In Iran, working for a new beginning

In Iran, working for a new beginning

The deal we reached with Iran can truly open a new chapter – for Iran, the region and the world. The agreement puts me in charge of following the implementation of the deal, and for this reason I arrived in Tehran today. But my trip is also an opportunity to move to the next stage, and start working for a new beginning in our relations.

This is what I said to all my interlocutors, president Hassan Rouhani, foreign minister Javad Zarif and the speaker of the parliament Ali Larijani.  I thanked them for the support coming from the Iranian leadership all through the talks’ last phase.

In my press conference with minister Zarif I focused on four different areas where the deal can open this “new chapter”. It is an investment on the Iranian youth, that accounts for almost two thirds of the country’s population. It creates an opportunity for renewed relations between Iran and the international community, relations finally based on trust. It opens new spaces of cooperation between Iran and the EU, including on business, when the sanctions will be fully lifted following the implementation of the deal. Finally, the most difficult and perhaps most relevant area: we can support a new dynamic for Middle East affairs, one based on cooperation and not confrontation.

This is something I also highlighted in a comment on today’s issue of The Guardian.

The whole Middle East is in turmoil. Sectarianism is on the rise. We need to restart political processes to end wars. We need to get all regional powers back to the negotiating table and stop the carnage. Cooperation between Iran, its neighbours and the whole international community could open unprecedented possibilities of peace for the region, starting from Syria, Yemen and Iraq.

Here is the full Guardian op-ed. My press conference with minister Zarif is here.