The European Union has failed to agree new sanctions against Iran amid fears that punishing Tehran for its missile programme would not stop US President Trump from abandoning a separate nuclear deal.
The EU is eager to safeguard the nuclear pact, under which Tehran agreed to curb its ambitions for at least a decade, but Trump has been a fierce critic.
Commenting on the EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg, Free University of Brussels political scientist Firouyeh Nahvandian said that economic ties between some European countries and Iran are much more important than damaging reports on Iran's human rights record by the United Nations or the European Parliament.
Trump has threatened not to extend U.S. sanctions relief on Iran related to the nuclear agreement.
The deal sees the West mostly lifting extensive sanctions in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear programme.