No Obstacles to Closer Europe Cooperation

No Obstacles to Closer Europe CooperationNo Obstacles to Closer Europe Cooperation

Head of the Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said Iran does not see any obstructions on the path of greater ties with European states, especially Greece.

On Monday, Rafsanjani said in a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Tehran that officials of the two sides should make plans for opening a new chapter of mutual cooperation, in view of their capacities and grounds of partnership, IRNA reported.

Tsipras described his trip to Iran as constructive and hoped the outcomes of the visit would soon produce benefits for the two nations.

"Although our values and beliefs are different, we have shared desires," he said, explaining that Iran is a stable country located in an unstable region which seeks to promote peace across the Middle East and the world, a goal also pursued by Greece.

Tsipras said the refugee crisis has caused major problems for Greece, in view of the difficult economic situation of the country.

More than 850,000 refugees arrived in Greece via the perilous sea route last year, making up the majority of the more than 1.1 million refugees who reached the EU and created the worst crisis for Europe since World War II. The Greek premier described terrorism as the underlying cause of the refugee crisis, as a majority of refugees are fleeing countries ravaged by terrorism such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Due to its geographical position, Greece would be influenced by good or bad happenings of the Middle East," he said. "Of course, Tehran-Athens cooperation would help enhance stability in the region."

Tsipras also denounced "some European states" for having a role in the creation of terrorist groups.

"In addition to the region, terrorists have caused insecurities in Europe too," he said. "Terrorist groups created with the support of some European states are now causing problems for themselves, too."

The prime minister arrived in Iran on an official visit on Saturday evening at the head of a political-economic delegation.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, Environment and Energy Minister Panagiotis Skourletis, Economy, Development and Tourism Minister Georgios Stathakis and Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Mardas as well as a 50-member team of industrialists and businessmen accompanied him.

On Monday, the Greek premier also met the Leader of Islamic Revolution Seyyed Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani, Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani and First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri.