Italy Will Restore High-Level Ties “Within Weeks”
Domestic Economy

Italy Will Restore High-Level Ties “Within Weeks”

A high-ranking Italian delegation comprised of Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni and Economic Development Minister Federica Guidi is scheduled to travel to Iran on August 4 for a two-day visit, the Iranian Embassy in Rome announced.
The delegation aims to explore new investment opportunities after removal of sanctions imposed against the country over its nuclear program, ISNA reported on Wednesday.
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni expressed willingness to resume trade and economic relations with Iran in a statement released immediately after world powers secured a nuclear deal with Tehran, saying that the deal will have positive global effects and contribute to "normalizing relations between the unstable Middle East region and the international community."
On July 14, Iran reached an agreement with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of UN Security Council plus Germanys) to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of sanctions targeting the country’s economy by the UN Security Council, the United States and the European Union.
“Italy has a long history of relations with Iran, so the government will restore these ties in the coming weeks,” Gentiloni said at East Forum 2015, an international trade convention.
On Tuesday, representatives from Eni, the leading Italian oil and gas group, expressed interest in resuming operations in Iran on the condition that contractual relations meeting international standards.
Italy was one of the main European trading partners of Iran before sanctions were imposed on Iran in 2006. Even though a deepening of the sanctions in late 2011 significantly cut bilateral trade, Italy still remains one of the main commercial partners for Iran.
Italy was the ninth leading importer of Iranian non-oil goods during the first quarter of the current Iranian year (March 21-June 21), according to the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
Iran exported $124 million in non-oil goods to Italy and imported $205 million in non-oil goods from the European country during the three-month period.
Italy was also among Iran's top ten trading partners during the previous Iranian year, importing $618.41 million worth of non-oil goods from Iran and exporting $1.05 billion of non-oil goods, accounting for 1.5 percent of Iran’s total non-oil trade.  
On May 17, Iran and Italy signed a bilateral trade insurance agreement to help facilitate commercial transactions.
The agreement was signed between the Export Guarantee Fund of Iran and Italy’s export credit agency SACE.  It is expected to provide insurance coverage for the two countries mutual import and export.
SACE predicted on Tuesday that a gradual lifting of sanctions could lift Italian exports to Iran by around 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in the next four years.


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