EghtesadOnline: Despite the apparent dysfunctionality in the European Union’s foreign policy apparatus, Iranian officials are still wrongfully taking a chance on Europe to resolve its nuclear row with the US, an EU researcher said.
“Iranian foreign policymakers are putting all their eggs in one basket by betting on a passive EU that can no longer hide its irrelevance in international relations,” Bahauddin Bazargani Gilani wrote in a recent article for the Iranian Diplomacy.
In response to the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal and the return of American sanctions on Iran, Tehran scaled back its nuclear commitments in reversible steps, according to Financial Tribune.
Iran’s latest step in scaling back their nuclear deal obligations in mid-January prompted the European powers to trigger the accord’s dispute resolution mechanism, a process that can culminate in the reimposition of global sanctions against Iran.
Despite Europe’s failure to secure Tehran’s economic interests in the face of unilateral US sanctions, Gilani said Iranian officials are hopeful that Europe will somehow come to their aid, which perception is not line with the reality of a shaky EU foreign policy system.
According to the researcher, the Iran nuclear accord, which was hailed as the EU’s biggest achievement in foreign policy, is left in tatters without the US support.
Gilani, who has translated books on Europe’s history, detailed the recent foreign policy failures of the world’s largest trade bloc on issues other than Iran to paint a full picture of the EU’s declining geopolitical influence.
“The EU’s contradictory policies on the civil war in Syria and the influx of refugees coupled with the 2015 terrorist attacks on European soil showed how lonely and passive the EU was,” he said.
Gilani added that the next blow to the EU was Britons voting to leave the union, a move that was cheered by many radical, far-right movements around the world, stripping the EU of its second-largest economy and further polarizing the bloc.
One of the major disputes within the European Union has been their conflicting policies toward China.
The expert pointed out that with China’s investments in Greece, Portugal and Hungary, these member states have in return vetoed some EU declarations against China.
Last year, Italy was criticized by Germany, France and Brussels for joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative that aims to develop infrastructures for increasing trade among Asia, Europe and Africa. Italy’s G-7 membership increases the significance of the move.
The researcher noted that the EU failed to act against Turkey’s aggressive policies in the region, as it lacks a coherent foreign policy when it comes to Russia, the US, Libya or even the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that has been labeled by French President Emmanuel Macron as “brain dead”.
Gilani concluded that despite talks about consensus in Europe’s political scene, the geopolitical reality indicates the EU’s role as a bystander in international relations, all the more reason for Iran to quit relying on Europe in the nuclear row and make decisions independent of the EU.