Iran is marking the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, but it comes at a time of economic hardship and diplomatic tensions.
The EU's plan to continue trading with Iran in defiance of US sanctions has, so far, come up short. Tehran wants oil included in the new barter system, INSTEX. Despite US threats, Brussels appears to be listening.
The EU has created a mechanism that will allow European countries to trade with Iran despite US sanctions. The move is an attempt to show good will toward Iran and keep it in the 2015 nuclear deal.
The US move to reimpose sanctions on Iran and choke off the last remaining sources of Tehran's oil revenue has crippled the Iranian economy. For many ordinary Iranians, it's becoming increasingly hard to get by.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas' Iran trip made clear that Europe's role in the Middle East is little more than that of a well-meaning extra. Yet these diplomatic efforts are still important, says Matthias von Hein.
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