Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and a number of European leaders discussed the bilateral, regional and international issues on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, with all the Europeans showing enthusiasm for investment in Iran and stronger trade ties in the post-JCPOA era.
Keeping a busy schedule during his trip to New York, President Rouhani held separate meetings with top officials from Belgium, Bulgaria and Norway on the sidelines of the 72nd regular session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday evening.
In a meeting with Prime Minister of Belgium Charles Michel, President Rouhani said the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has provided suitable conditions for the enhancement of economic relations between Tehran and Brussels.
Hailing the involvement of many European and Belgian companies in projects in Iran, Rouhani called for efforts to strengthen the banking interaction, and also voiced Iran’s willingness for close partnership with Belgium in the scientific and technological fields.
For his part, the Belgian premier said his country’s enterprises are eager to make investment in Iran, urging the expansion of scientific and academic cooperation between the two nations.
In another meeting with Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev, President Rouhani highlighted the “strategic” position of the two countries, saying Iran could connect the region to the Black Sea and Europe via a railroad going through the Republic of Azerbaijan and Georgia.
Pointing to the huge oil and gas reserves in Iran, Rouhani said the country could fulfill Europe’s demands for energy, expressing Tehran’s readiness for cooperation with Sofia in the energy sector.
Radev, for his part, expressed the Bulgarian private sectors’ willingness for investment in various projects in Iran, as in the energy industry and transportation.
The other European leader the Iranian president met in New York was Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg.
Unveiling Iran’s plans to attract $200 billion in foreign investment in the energy sector within the next five years, President Rouhani called on the Norwegian businesses to seize this opportunity, stressing that Tehran is resolved to broaden economic ties with Oslo in all arenas.
For her part, Ms. Solberg stressed the need for efforts to grow the trade exchange with Iran in various sectors, such as the oil and gas industry, fishing industry and other mercantile fields.
Norway is determined to use the investment opportunities available in Iran, and is trying to remove the banking obstacles to that end, she added.
Diplomatic and trade relations between Iran and European countries have improved greatly since the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany), known as the JCPOA, came into force in January 2016.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)