Since the collapse of bipolarity and, notably, after US regime’s change of policy in Afghanistan and Iraq, the European Union (EU) has developed both a security and a peace-conflict management strategy, and it has become a pivotal player in the Middle East. These are indications of significant progress. However, the fact remains that after two decades of intensive negotiations with Iran, the EU has achieved limited results in preventing Iran’s nuclear programs. This article undertakes an appraises the EU’s strategy, arguing that the EU, which is still far from a unified global actor, does not possess an explicit, sustainable, security strategic framework for its external action, i.e. there is a strategic void. The EU’s foreign policy strategies oscillate between a comprehensive security strategy in terms of strategically coherent diplomatic approach and a non-military coercive approach through multilateral sanctions, i.e. a two-step approach. These default security approaches are strategically weak and potentially dysfunctional for security policy purposes. The article’s core argument is that a successful resolution of Iran nuclearization requires effective balancing and a containment strategy. It illustrates these points by examining the flows through the success or otherwise of the implementation of issue specific policies regarding Iran’s nuclear programs.
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UACES 40th Annual Conference: Exchanging ideas on Europe: Europe at a crossroads, 2010