Italian minister visits Iran in hopes of better ties

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni pays visit to Tehran in hopes of improving ties between countries

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif welcomes his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni in Tehran August 4, 2015.

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni arrived in Tehran on Tuesday in hopes to improve economic and political ties with Iran, the latest in a string of visits by officials from European countries seeking closer economic and political ties with Iran after reaching an agreement regarding Iran's nuclear programme this month.

Before Gentiloni visited Iran, he was quoted by the Iranian Mehr news agency as saying "Italy's economic ties with Iran have definitely suffered during the sanctions era, but the recent nuclear agreement will serve as an opportunity for a gradual improvement in the two countries' relations."

Gentiloni was accompanied by the Italian Economic Development Minister Federica Guidi and an economic delegation.

Both Italy and Iran seek to expand cooperation in energy, transportation and agriculture.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei cast aside his notorious and longstanding mistrust of the United States and its allies on July 14 when he supported the signing of the nuclear deal in order to curb the decade long economic isolation of his country.

The deal between Iran and the six world powers is aimed at monitoring Iran's most sensitive nuclear work for over 12 years in exchange for immediate relief for the country from the economic sanctions that have long crippled its economy.

Senior government ministers from France, Germany and Serbia have been among a series of European officials who visited Iran since the July 14 agreement.

German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel urged Iran at the start of his three-day visit on July 19 to improve its ties with Israel if the country wanted to establish better economic trade relations with Germany and other western powers.

The French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius visited Tehran on Wednesday one day after Federica Mogherini, the vice-president of the European Commission. Both hoped to boost ties with Iran and find a concrete solution for Israel’s state within the region.

TRTWorld and agencies