Bahram Qassemi

Iran could be EU’s most reliable regional partner: Senior diplomat

Press TV- A senior Iranian diplomat says the Islamic Republic could be the European Union’s most reliable partner in the Middle East region.  

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi made the remarks in a Wednesday interview with ISNA.

“Undoubtedly Iran has proved to be an independent country that relies on its own people and capacities, enjoys economic and cultural capabilities, and can be trusted for its steadfastness and stabilizing [role]”, Qassemi said.

Iran has been making great efforts to fight terrorism, violence and sources of instability in the region, he added.

Qassemi said that political and economic relations between Tehran and the EU had improved as a result of the conclusion of the Iranian nuclear agreement – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – and consultations between the two sides over different issues.

Iran is capable of fulfilling the economic demands of the EU as it can provide an intact market for investment following the removal of sanctions against the country under the nuclear deal, Qassemi said.

Under the JCPOA, which was signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries on July 14, 2015, Tehran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against the country.

The parties to the deal started its implementation in January 2016.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Qassemi warned that the EU was in a state of crisis and might even collapse as Europe was facing several challenges, including the conflict in Ukraine, economic woes, refugee crisis, rise of far-right nationalist parties, Brexit, and terror threats.

The EU needs to boost cooperation with key international players to overcome the challenges that have made the bloc’s economy and security more vulnerable, he added.

The Iranian official, however, said that despite the existing challenges, the EU could still play a decisive role in promoting peace and dialog and setting an example for cooperation.