The Iran Issue and the Role of the EU

The Finnish Institute of International Affairs · 22.11.2006 00:00 - 00:00


In addition to Dr. Amin Zadeh, a Parliamentary delegation and the new Ambassador of the Islamic Republic in Finland, Dr. Reza Nazarahari, also participated in the event. The seminar was opened by Ambassador Nazarahari’s speech on the relations between Europe and Iran. He outlined the five-century-old relationship from a historical dimension stressing the geostrategical importance of Iran as well as the country’s location in the intersection of trade routes.

The central message of Dr. Amin Zadeh’s presentation was a call for more multilateralism and single standards in global politics. She wished the EU would not resort to unilateralism, as the United States has done, and called for a more just international system in which the United Nations Security Council would treat all UN members consistently and according to the Charter. As to the nuclear issue, the speaker believed the problems can be solved only through negotiations and without any preconditions.

At the global stage, the EU, according to Dr. Amin Zadeh, is a constructive actor that can exert influence by means of dialogue and prevent threats and intervention in the matters of Middle Eastern states. According to her, negotiations with the EU on the nuclear issue are under way and the United States should not be permitted to interfere in this process. She criticized the IAEA by saying that despite the extensive cooperation Iran has made with the agency, the former has chosen to turn a technical issue into a political one. Dr. Amin Zadeh delivered a welcome message for European companies to cooperate and participate in the construction of nuclear stations in Iran. This has economic advantages for both parties and would increase transparency.

After the speech, several questions were presented by the audience. Many significant topics were touched upon, such as the role of Iran in helping to solve the situation in Iraq, Iran’s relations with Hezbollah, the non-recognition of Israel and the relationship with the Palestinians, as well as the nuclear standoff and power relations in the region. According to Dr. Amin Zadeh, Iran can play a very important role in solving the situation in Iraq politically but as long as Iraq remains occupied by the United States, Iran cannot fulfil this role. Accepting the potential of Iran in this issue would also clarify the situation. As to Israel, the constitution of Iran states that a state which is based on occupation is not considered a state. The speaker maintained that if democratic elections were to be held in the area, the state of Israel would not prevail. Asked on the interests of the United States regarding Iran, the speaker assured that were the nuclear issue to be solved, the U.S. would come up with other issues, such as human rights demands, since the ultimate motive of the United States is regime change in Iran. Russia and China are regarded by Iran as ‘normal countries’ since they do not pursue a policy similar to that of the U.S., which seeks to dominate the region. On relations with Hezbollah and Iran’s position on the rearmament of the organisation, Dr. Amin Zadeh stressed that Iran supports any movement which defends its country – morally of course. She called for the Europeans to support the Lebanese people in the present situation.

Mari Luomi