Tuesday, 30 May, 2017

Iran, EU discuss energy, climate, seeking to boost ties

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The historic 2015 Iranian nuclear program deal paved the way for increased cooperation between Iran and the European Union (EU), said visiting European Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete on Sunday.

Canete commenced the high-Level Conference on Climate Change in the capital Tehran on Sunday, bringing together Iranian and European policymakers as well as representatives from International organizations, reported the semi-official Fars news agency.

The conference’s aim is to review progress as per the Paris Agreement and discuss the role of clean energy during the transition to a low-carbon economy and the urgent actions required to adapt to climate change consequences.

Following the nuclear deal, “we established a dynamic energy partnership. Now we want to take this success story one step further,” Canete was quoted as saying.

Iran and six world powers, including Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, reached an agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue in July 2015, placing Iran on the path of international and western sanctions’ relief but with stricter limits on nuclear programs.

“The energy sector will feature prominently in our future relations and we are committed to fully tap into its economic and social potential while contributing to achieve our climate commitments,” he said.

The EU is ready to transfer energy-efficient and CO2 emission-reduction technologies to Iran, he said according to the report by the semi-official Meher news agency on Sunday.

Since 2016, the EU has invested 11 billion U.S. dollars in Iran’s oil and gas industry and it is ready to assist Iran in reaching economic prosperity, he added.

The European commissioner also said Iran and the EU have reached common grounds in energy security and increased their consumption of clean energies hoping that the path is paved for reinvigorating cooperation between both sides.

Iran’s exports to the EU have increased threefold following the nuclear deal, Canete said on Saturday.

Iran’s exports to the EU stood at 5.494 billion euros in 2016 compared to 1.235 billion euros in 2015 due to the EU’s resumption of oil imports from Iran following the nuclear deal.

Canete’s remarks were made during the opening ceremony of the first Iran-EU sustainable energy Business Forum on Saturday, bringing together over 50 European companies and business associations and some 40 Iranian energy companies.

The forum aims to provide a platform for investors and businesses to seek out investment opportunities for clean energy, energy efficiency and energy conservation actions in Iran.

Canete expressed the EU’s readiness to transfer their experience in developing clean energy to Iran so that Tehran would meet 30 percent of its energy needs from renewable energy resources by 2030.

He urged both sides to continue to upgrade their ties and called for European firms to increase their investments in Iran.

Iran announced on Saturday that it will start building an advanced nuclear safety center in cooperation with the EU in the near future, reported Press TV.

The nuclear safety center would extend services to regional countries as well, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, said in a joint press conference with Canete.

On April 18, Iran and the European Commission signed the 2.5 million euro (2.73 million dollars) project, aiming to improve the capabilities of the Iranian Nuclear Regulatory Authority by preparing a feasibility study for the nuclear safety center.

According to Salehi, three rounds of talks with the EU commissioner have been held since 2015 with “very good results” reached.

Iran and the EU also plan to set up a roadmap based on The European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and use its facilities in nuclear research and development, he said.

Euratom is an international organization founded in 1957 with the purpose of creating a nuclear power specialized market in Europe, to develop nuclear energy and distribute it to its member states while selling its surplus to non-member states.

Iran and the EU will draw up a five-year plan for bilateral cooperation, Salehi said, adding that the bloc will “most likely” supply 20 million euros of credit for projects to be carried out in Iran.

Also on Saturday, the fourth Iran-Europe Banking and Business Forum kicked off, reported the official IRNA news agency.

Various issues including opening Iranian banks in Europe, fighting money laundering and maintaining international standards are among the topics to be discussed during the event, president of Iran’s Monetary and Banking Research Institute Ali Divandarri said at the event.

The forum is held twice a year, one hosted by Iran and the other by Germany.

Source: Xinhua

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