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Iran’s WTO Accession Bid Making Progress
Economy, Domestic Economy

Iran’s WTO Accession Bid Making Progress

Some 40 member states of World Trade Organization have expressed readiness to join a working party in charge of negotiations over Iran’s accession, says deputy minister of industries, mining and trade, Valiollah Afkhamirad.
“Based on our assessments, Switzerland is the best option for chairing the working party,” Mehr News Agency quoted the official as saying.
The WTO established Iran’s working party in 2005, almost a decade after Iran requested membership in 1996, but it failed to choose a chairperson.
Negotiations over Iran’s foreign trade regime have made little progress since then, as the nuclear standoff between Iran and the West gave rise to unprecedented restrictions against Iran’s economy.
Iran revised and resubmitted its memorandum after a nuclear deal was reached between Tehran and the world powers in July 2015 guaranteed lifting of sanctions.
“Iran has expressed absolute readiness for joining the WTO,” Afkhamirad said.
Countries seeking to join the WTO have to bring their own laws into line with WTO rules. They also have to buy their way in by bargaining with existing members who can push for concessions in sectors that interest them.
Afkhamirad says the organization is reaching a consensus on Iran’s accession.
“Currently 17 WTO trade ministers have demanded resumption of talks over Tehran’s memorandum of foreign trade regime,” he said.

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