As Europe and China fall in line, sanctions loom over Iran
Duetche Welle / David Francis

Since 2004, the European Union has publicly claimed the united position that the row over Iran's nuclear program should be resolved diplomatically, but has reserved the right to back United Nations Security Council sanctions if Iran does not comply to international demands.

Yet, consistently since that time, individual nations have indicated a willingness to establish independent relationships with Iran, both political and economic, which seemingly ignore Brussels' position. Europe claims to be united, but a closer examination shows that this unity is an illusion.

For instance, Germany has developed deep business ties with Iran, with more than 50 German companies basing their offices there. Trade volume between the two has increased steadily over the last decade despite UN sanctions, with Germany having the largest share of Iran's export market. 

Italy also has developed a strong relationship, both polticial and economic, with Iran. Last year Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini met with his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki in Tehran to discuss a host of matters from the Italian, not EU, perspective. Italian companies also have frequently done business with Tehran, selling them goods and services that could have both military and civilian uses.

These relationships have helped Iran to sustain and continue its nuclear program. As of Tuesday, Tehran plans to enrich uranium at a higher level t... >>>

recommended by Monda