President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi on Monday hailed 500 years of “friendly and constructive” relations between Tehran and Vienna during a phone call with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
“This long history [of ties] is a valuable asset for future relations”, Raeisi said.
He complained about a decline in the volume of bilateral trade, saying there is no “reasonable justification for the reduction despite the will and benefit of economic interactions”.
“We must protect the interests of the two countries and not allow ill-wishers to affect relations,” Raeisi said.
The president pointed to the outbreak of COVID-19 mutated strains and said Iran welcomes cooperation with Austria on supplying coronavirus vaccines.
He also said Tehran is ready to work with Vienna on joint research related to COVID-19 vaccines.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Raeisi blamed the United States for the situation in Afghanistan where the Taliban seized power more than a week ago in a rapid offensive amid the withdrawal of US-led foreign forces.
“Afghanistan has not witnessed a good day since the Americans began interfering in its affairs,” he said.
The president added that Afghan political factions should see the withdrawal of US forces as a “turning point”and work together to reach a model of governance that is“acceptable” to the people of Afghanistan.
Raeisi said Iran seeks to help establish peace and security in Afghanistan.
“We are ready to cooperate with all governments that feel responsible for establishing peace and tranquility in Afghanistan,” he pointed out.
Kurz expressed willingness for the expansion of ties with Iran in all fields and hoped success for the new Iranian government in bringing social and economic prosperity for the nation.
He also called for the resumption of talks between Iran and world powers in Vienna “as soon as possible” to revive the 2015 nuclear deal and hoped that the discussions would bear fruit.
The Austrian leader also thanked the Iranian president for inviting him to visit Tehran.