TehranTimes: The Ukraine crisis and Iran

It may be said that the Ukraine crisis is a blessing in disguise for Tehran in the middle of the ongoing “P5+1” nuclear negotiations. I would submit that this may not necessarily be the case. Europeans might arguably take the rapprochement with Iran more seriously in the wake of this crisis.

Sitting on the world’s second largest natural gas reserves, Iran could transport gas to Europe via Turkey, a country with which Iran has had predictable and stable relations. Having adopted a noncommittal position toward the Ukraine crisis, however, Iran finds itself in a paradoxically awkward yet advantageous situation.

Iran has always juggled conflicting interests, as evidenced by its history and geography. Not this time, some argue. Iran will opt, they note, for an independent regional position, willing to expand relations with both the West and the East, a position strikingly similar to that of present-day Turkey.

European countries that have long sought a reliable and viable alternative to Russian energy, especially its natural gas, will most likely give the Iranian option serious consideration. Iran and Qatar, despite chronic friction, share the South Pars/North Dome field, together managing enormous gas reserves that offer an attractive alternative to the EU member states.

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