News ID: 17203
Publish Date: 22 October 2013 - 12:29
Head of the Socialist Fraction and European Parliament's Presiding Board member Hannes Swoboda downplayed the effectiveness of the sanctions against Iran, and called for their gradual removal.
 Swoboda pointed to the changes taken place in Iran since his last visit to the country, and said, "My last visit to Iran took place 12 years ago and the country has gone under abundant economic development and construction activities since then as if it had not been under any sanction… .”

The European lawmaker pointed to the sanctions against Iran, and said, "The sanctions should be removed and in my opinion this is possible in a step-by-step manner … and I hope this problem will be resolved soon.”

Swoboda pointed to the future of Iran-EU ties, and said, "We think that we can have very good relations in this regard and I hope that the sanctions will be completely removed in the near future and I want to say that the Socialist Party will defend this issue in the European Parliament.”

In a meeting with Head of the Iranian Parliament’s Research Center Kazzem Jalali in Tehran earlier today, Swoboda underlined that the European companies are interested to cooperate with Iran in economic and trade fields.

During the meeting in the Iranian capital, Swoboda pointed to the current status of Iran-EU relations, and said, "Development of bilateral political relations can pave the way for upgrading the level of economic and trade transactions.”

The EP delegation, comprised of three Socialist European lawmakers, arrived in Tehran on Saturday for a four-day visit.

On Sunday, a senior Iranian trade official also stated that the Europeans have shown interest in increasing the level of their economic and trade cooperation with Iran.

"In the (recent meeting of the) World Chambers Federation held in Hamburg, Germany, Iran’s new diplomatic approach was welcomed and we saw the European countries showing interest in exchange of trade delegations and studying grounds for cooperation, which was not comparable with the past,” Head of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture of Iran Mohammad Nahavandian announced yesterday.

He underlined that Iranian expatriates and foreign investors are much willing to make investment in projects inside Iran.

Nahavandian said Iran's diplomatic moves have deep impact on the country's economy, adding that once Tehran's nuclear rights are recognized, removing the obstacles to the expansion of Iran's economy and its presence on the scene of the global economy will be removed.

Iran's new proposals presented in the Geneva talks with the six world powers (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) has been deemed as a positive approach which paves the ground for pursuance of diplomatic ways out of the nuclear standoff between the country and the West.

Earlier this year, two major European firms, Shell and Total Oil and Gas Companies, expressed their willingness to resume operation in Iran.

Lifting sanctions and opening up Iran’s vast oil and gas resources to global companies will be vital to meeting the world’s future energy needs, the chief executives of two of Europe’s top oil companies said.

Peter Voser, the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, and Christophe de Margerie, his counterpart at France’s Total, used the Oil & Money conference in London on Tuesday to highlight the potential energy windfall if sanctions preventing international oil companies from dealing with Tehran were lifted, the Telegraph reported.

"Longer term, Iran’s oil and gas resources will have to be developed to meet demand,” Telegraph quoted Voser as saying.

He was echoed by de Margerie, who said that he hoped doing business with Iran would again be permitted "as soon as possible, not just for Total but for the world and for Iran. Any country cannot stay out of the system.”

Before the tightening of sanctions against Iran a few years ago, Shell and Total were two of the most active companies doing business with Tehran.

In 1999, Shell defied a US sanctions threat to sign an estimated $800mln (£492mln) deal with Iran to develop two offshore oil fields in the Persian Gulf known as Soroosh and Nowrooz.

The project was completed in 2005. Until 2009, Total was involved in the drawn-out development of Iran’s vast South Pars natural gas field, also in the Persian Gulf’s waters.

Shell was reportedly blocked earlier this year from settling a $2.3bln debt with Iran through the supply of grain and medicine.

Iran is under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West's calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment, saying the demand is politically tainted and illogical.

On Saturday, Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi underlined that Iran only sees an annulment of all embargos as a step towards the success of the talks with the world powers.

"The crucially important point in the negotiations is the recognition of Iran's enrichment right," Boroujerdi told FNA.

He underlined the necessity for the removal of all international and unilateral sanctions against Iran, and said, "(Only) the removal of all sanctions can be a sign of practical step (by the West), otherwise we cannot be hopeful about the results of the talks.”

Last week, Iran and the G5+1 wrapped up two days of talks and agreed to meet again in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 7-8.

At the end of the negotiations, EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton who represented the world powers in talks with Iran hailed the nuclear negotiations as the "most detailed” and most "substantive” ones ever held between the two sides.

Washington and its western allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, while they have never presented any corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations. Iran denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.

Despite the rules enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entitling every member state, including Iran, to the right of uranium enrichment, Tehran is now under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions and the western embargos for turning down West's calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment.

Tehran has dismissed West's demands as politically tainted and illogical, stressing that sanctions and pressures merely consolidate Iranians' national resolve to continue the path.

Tehran has repeatedly said that it considers its nuclear case closed as it has come clean of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s questions and suspicions about its past nuclear activities.
Tags: Europ ، Iran ، Sanction
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