Netherlands to Help Mend Tehran-EU Ties

Netherlands to Help Mend Tehran-EU TiesNetherlands to Help Mend Tehran-EU Ties

The Netherlands is seeking to help rebuild Europe’s relations with Tehran, which will soon see international sanctions lifted in exchange for temporary limits on its nuclear work under the July 14 deal with major powers, the Dutch foreign minister said.

Amsterdam, which will be holding the rotating presidency of the EU for the first half of the next year, will lead the European body in checking the commitment of parties to the accord.

“Certainly, among the Netherlands’ priorities is to help implement the nuclear agreement and make efforts to ensure that it results in greater interaction and cooperation between Iran, the Netherlands and the European Union,” Bert Koenders said in a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran on Sunday.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear pact is officially referred to, was the outcome of about 22 months of talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany).  Rouhani said the success of the nuclear negotiations has laid the foundation for “good and strengthened” Iran-Europe relations, IRNA reported. As the president of the European Union, Amsterdam could play an “effective guiding” role in Tehran-EU post-sanctions ties, the president added.

Koenders, who is in Tehran on a two-day visit, also attended a press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier in the day.

He said “partnership” will be the core of the relationship between Iran and the European Union after sanctions against Tehran are removed.  

“Iran-EU relations will be based on partnership.”

Amsterdam is keen on increasing cooperation with Tehran, Koenders said, noting, “We hold an optimistic view of relations.”

Affirming his country’s commitment to the JCPOA, the top Dutch diplomat said, “Many areas, including water and agriculture, offer great potential for cooperation.”

“We have decided to invest in various domains in Iran,” he added.

Zarif voiced Iran’s readiness to increase collaboration with “partners” from Europe and the Netherlands on all issues, including developments in the region. “Current conditions bode well for cooperation between Iran and the Netherlands, France and other members of the European Union.”

“Our historical relations with the Netherlands and other European countries have suffered mainly from illegal and unfair pressure and sanctions imposed by the US,” Zarif was quoted by Fars News Agency as saying.