Time to Refresh Tehran-Wellington Ties

Time to Refresh Tehran-Wellington Ties  Time to Refresh Tehran-Wellington Ties

New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully said the removal of nuclear sanctions on Iran has paved the way for refreshing relations between Tehran and Wellington.

McCully made the statement after a meeting with his visiting counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday where they stressed the need for expansion of ties, Tasnim News Agency reported.

The New Zealander diplomat hoped that Zarif's trip, the first in more than a decade and after the implementation of the nuclear deal in January, "allows us to refresh the relationship between our two countries".

The nuclear deal was made between Iran and world powers last July, to remove long-running sanctions in exchange for temporary restrictions on the Iranian nuclear program.

"Our talks today covered a range of Middle East regional security issues ... including Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan," McCully said.

"We have also discussed trade and economic issues, and concluded an arrangement ... to help facilitate economic cooperation by giving exporters greater confidence in the trading arrangements between our two countries."

The New Zealand minister said he have also encouraged Zarif to use this opportunity to reset Iran's relationship with the international community.

During the meeting, Zarif referred to McCully's trip to Iran last November, at the head of an economic delegation, as a positive experience.

The Iranian foreign minister had asked his counterpart to pay another visit to Tehran in the upcoming months, maybe around the World Humanitarian Summit scheduled to be held in Turkey in May.

Zarif arrived in New Zealand on Saturday and is slated to visit Prime Minister John Key, Trade Minister Todd McClay and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy on Monday to discuss ways of improving relations, particularly in trade and economic sectors.

Iran was New Zealand's fifth largest export market before the United Nations' sanctions were imposed in 2006.

New Zealand is a massive producer of lamb and its exporters believe the removal of sanctions has provided an opportunity for them to tap into new markets and renew relations with an old trading partner.

Wellington was the fifth part of a six-country tour that began last Saturday to make the most out of the potentials emerging after the removal of sanctions.

Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand were the first four legs of the 11-day Asia-Pacific mission and Australia will be the final destination.