FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Trita Parsi
Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council released the following statement on the report from the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs on EU strategy toward Iran in the wake of the nuclear deal:
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“The successful nuclear negotiations with Iran were a game changer and Europe is poised to make the most of the opportunity while the U.S. risks being stuck on the sidelines. The European Parliament deserves tremendous credit for laying out a strategy to improve relations with Iran through enhanced trade and cooperation, in addition to addressing issues of outstanding concern through proven diplomatic channels. It would be a tremendous mistake for the EU and other nations to fail to capitalize on the opening created by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action by returning to a strategy solely based on isolation and military threats. Enhanced engagement with Iran is necessary not just to sustain the nuclear accord, but also to find solutions to continuing sources of tension including human rights violations in Iran and regional conflicts.
“The report, led by Rapporteur Richard Howitt, underlines the importance of enhanced political dialogue and calls for confidence-building measures in technical areas and inter parliamentary dialogue. It calls for the EU to develop commercial, financial and economic cooperation to promote stability while encouraging Iran to take steps to improve its business environment, including by adopting the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force. On regional security, the report highlights that Iran is a major player in the region and that the EU should encourage Iran to play a constructive role in resolving political crises in the region – including in Iraq, Syria and Yemen – and should push Saudi Arabia and Iran toward rapprochement. On human rights, the report calls on Iran to better accommodate political pluralism, to eliminate the death penalty for drug-related offenses and to release all political prisoners.
“Unfortunately, given the desire among many in the U.S. to return to a containment policy after the nuclear accord, the U.S. will miss out on opportunities to work with the EU to improve relations with Iran to stabilize the region. By maintaining an economic embargo on Iran, the U.S. sacrifices its own interests and cedes influence within Iran to other countries. This makes it even more vital for the EU to utilize the opening created by the nuclear accord to pursue the recommendations in the report, lest the accord be put at risk and the current diplomatic opportunities squandered.”