0622 GMT October 28, 2021
The Islamic Republic will not forget those friendly countries that stood by it at the time of the sanctions and will prioritize them in the race for its market following the removal of the embargoes, said a senior Iranian MP.
In an address to a Saturday meeting with Italian Ambassador to Tehran Giuseppe Perrone, chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, Vahid Jalalzadeh, stressed the importance of strengthening parliamentary relations between Tehran and Rome, IRNA reported.
He added given the positive historical background of relations between the two countries and in view of their considerable capacities, the Iranian Parliament welcomes cooperation as well as facilitation of bilateral ties with the Italian legislative body.
He regretted the decline in bilateral trade over the past few years, describing the level of economic relations between Iran and Italy as failing to be proportionate to their capacities.
Previously, Italy used to be Iran’s first trade partner in Europe, the lawmaker said, adding however, at present, economic transactions fail to be a significant figure despite the two sides’ willingness.
He expressed hope that bilateral economic ties would see a boost in the near future.
In May 2018, the US withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 and reimposed its unilateral sanctions on the Islamic Republic, threatening other countries’ with penalties lest they continue cooperation with Tehran.
Shifting to regional developments, Jalalzadeh said negotiations between Tehran and Riyadh are already underway.
Iran has always welcomed expansion of relations with the neighbors based on mutual respect, he added.
The MP also stressed that constructive relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia would benefit regional peace and stability and serve the two sides’ interests.
Diplomatic relations between Tehran and Riyadh soured following the January 2016 execution of Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, an outspoken critic of the Saudi monarchy, in Saudi Arabia. Riyadh cut ties with Tehran afterwards in response to attacks by angry protesters on its embassy in the Iranian capital.
Saudi Arabia’s military campaign against Yemen as well as deaths of hundreds of Iranian Hajj pilgrims in a deadly stampede in Saudi Arabia’s Mina in September 2015 had prepared the ground for the deterioration of tensions between Tehran and Riyadh.
Jalalzadeh turned to Afghanistan’s development, saying Iran supports formation of an inclusive government with the participation of all Afghan groups in its eastern neighbor.
Perrone said the Italian Parliament is also interested in enhancing cooperation with the Iranian legislature at different levels.
Commenting on the age-old and good relations between the two countries, particularly in the fields of trade and economy, he expressed hope that the ground would soon be prepared for the return of Italian companies to the Iranian market and bilateral transactions would reach the pre-sanctions levels.