Europe’s Sanctions Against Iran Can Backfire On Europe – OpEd
By Vesnovskaya Maria
At a recent meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the EU member countries, an agreement was reached to introduce new sanctions against Iran – to be more precise, against 180 Iranian companies and individuals.
At the same time, none of these sanctions is aimed against the energy sector of Iran’s economy or against Iran’s Central Bank.
This decision was a response to an attack by Iranian students on the UK embassy in Tehran, which took place 2 days ago. The incident caused a real diplomatic scandal: the UK, the Netherlands, France and several other EU countries have recalled their ambassadors from Iran. The relations between Iran and the West, which have been rather tense for a long time, deteriorated even further. At first, London and Paris went as far as to insist on much tougher sanctions than those that were introduced in the end.
“Still, I don’t believe that the West will ever break allties with Iran,” Professor Sergey Druzhilovskiy, an expert in Oriental affairs, says.
“Many Western countries have too much interest in economic cooperation with Iran to be able to afford a complete break in relations with it,” the professor continues. “The Iranian market offers great opportunities for Western producers. Investments in Iran’s economy are very profitable for the West. However, the most important thing is the oil. Among the countries which can boast the world’s largest oil deposits, Iran is in the 4th place. Where will Europe get oil from if not Iran? Because of the current political crisis Libya, the latter is not selling oil to the West any more. Currently, Iraq’s oil supplies to Europe are also very small. True, there is also Saudi Arabia – but the oil it can offer is not enough to “feed” the whole of the West.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry has stated repeatedly that it looks like for the West, sanctions against Iran have turned into an aim-in-itself. The West doesn’t seem to notice that the only outcome of its anti-Iranian campaign is further aggravation of the already extremely tense situation. The sanctions are hampering talks on Iran’s nuclear program. Iran has already started to arm itself against the West. Recently, Iran started military maneuvers in the Persian Gulf. On Thursday, the German Prosecutor General’s Office went as far as announcing that Iran was allegedly planning strikes on military objects in Germany and the US, and that the Prosecutor General’s Office was launching an investigation into this issue.