Roula Khalaf, Foreign Editor, Financial Times
Peter Jenkins CMG, former UK Ambassador to the IAEA and the UN
Ellie Geranmayeh, Policy Fellow, ECFR
Julien Barnes-Dacey, Senior Policy Fellow, MENA programme, ECFR
After almost two years of intensive negotiations, the completion of a final deal may now create room for deeper engagement between the West and Iran, opening the door to broader bilateral, namely economic, partnerships, as well as much-needed cooperation in combatting the array of crises engulfing the Middle East including in the fight against the Islamic State. However, even as the deal heralds new possibilities, significant hurdles remain. After more than a decade of deep distrust, European governments remain extremely cautious about Tehran’s intentions, while fraught regional relations, particularly between Tehran and Riyadh, could provoke intensified escalation in the immediate aftermath of the deal.
The panel considered the implication of the nuclear agreement on these different fronts. To what extent does it open up new possibilities? Should Iran be seen as a genuine partner and how much would Tehran welcome a new European approach? The event also marked the launch of ECFR policy fellow Ellie Geranmayeh’s latest publication ‘Engaging with Iran: a European agenda’ which outlines the areas in which European states could now expand cooperation as it moves beyond its nuclear-centric policy of containment.
Roula Khalaf is the Foreign Editor at the Financial Times. She often travels to the Middle East and she has recently visited Iran.
Peter Jenkins is the former UK Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and to the UN in Vienna (2001 – 2006). He is currently a Partner in the Ambassador Partnership.
Ellie Geranmayeh is a policy fellow at ECFR focusing on Iran. She is the author of an ECFR publication, ‘Engaging with Iran: a European agenda’ (July 2015). Ellie has been closely following the nuclear talks for the past two years and recently returned from the Vienna nuclear negotiations.
Julien Barnes-Dacey is a senior policy fellow at ECFR. His latest publication for ECFR is ‘Responding to an assertive Gulf’.