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EU Office in Tehran Could Encourage More Investment
National

EU Office in Tehran Could Encourage More Investment

Lawmakers said an EU office in Tehran could help the country establish better relations with Europe, which move they believe would lure more European investors into Iranian markets.

Yahya Kamalipour also said in a recent talk with ICANA that "there seems to be no problem for the EU office to be set up in Tehran", noting that the move can be interpreted as a confidence-building measure for encouraging European investors.

Opening a center in Tehran was proposed by Brussels years ago. However, tense relations between Iran and the European Union during the nuclear standoff pushed the issue off the agenda.

Earlier this year, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, "Since we have an office in the EU, they have filed a request for a corresponding representation in Tehran. However, no right has been granted for the EU to establish such an office."

Pointing to expansion of diplomatic and economic ties after the implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the 2015 nuclear deal is formally named, Kamalipour said, "Iran must walk in step with other countries. We should not go one step forward, nor one backward."

Lawmaker Gholamali Jafarzadeh encouraged EU officials to expedite their efforts to open their office in Tehran, saying "EU has lagged behind after JCPOA; they should make up for that."

Praising the European stance regarding the nuclear deal, the parliamentarian said, "EU demonstrated that its policy is not dependant on the US."

European foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said in June, "In any case, the European Union will guarantee that the deal keeps; that we stick to that ... and that our policy of engagement with Iran continues," Reuters reported.

  Misgivings

Lawmaker Mojtaba Zolnouri expressed reservations about EU mission in Tehran, saying that "some believe that EU has general rules and that Iran can continue its relations [with European countries] within the bounds of law without any hindrance [even without the establishment of an EU office]".

"On the other hand, some believe that the [European] Union is making coordinated policymaking and we must contact it for some issues," he added. Lawmaker Mohsen Kouhkan was more downbeat about the idea, saying, "The European Union is more after meddling in countries' affairs than boosting ties."

Kouhkan called on the Foreign Ministry to determine the "agenda and aims" of such missions in Iran so that the issue can be pursued with more deliberations.

"We should be careful about the opening of such political missions in the country and should not act on the basis of the view [supported by some and not all] that we need to establish ties with all countries without any restrictions," he concluded.

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