Time Ripe for Bettering Relations With EU

Time Ripe for Bettering  Relations With EUTime Ripe for Bettering  Relations With EU

President Hassan Rouhani said the situation that arose after the lifting of sanctions should be tapped by both Iran and Europe to promote all aspects of bilateral ties.

Iran emerged from years of crippling sanctions in January when the July 2015 accord clinched with P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) took effect.

The agreement, formally entitled the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, has scaled down Tehran’s nuclear program in return.

“A favorable situation and opportunity has opened up in the post-JCPOA era that augurs well for a comprehensive development and boost in ties between Tehran and EU countries, including Lithuania. This opportunity should be seized by both sides … to help begin a new chapter in our relations,” Rouhani was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Speaking in a meeting with visiting Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius in Tehran on Saturday, the president said, “Tehran and Vilnius have the required potential to diversify and expand their cooperation and build broad economic ties.”

Enhancing cooperation on the campaign against terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking was also on the agenda of the meeting.

“A collective will in the international community is critical for the success of the fight against terrorism,” Rouhani said. “Some countries should recognize that supporting and using terrorists to advance their political objectives in the region are not an appropriate policy and doomed.”   

The president concluded that as an initial step to eliminate terrorists, particularly the self-styled Islamic State militant group, their financial lifelines should be severed. Linkevicius expressed his side’s interest in stepping up engagement with Iran in various domains, including technology transfer.

“Lithuania enjoys good capabilities in the fields of bio- and nanotechnology, which it is willing to share with Iran.”

He said he would sign an economic cooperation agreement and a memorandum of understanding with Iranian officials on his visit.

Linkevicius also met his counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Zarif expressed hope that Linkevicius’s trip could be used to help bolster political and parliamentary consultations, stressing that the Majlis is ready to increase parliamentary cooperation with the Lithuanian parliament.

The Baltic Times said on Friday the top Lithuanian diplomat was accompanied by Deputy Energy Minister Aleksandras Spruogis and a business delegation led by Rimantas Sidlauskas, head of the Association of Lithuanian Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Crafts. This is the first visit by Lithuania’s foreign minister to Iran.

Iran and Lithuania established diplomatic relations back in 1993. However, they remained insignificant due to sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear activities.