President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday expressed hope for the presence of more Japanese companies in Iran in the wake of likely lifting of sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic by the United States.
“Iran always welcomes boosting economic and scientific ties with Japan,” Rouhani told new Japanese Ambassador to Iran Aikawa Kazutoshi as he received his credentials.
The president said Iran “hopes to see a change” in bilateral relations and the involvement of more Japanese companies to advance Iran’s national projects in science and technology.
Several foreign and multinational giants had to leave Iran after US President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on the country when he pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran six world powers in 2018.
Incoming US President-elect Joe Biden has promised to rejoin the nuclear agreement – officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – that eased economic sanctions on Iran in return for curbs on the country’s atomic program.
Rouhani also urged Japan to speed up unblocking Iran’s assets that have been frozen due to US sanctions.
The Japanese envoy said Tokyo is “determined” to bolster cooperation with Tehran in areas of mutual interest, describing the two nations as “good partners”.
Kazutoshi reiterated that Japan fully supports the JCPOA and stands by Iran.
Call for enhanced ties
New foreign ambassadors from Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico, Syria, Tunisia and Uganda also submitted their credentials to Rouhani in separate meetings during which the president called for enhanced relations with those nations.
Rouhani and Indonesian Ambassador Ronny P. Yuliantoro called for increased cooperation in all areas including economy, science and technology and culture.
Rouhani told Thai Ambassador Worawoot Pongprapapant there are “very good potentials” for fostering bilateral ties between Tehran and Bangkok.
Pongprapapant asked Iran to facilitate admission of Thai students in Iranian universities in all majors, saying this would “undoubtedly plays a very important role in strengthening cooperation”.
Mexican Ambassador Guillermo Puente called Iran a “friend” of his country, saying Mexico City spares no efforts to boost relations with Tehran.
In a meeting with Syrian Ambassador Shafiq Dayoub, Rouhani said Iran will stand by the war-stricken country and help it rebuild the nation.
The Syrian envoy thanked Iran for rushing to its assistance during “hard days” of fight against foreign-backed militants and terrorists over the past nine years.
The president also appreciated Tunisia’s support for Iran over “cruel US sanctions” as he met Ambassador Samir al-Mansour.
Rouhani said Tunisia can be Iran’s “gate” to North African countries.
Mansour said Tunisians “have a special interest” in Iran and are ready to deepen bilateral relations at all levels.
Rouhani told Ugandan Ambassador Muhammad Tezikuba Kisambira that Iran is ready to transfer its scientific and technical experiences to the African nation.
He said the government will encourage Iranian companies to participate in Uganda's development projects.
The Ugandan envoy, on behalf of his country's president, invited Rouhani to pay an official visit to Kampala.