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EghtesadOnline: European governments are under pressure to pursue their own policies and interests in Iran and other countries of the Middle East separate from the US, partly because of fears over the consequences of policies advocated by the new US administration in Washington, reads an article published by Oslo-based weekly newspaper and a daily Internet news site Upstream. Below is the full text:

In an apparent effort to demonstrate commitment to the 2015 nuclear agreement criticized by US President Donald Trump and to provide support for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani facing hardline criticism ahead of the scheduled presidential election on 19 May, Europe’s energy commissioner led a large team of oil and business people to Tehran over the weekend.

Iran is looking for very large investments in its expanding oil and gas sector.

On Tuesday, the House of Lords International Relations Committee in London issued a report saying the UK can no longer rely on US leadership on Middle East policy and must work more closely with Europe to ensure the Iran nuclear deal stays in place.

“We can no longer assume America will set the tone for the West’s relationship with the Middle East,” said committee chairman, David Howell.

In its report, the committee cited in particular Trump’s approach to Iran and to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The report said the UK should work with its European partners on steps to ease restrictions on banks lending money for investment in Iran and to help develop new trade relationships, with Iran a priority for post-Brexit trade.

It stressed tthat the UK should distance itself from the US government’s “destabilizing postures” on the Arab-Israeli conflict and give serious consideration to recognizing Palestine as a state to show it is committed to the two-state solution.

“Iranians will prove to the world in the 19 May election that the era of violence, extremism and pressures in our country is over and Iran is pursuing the path of reason,” Rouhani told a rally in the city of Yazd over the weekend.

Iran-EU ties Iran-EU trade Iran-UK relationship