Iran says it can meet Europe’s energy needs

Iran can meet Europe’s energy needs if the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear programme is concluded, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said during a press conference on Monday.

“In light of the Ukraine crisis and Europe’s energy supply problems, if negotiations (for the resumption of the JCPOA) are concluded and sanctions are lifted (from Tehran), Iran could become a supplier of most of Europe’s needs, especially in energy resources,” Fars news agency quoted Kanaani as saying.

He also noted that Europe has an excessive need for Iran’s energy potential.

“We hope that the agreement will be concluded and Iran will be able to play a more effective role in providing energy to the world and Europe,” the Iranian diplomat added.

Iran sent its response to European diplomatic chief Josep Borrell on August 22 on the proposed text of the draft agreement on restoring the Iran nuclear deal, and also expressed its views on the “outstanding issues” in the negotiations. The EU described Iran’s response to the nuclear deal proposal as constructive and said it was consulting with the US on next steps. On 24 August, the Iranian side received the US response. Consideration of the US government’s comments has been ongoing for several days.

In 2015, the UK, Germany, China, Russia, the US, France and Iran struck a nuclear deal, the JCPOA on Iran’s nuclear programme, which involved lifting sanctions in exchange for curbing Iran’s nuclear programme. In May 2018, the US under Donald Trump withdrew from the JCPOA and reinstated sanctions against Tehran. In response, Iran said it would phase out its commitments under the agreement, abandoning restrictions on nuclear research, centrifuges and uranium enrichment levels.

Negotiations were held in Vienna to renew the JCPOA and lift Washington’s sanctions against Tehran. In December 2021, the sides reached agreement on two draft agreements, in which the European side included Iran’s positions. According to Iranian spokesman Bagheri Kiani, the talks were successful, but US State Department spokesman Ned Price assessed the progress in Vienna as modest, urging Tehran to take the issue seriously. With the sides returning to their capitals at the end of March, the talks were suspended. Iran’s foreign ministry blamed the US administration for this. The next round of talks on the JCPOA was held in Doha on 29-30 June.