European Union Cosies Up To Iran

The Wall Street Journal reports:  TEHRAN, Iran—The European Union’s top foreign policy official pledged Saturday the bloc would do what it can to get large regional banks working with Iran in a bid to ease tensions between Tehran and Washington over the benefits of last year’s nuclear agreement.

Federica Mogherini was in Tehran on Saturday at the head of the largest delegation of EU officials to visit Iran in years. The two sides announced a string of joint projects—from the energy sector to migration and joint research work—in a bid to broaden a bilateral relationship that was long restricted by the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program.

Ms. Mogherini, who chaired the negotiations which produced last July’s nuclear agreement, said in a press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif the bloc was trying to “reassure” major European banks that they should start engaging again in Iran.

“The main message that I have delivered here is the fact that we Europeans have as much as an interest as the Iranians that this issue is solved,” she said in a sit-down with a small group of reporters later. “We have an economic interest also in coming back here as the first trading partner…In order to do that we need our banks to be present here.”

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