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Op-Ed: Iranian Regime Approaches Europe after Trump’s Election

Iranian political theorist and activist Reza Parchizadeh claims that since Donald Trump’s presidential victory, Tehran is trying to get closer to Europe.
Hossein Mousavian Photo Credit: Reza Parchizadeh

After the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States and the prospect of a tough Republican administration in the White House on the horizon, the Iranian regime has once again turned to Europe to bolster its position.

In a desperate effort, under the cover of an international banking and commercial symposium that was actually held by the Iranian embassy and its representatives in Frankfurt, Germany, the Iranian regime attempted to win European support for the continuation of the so-called nuclear deal as well as the maintaining of its military hegemony in the Middle East.

According to Asr Iran, Hossein Mousavian was the keynote speaker of the event. He opened his talks by saying that “38 years after the Iranian Revolution, Europe and Iran have not been able to reach a stable and comprehensive relationship yet. We must see to it that it happens.” As part of the “roadmap” to reach that relationship, Mousavian stated that Iran and Europe must find a way to circumvent the United States which, according to him, has been the stumbling block for the process of peace between Iran and Europe.

However, Mousavian believes that “Obama’s heritage” has opened an unprecedented “gulf” in the American political establishment as well as society, which Iran and Europe can exploit to their mutual benefit. Mousavian proposed that Europe must take advantage of that gulf and approach that sector of the American establishment and society which favors a rapprochement with Iran.

In the meantime, Mousavian blamed the West and its regional allies in the Middle East for the instability of the region. He said that while the Iranian military is in Syria at the express request of Syria’s “legal” government, the presence of Americans, Europeans and Arabs in Syria is illegal, and that they are the ones who are supporting “the terrorists.” In that regard, Mousavian also blamed Israel, and alleged that by aggrandizing the Iranian presence in Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to obstruct the peace process in the Middle East. In order to prevent that, Mousavian proposed that Iran and Europe should create a “Committee for Crisis Management in the Middle East” to fight terrorism.

To lure the Europeans, Mousavian tried to hold the promise of economic prosperity before their eyes. He said, “In the coming five years, Iran will have the capacity for 1,000 billion dollars of investment. Europe can have a considerable share of that. But it is first necessary that Iran and Europe reach extensive commercial, industrial and economic agreements to take care of the investment, customs, banking and technology transfer problems.”

Mousavian is known as a high-profile lobbyist for the Iranian regime. He used to be Iranian ambassador to Germany during the early 1990s, when a great number of Iranian dissidents in Europe were assassinated by the regime. Mousavian was discovered to be linked to the assassins and was expelled from Germany. Later, during the first phase of Iranian nuclear development in the early 2000s, Mousavian was a key negotiator with the European delegation. During most of Obama’s tenure, Mousavian appeared to stay in the United States as a “visiting scholar” at Princeton University. However, his real job was to lobby for the Iranian regime. With the dramatic change of political climate in the United States, he seems to have slipped out while he still could.

JOL Blogger | Reza Parchizadeh

Reza Parchizadeh is a political theorist and analyst. He has a BA and an MA in English Language and Literature from University of Tehran, Iran; has studied Media and Communication Studies at Örebro University, Sweden; and is a Ph.D. candidate in English Literature and Criticism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). Reza has published five books and many articles so far both in Persian and English. Some of his articles have been translated into Arabic. His research interests include theory, philosophy, history, geopolitics, security, and cultural studies. Reza is co-editor-in-chief of the Persian-language think tank Tahlil Rooz.

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