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Examining the EU-Iran-US Triangle

Examining the EU-Iran-US Triangle

Date and time: Thursday, October 15, 2020, 10 am Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4)

Register on Zoom here.


  • Clément Therme, Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Nuclear Knowledges Program, Sciences Po; Research Associate, School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences
  • Sanam Vakil, Deputy Director and Senior Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House
  • Azadeh Zamirirad, Deputy Head, Middle East and Africa Division, German Institute for International and Security Affairs

Moderator: Alex Vatanka, Director, Iran Program, Middle East institute

Since the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement in May 2018, France, Germany and the UK (the E3 countries) have been under pressure from both Washington and Tehran. The Trump administration has tried unsuccessfully to gain E3 support for its sanctions-based maximum pressure policy, including the extension of the arms embargo on Iran resulting in tensions at the UN Security Council. Tehran has been pressuring the bloc for economic aid and sanctions relief while lobbying the E3 to save the JCPOA and defend Iranian interests. Within Iran, leaders including Supreme Leader Khamenei have been particularly critical of the E3 and called for Iran to build stronger ties with more dependable states like China.

Frustrated by Tehran’s destabilizing regional activities and escalation of its uranium enrichment program and Washington’s unilateral approach, the E3 has maintained unity on its JCPOA strategy. It has not however been able to provide meaningful political and economic solutions, resolve differences between Tehran and Washington, or address the many outstanding bilateral issues on the table.

In this webinar, organized by the Middle East Institute and Chatham House’s MENA Programme, speakers will discuss and unpack the triangular challenges and opportunities for Washington, Tehran, and the E3 and consider how the US presidential election might impact dynamics going forward.

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