1144 GMT December 15, 2017
The European Parliament (EP) in its full session in Strasbourg Tuesday adopted a resolution on a new EU strategy towards Iran following the nuclear agreement by 456 votes to 174.
The resolution says that the EU should reset its relations with Iran through comprehensive, cooperative, critical and constructive dialogue.
It advocates expanding trade with Iran, and calls for active EU diplomacy to de-escalate tensions between Tehran and Riyadh.
"My report stands for peace, an active diplomatic role for Europe, and a belief that by identifying common interest where it exists, that it is possible to build on it," said EP rapporteur of the report, Richard Howitt from the UK.
The resolution notes that "the Iran nuclear deal was a notable achievement for multilateral diplomacy, and for European diplomacy in particular".
The EP supports the expansion of the EU's trading relations with Iran, which currently stand at about USD 8 billion, and believes it should aim towards making the EU Iran's main trading partner.
It welcomes the positive results already brought by the nuclear deal: a 43% increase in trade between Iran and the EU during the first six months of 2016 and around 30 Iranian banks reconnecting to SWIFT.
The resolution calls for an active EU diplomacy to de-escalate tensions between Tehran and Riyadh, as their constructive cooperation is essential in "finding solutions to end armed conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen".
Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi welcomed the resolution of the European Parliament to normalize ties with Iran, saying that it indicates the resolve on the European Union to expand relations with Iran.
In addition to considering Iran's influential role in the region and contribution to the international peace and stability, the resolution calls for expansion of relations with Iran in all political, economic, energy, scientific, educational, research and environment areas, the spokesman said.
Calling on the European Union to refrain from a political approach to human rights issue, Qasemi said that Iran is ready to engage in dialogue over human rights and present the Islamic views about human rights.