EU Office Will Help Ensure Effective Interaction

EU Office Will Help Ensure Effective Interaction EU Office Will Help Ensure Effective Interaction

The top diplomat from the European Union described the recent decision made with Iranian officials to open an EU diplomatic mission in Tehran as a "useful" step to ensure future comprehensive cooperation would produce "concrete" results.

Seeking to capitalize on last year's Iran nuclear deal, EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, led a high-level delegation of seven commissioners to Tehran at the weekend.

European and other major powers concluded a deal with Iran last July that entered the full implementation phase on January 16 to temporarily curb Tehran's nuclear work in exchange for the removal of economic sanctions, opening a long closed lucrative market to foreign businesses.   

On Mogherini's one-day visit, the two sides agreed to expand cooperation in a wide range of areas, including political, economy, culture, education, human rights, energy, environment, transport and agriculture.

She and her Iranian counterpart issued a joint statement laying out the objectives and framework of the cooperation.

The statement provides for the dispatch of an EU liaison team with a view to opening a diplomatic mission in Tehran.

In an interview with Tasnim News Agency published on Saturday, Mogherini said, "I cannot foresee timing [of opening the mission], but I can tell you what the hopefully future EU delegation will do, which would be mainly to support and sustain all the work that, for instance, today we have decided to start on re-launching dialogue and cooperation on many different sectors."

"We plan to develop dialogue on energy or economy or business presence here or technology or transport, many different sectors that require a lot of technical missions, exchange of missions, and a constant exchange with the Iranian authorities and services. Obviously having a presence here would be helpful to develop this cooperation in a structured way, and also would provide a support for all the business, companies and also the financial European sector that is willing to engage in Iran, providing a framework for the European engagement in the country from a technical point of view."

"So, I think this would be an extremely useful step to build the concrete results that we want to see coming out of our cooperation."

  EU Team to Visit Soon

She said the EU team will be sent "in the coming weeks" and until the establishment of the mission it will work through the Dutch Embassy.

The Netherlands holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.

A member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission hailed the prospective move, saying it could mark a turning point in Tehran-EU ties.

"Having relations with Europeans is not a new development. But the setting up of an EU representative office in Iran is momentous," Vahid Ahmadi told ICANA.

Given that most of European countries have embassies in Tehran, the EU's request to open an office is significant, the lawmaker told the news agency.  Another MP described the decision as "good" and a sign that Europe is complying with the nuclear accord.

"Despite the EU's hostile position toward Iran in the past, their relations cannot remain hostile forever," Mohammad Ali Esfanani said. "Iran is ready to develop diplomatic and economic relations with European states."