According to the official European Union website, “the EU is a unique economic political partnership between 28 countries that together cover much of the continent.” With interdependent members, this organization was established in the aftermath of the Second World War, mostly to encourage and increase economic cooperation and to avoid conflict.
Iran and the EU had a solid trading partnership, up until early 2010’s; trading mainly machinery and transport, manufactured goods, chemicals and crude oil. During the nuclear dispute, Iran’s lack of transparency and cooperation, lead to some of the toughest sanctions placed upon a non-EU country by the EU. Even though practically, trading was still taking place to a small extent, on a more visible level, Iran-EU relations were damaged. Currently the nuclear program is said to be on hold, this lead to major political improvements in the Iran-EU relationship. This halt was a result of many diplomatic discussions between representatives.
Considering the fact that the EU was founded to strengthen economic ties between its member states, economically the Iran-EU partnership has been present, from a practical point of view, and it never really came to an end. However politically the EU has a much stronger presence, with most adherents having adopted democracy as their form of governance, they have a bigger political impact in the international sphere, and once there’s a possible threat such as Iran’s nuclear program, this creates an unsettling amount of tension.
With the capacity to grow and increase both political and economic influence, the EU has plans, and it will be using its power to eliminate possible threats. In this attempt to eliminate threats, sanctions were being placed on Iran; however it did not stop Iran from trading and finding new partners. Yet it did lead to the destruction of Iran’s image in the international world.
From an analytical point of view, this dispute was more of a power play, displaying elements of command; Iran’s unclear agenda was beginning to threaten EU security. Therefor with economic tactics EU began to demonstrate and flex their strength by placing extremely heavy sanctions. After 4 years of sanctions, refusals and rejections, diplomatic discussions took place and put the nuclear program on pause. This move received positive feedback however it also lead to suspicion, leaving political leaders wondering whether strategically; this was a good move.
All in all, on a diplomatic level things seem to be improving, especially because of new rule and new presidency in Iran, sanctions are being lifted and visits are allowed to begin discussions, however Iran still hasn’t fully revealed and exposed their plans, so tension is still present; but with a bit of hope and understanding we can look forward to a brighter future.