is facing trial. One of the allegations is contacting the EU delegation. Despite pressure from Brussels, Saudi Arabia remains unimpressed.

Opinion

Trump's 'plan' for Israel will go against EU values

As someone who has been personally targeted by Benjamin Netanyahu's incitement against Arabs and Palestinians, Christians, Muslims and Druze, I still believe that peace is possible. But Donald Trump's 'plan' will be a gift to Netanyahu's campaign.

China spy suspect worked for EU for 30 years

The former EU ambassador suspected by German prosecutors of spying for China was Gerhard Sabathil, according to EU officials speaking on condition of anonymity.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAMaking Europe’s Economy Circular – the time is now
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersScottish parliament seeks closer collaboration with the Nordic Council
  3. UNESDAFrom Linear to Circular – check out UNESDA's new blog
  4. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms

Latest News

  1. Journalism hit hard by corona crisis
  2. EU fighting shortages and faulty medical supplies
  3. New EU navy operation to keep migrant details secret
  4. MEP: Constituents are our window into this tragedy
  5. Without European patriotism, EU decline is inevitable
  6. EU cancels April Fool's 'fake news'
  7. A coronavirus 'Marshall Plan' alone won't be nearly enough
  8. Trying to think straight about coronavirus

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us