03 Sep 2012

Beyond Entrenchment over Iran: Can the EU offer a framework for regional security?

Steven Blockmans

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A new and far-reaching round of sanctions imposed recently on Iran by the EU is starting to hurt the country, its economy and its citizens. Yet Iran’s leadership seems deaf to demands for international weapons inspectors to be allowed unhindered access to its nuclear enrichment facilities. With a regime that is not likely to sway to international and domestic pressure, and in view of the shifting strategic landscape in the Middle East, the question is whether the twin-track approach of sanctions and diplomacy should be kept up, or whether it should make way for an alternative set of policies that could preserve the fragile stability in the wider Middle East and turn a vicious circle into a virtuous one. 

In this new Commentary, CEPS Senior Research Fellow Steven Blockmans argues that the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, supported by the European External Action Service, is in a good position to offer a negotiated way out of this seemingly intractable situation.