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Italy, Spain sending ministers to Iran for trade talks

1 August 2015 18:10


Iran’s media reported on Saturday that several high ranking delegations plan to visit the country in the near future to explore the avenues to promote trade ties with the Islamic Republic.

Jahanbakhsh Mozaffari, Iran’s ambassador to Rome, has said that a delegation from Italy will arrive in Iran next Tuesday for a two-day visit.

Mozaffari has told IRNA that the delegation will be led by Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni as well as the Minister for Economic Development Federica Guidi.

He has further emphasized that Rome is determined to once again become Iran’s leading European trade partner.

The value of the country’s annual trade with Iran stood at above €7 billion before the US-engineered sanctions against Iran intensified in 2011. The figure later dropped to about €1 billion afterwards, IRNA reported.

“Italy can satisfy Iran’s needs in multiple areas including energy projects, power plants, the auto industry, the railway network, and steel production plants,” said Mozaffari.

Meanwhile, ISNA news agency has quoted Spanish media as reporting that a top-level delegation will arrive in Tehran from Madrid in early September.

The delegation will be led by Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo as well as Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism José Manuel Soria López.

They plan to open the way for the presence of Spanish businesses that are interested in investing in multiple areas of the Iranian market including the oil industry, the infrastructure sector as well as the telecommunications industry.

Spain’s energy giants Repsol and CEPSA were involved in Iran’s oil and gas projects before sanctions were put into place as of 2011.

CEOs of both companies will travel to Tehran together with the top level diplomatic delegation, the ISNA report added.

The visits by European delegations follow a breakthrough in Vienna last month by Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany – over the Iranian nuclear energy program.

Iran and P5+1 announced at the end of their marathon talks on July 14 that they have agreed on certain restrictions over the Iranian nuclear energy program in return for the removal of certain economic sanctions against Iran.

This triggered a wave of visits to Tehran by ranking business delegations. The first to arrive in Tehran following the Vienna nuclear breakthrough was German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel who led a top-level business delegation to Iran on July 19.

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