The agreement reached over the weekend on limiting Iran’s nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief is a "great success" that paves the way for future cooperation, Tarja Cronberg (Greens/EFA, Finland), EP delegation chair said. We asked her for her opinion on the deal reached by Iran representatives and a negotiating team of the US, China, Russia, France, Germany, and the UK, led by EU high representative Catherine Ashton.
How do you view the deal with Iran? Do you think it can lead to a long-lasting peace solution?
A diplomatic solution is a great success in a situation where mutual distrust has lasted for decades and a military threat has been imminent. This was a first step where the EU high representative Catherine Ashton had an important role in coordinating the talks. Those against the result are many: the hawks in the US Congress and the hardliners in the Iranian leadership, Israel and Saudi Arabia. But it was a necessary step, paving the way for mutual cooperative work, the actual stepping stones being still ahead. In the long run, it is in the interest of all parties to find a lasting peace solution.
Do you think the deal can bring a new dynamic in the Middle East? How will it influence developments in the region?
Ending the isolation of Iran will have an impact on the power balance in the Middle-East, but also on the human rights situation in Iran. The diplomatic outcome will hopefully help to solve other acute problems, such as e.g. Syria and drug trafficking. A dialogue will hopefully ease tensions, improving the human rights situation as well. If a lasting solution is found, it will reduce the risk of proliferation of nuclear weapons in the region. At this stage, the benefit of the agreement for ordinary Iranians will be to enable them to e.g. buy medication for severe illnesses.