European Union has moved on to a post-sanctions relationship with Iran
The Iran deal has been unanimously endorsed by the European Union’s 28 member states. Exchanges over the past month between Iran and Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, and EU High Representative Federica Mogherini have clearly outlined a roadmap for deepening political and economic relations. By reopening its embassy in Tehran on Sunday, the British government sent a strong signal that diplomatic ties with Iran were improving regardless of what moves the US Congress makes.
Europeans are now looking beyond a nuclear-centric vision of Iran to focus on how they can use the opening up to engage Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s administration. Both Iran and Europe are eager to reignite their once-prosperous trade relations, and Europeans would also like to work with Iran to more constructively de-escalate conflicts in the Middle East. This kind of progress can’t be easily undone, and if it is, European policy makers may blame Washington rather than Tehran for prematurely derailing an agreement that was given virtually global acceptance.