Foreign ministers of the Council of Europe’s (CE) 47 member states will gather in Helsinki today for a Committee of
Foreign ministers of the Council of Europe’s (CE) 47 member states will gather in Helsinki today for a Committee of Ministers meeting.
Iran will top the agenda, following Tehran’s threat last week that it would resume higher uranium enrichment banned under a 2015 agreement if it is not adequately shielded from US sanctions within 60 days.
The CE is painfully limited in its options. Russia is not a buyer of Iranian oil, while other European countries, most notably the UK, France and Germany, have failed to find a workaround to the sanctions. Turkey relies on Iran for around 12% of its oil needs, but that figure has dropped from 47% only a year ago and is expected to fall further.
As such, it appears unlikely that Iran will be satisfied come the end of its 60-day deadline. Tehran’s uranium enrichment threat would still keep levels well below the 90% threshold required for nuclear weapons and similar small steps in reducing its commitment to the 2015 agreement should be expected in the short-term. In the medium-term, Iran will hope for a change in the US presidency next year. Should President Trump be re-elected and maintain sanctions, Tehran could fully withdraw from the agreement.
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