Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 4
By Umid Niayesh- Trend:
While Iranian officials have expressed interest for reviving Tehran's economic ties with the US, there are obstacles that prevent it from happening, Daniel Serwer, a conflict management professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and director of its Conflict Management Program believes.
In particular, as Serwer told Trend, there are issues with presence of US businessmen and investors in Iran.
"There are three big obstacles: continuing US sanctions levied for other than nuclear reasons, lack of diplomatic ties between the US and Iran, and American distrust of the Iranian courts and political system. You would have to be a brave investor to run that gauntlet," Serwer said.
Serwer, while responding to a question about the idea of Iran's cooperation with the entire West, excluding the US, which is supported by local conservatives, said as the US is maintaining more sanctions against Iran, unrelated to the nuclear field, so it is natural that the co-op with the EU will move ahead faster.
"The EU also has a much stronger interest in Iranian energy resources," Serwer, a former US diplomat said.
Further commenting about the possibility for the EU to gradually replace Tehran's traditional allies,China and Russia- in post-sanctions period, the analyst said that China is a major customer for Iran's energy resources and a major supplier as well, while Russia is far less important.
"There are many areas in which Iranians will prefer the EU technology and investment over Russian competitors," Serwer underlined.
While responding to the question whether developing the Iran-EU ties also may lead to improving political ties with the US, he said Washington will handle its own political ties with Iran.
"It is hesitant because of Iranian subversion in the Gulf states, human rights abuses and threats against Israel. The EU appears less reluctant," he said.
Speaking about the possibility of the US to deal with Iran economically, putting aside the human rights issue, Serwer said that he doubts the US will do that, while the EU will be less exigent.
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