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EU eyes return as Iran’s first trade partner

With the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions, Iran and the European Union can now restore their commercial ties — but not without bumps in the road.

TEHRAN, Iran — The European Union’s foreign policy chief has stated that the 28-member bloc once again wants to become Iran’s biggest trading partner. “We are the ones that used to be Iran’s first partner on the economic fields, on trade, investment, and we want to be back to that,” Federica Mogherini told Tasnim News Agency during her one-day trip to Tehran on April 16.

Indeed, an increasing number of European political and trade delegations have visited Iran following the Jan. 16 removal of nuclear-related sanctions. With Iran determined to rebuild its economy, which has been hampered by sanctions over the past decade, and the EU still reeling from its debt crisis, which began in 2009, the expansion of economic ties is perceived to be beneficial for both sides.

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