Thursday, May 19, 2011

Iran at Large: The Global Emergence of a Regional Power?

Conference: Iran at Large Conference: The Global Emergence of a Regional Power? (Co-sponsored by the European Union Center)
Presentation Title: From Friend to Foe? EU - Iran relations 1992-2011
Speaker: Bernd Kaussler - Assistant Professor of International Study at James Madison University
In his function as Associate Fellow at the Institute for Iranian Studies, Bernd continues to be engaged in numerous projects on Iranian domestic politics and foreign policy, has published several articles on the subject and serves as expert consultant on Iran.

Description: The paper surveys EU-Iran relations from 1992 until 2011, analyzing both European Union statecraft towards Iran and the geo-strategic and economic determinants informing EU diplomacy. Since 1992, the EU’s relations with Iran has been based on the framework of “constructive engagement” in order to address areas of mutual concern. The “Critical Dialogue” (1992-2000) and the “Comprehensive Dialogue” (2000-2003) were part of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy at aimed at swaying Tehran. European governments were convinced that the only way to approach Iran about their demands and to make it observe international norms was through direct contact and dialogue. The paper argues that during this period, economic interdependence largely dictated EU policy, with Tehran using these vulnerabilities to its advantage. With the EU’s abandonment of the “Comprehensive Dialogue”, European government have been largely aligned with U.S. policy and shifted focus to Iran’s alleged nuclear weaponization and supported Washington’s strategy of deterrence and containment. It is argued that this shift in EU strategy has resulted Iran in moving closer to Turkey as a new third party mediator and strategic ally and has so far prevented an EU-brokered initiative to break the stalemate.

Videos for all conference presentations can be found here:


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