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Negotiations for a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the EU and Iran have been put on hold since August 2005, when Iran started to intensify its nuclear activities.

Trade picture

  • The EU used to be the first trading partner of Iran, but due to the sanctions regime, China, the UAE and Turkey are now Iran's main trade partners, followed by the EU.  
  • Most EU imports from Iran are energy related, while EU exports to Iran are mainly machinery and transport equipment and chemicals. Due to the sanctions, EU oil imports from Iran came to a complete halt. Total EU imports from Iran decreased by 86% between 2012-13, and total EU exports decreased by 26% during the same period.

EU-Iran "trade in goods" statistics

Trade in goods 2013-2015, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2013 0.8 5.4 4.7
2014 1.2 6.4 5.3
2015 1.2 6.5 5.3

EU-Iran "trade in services" statistics

Trade in services 2012-2014, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2012 0.5 1.0 0.5
2013 0.5 0.9 0.4
2014 0.8 1.0 0.2

Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2014, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2014 -1.5 4.0 5.4

Date of retrieval: 14/04/2016

More statistics on Iran

EU and Iran

Trade with Iran is subject to the EU general import regime, since Iran is not a member of the WTO and there is no bilateral agreement between the EU and Iran. Iran applied to join the WTO in 1996, but there has been no agreement at the WTO to start the accession process.

Subject to the conditions set out by the EU sanctions regime, EU trade with Iran is in principle still legal, but is  in practice affected by different restrictions. For exact references to specific products, please consult the Foreign Policy Instruments sanctions database about the latest adopted sanctions measures.

For specific question on sanctions, you can contact the sanctions mailbox.

Trading with Iran