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CMES Policy Report: Europe’s Changing Perceptions and Policies Toward Iran

Cover of the workshop program.
Photo: Nastaran Taghipour/Unsplash

Read the summary conclusions from the CMES policy-research dialogue that explored the multifaceted relationship between Iran and Europe.

The report is based on a policy-research dialogue organised by CMES in April 2024 with international scholars and practitioners. 

Executive Summary

For more than two decades, Iran’s nuclear program has been a central focus of Europe’s engagement with Iran. Presently, with the virtual collapse of the Iran nuclear agreement (JCPOA) and Iran’s support for Russia in the war against Ukraine—coupled with the repercussions of the Mahsa Amini protests and the war in Gaza—Europe’s relations with Iran are deteriorating as Iran’s interests in Europe are declining. This workshop offered a platform for an exchange of views among European-based experts to gain a deeper understanding of these developments and the future trajectory of European-Iranian relations. Additionally, it explored European policy options for addressing the challenges posed by Iran. Over the course of two days of insightful discussions, five major conclusions were reached.

  1. Iran’s domestic environment contributes to the growing rift with Europe.
  2. Nuclear diplomacy is no longer a priority even as Iran’s nuclear capabilities advance.
  3. Iran’s support for the resistance axis reflects a regional and global vision at odds with Europe.
  4. Europe’s relationship with Iran has undergone a paradigm shift.
  5. Options for diplomacy with Iran are limited but Europe still has a role to play.

To read the entire report, click on the link below: