0841 GMT August 13, 2022
If U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic are lifted, trade between Minsk and Tehran could increase sixfold, said the head of Iran-Belarus parliamentary friendship group.
Making the remark in an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Andrei Savinich, also the chairman of the International Affairs Commission of the National Assembly of Belarus, added bilateral relations are expanding, with trade having reached $30 million over the past few years.
He, nevertheless, said bilateral trade transactions have been subject to fluctuations in recent years due to tough U.S. sanctions.
Savinich regretted that the severe U.S. sanctions against Belarus and Iran have harmed bilateral economic ties, noting that Washington’s coercive measures against the Islamic Republic have also had negative impacts on his country’s economy.
The MP said if the two countries manage to implement measures to reduce the adverse impacts of the sanctions on their economic relations, they would be able to raise the level of bilateral trade.
At present, Savinich said, the impact of U.S. economic pressures and sanctions are gradually waning, noting, “We welcome this trend and believe that within the framework of the cooperation in Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the two countries will be able to further boost their economic ties.”
Iran seeks to join the EAEU, he added, stressing that Belarus is a member of the union and supports the Islamic Republic’s membership in it.
“Currently, Iran is negotiating to set up a special free economic zone with Eurasian countries to bolster commercial cooperation,” Savinich said.
The EAEU is an intergovernmental economic union that includes Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.
Savinich pointed to Iran’s special position in the International North-South Transport Corridor and said the Islamic Republic can facilitate the access of the countries in Northern Europe to India and the East through the transit route.
He added that the Iran-Belarus parliamentary friendship group is focused on the development of the bilateral economic relations.
“No doubt, economic cooperation can help meet the two sides’ needs and will be entirely beneficial and effective for them,” Savinich pointed out.
The official said that both sides are also considering expansion of industrial cooperation.
“The two countries have developed well in some industries including petrochemical products and cooperation between the two can lay the groundwork for further growth,” said Savinich, adding that Iran and Belarus can meet one another’s needs in the other industries as well.
Emphasizing the need for bolstering cooperation in transport and transit sectors, he warned against neglecting capacities for cooperation in scientific, technical, engineering, and higher education areas.