Iran to emerge as a new economic power

Heinz-Gartner by Heinz Gartner,
Chairman, Austrian Institute for International Affairs (OIIP)
Iranian women shops at a grocery store in Tehran on September 30, 2012. Iran's currency, the rial has lost over 60 percent of its value since the end of last year, as draconian Western economic sanctions take effect that has spurred already high inflation to even greater heights, with food costs soaring more than 50 percent. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE        (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/GettyImages)

Chairman of Austrian Institute for International Affairs (OIIP) Heinz Gartner believes that Western politicians are under mounting pressure by trade companies willing to work with Iran after the removal of the sanctions.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Iran News Agency, Gartner said many Western companies are waiting for lifting of the anti-Iran sanctions so that they can benefit from economic cooperation with the country.

Professor Gartner who is also a security affairs analyst was recently in Tehran to attend an international conference on extremism and terrorism.

OIIP which is run by professor Gartner is an independent, non-profit think tank that focuses on globalization, European integration, comprehensive security, and the comparative study of international affairs.

Referring to the fact that Iran enjoys a progressing economy, he said Iran has the potentials to emerge as a new economic power both at regional and international levels.

Iran can join the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), provided that every economic capacities of the country was fully activated, Gartner said.

The BRIC countries are a select group of the four large, developing countries that are distinguished from a host of other promising emerging markets by their demographic and economic potential to rank among the world’s largest and most influential economies in the 21st century.
Together, the four original BRIC countries comprise more than 2.8 billion people or 40 percent of the world’s population, cover more than a quarter of the world’s land area over three continents, and account for more than 25 percent of global GDP.

Touching upon the perspectives for a comprehensive nuclear agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1, the Austrian analyst referred to the US Congress as the main obstacle on the way of making any deal with Iran.

The US congressmen are trying to halt reaching any nuclear agreement with Iran but this would be possible if all negotiating parties (Iran on one hand and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany on the other) enjoy a political intension for reaching a final deal before the end of the deadline (July 1st , 2015), he said.

He referred to President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as two experienced and internationally-known politicians who have changed Iran’s image at the global scene. Such a move, in turn, has led to a remarkable change in relations between the international community and Iran.

Iran and Group 5+1 have so far held rounds of nuclear talks. The last round ended in Vienna, Austria, which was set as the deadline to reach a final comprehensive agreement. However, after failing to make a final deal on that time, the negotiating parties decided to extend the talks for another few months. The nuclear talks have been extended twice due to certain disagreements.

Think Tank: Rouhani changed world view on Iran

Head of Austrian Institute for International Affairs (OIIP) said here Tuesday President Hassan Rouhani’s World against Violence and Extremism (WAVE) proposal changed viewpoints about Iran at international scenes.

“WAVE proposal, presented by President Rouhani at the UN General Assembly in the year 2013 made the Iranophobia project face defeat and although there are still efforts made by certain individuals to present a deviated image of Iran in the world, the world view has changed in favor of the Iranian nation and government today,” said Professor Heinz Gartner.

The OIPP head who was speaking at a panel discussion held at University of Tehran’s Faculty of Political Sciences titled ‘The European Security Strategy’ praised Iran’s stands and practical steps against extremism and terrorism, especially against the ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

“The racist criminal acts of the ISIS remind one of the crimes that the Nazis committed during the rule of Adolf Hitler,” he said.

Professor Gartner also criticized Turkey and some other regional countries’ initial nurturing of the Daesh (ISIS) and their provision of money, munitions and tactical support for the terrorists, arguing, “The European countries’ ignoring of these facts is all the same more painful.”

“Although some European citizens with extremist mentalities might travel to Turkey and join the ISIS there, but the important point is the European governments’ opposite stands regarding the ISIS, which was adopted a bit too late,” he added.

The Austrian security affairs analyst said that shape taking of extremist mentalities is quite unrelated to Islam, as the establishment of the terrorist groups is related to the social issues, rather than religions and ideologies.

The Austrian political analyst, meanwhile, ruled out the relation between Europe’s rejections of Turkey’s repeated proposals to join the EU with the Islamic faith of the Turkish people.

“The main reason for those rejections is that if Ankara will join the EU, due to Turkey high population its political weigh in EU elections will be even more than Germany,” he added.

On acceptance of Turkey as a NATO member state, too, he said that at the time that Turkey was accepted as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty the West and Turkey had a shared enemy, called the former Soviet Union.