Sweden Eager to Have More Interaction With Iran

Sweden Eager to Have More Interaction With Iran
Sweden Eager to Have More Interaction With Iran

The Swedish premier described Iran as an "important and influential" regional player, with which his government is keen to have closer cooperation, particularly in the field of economy.

Stefan Lofven, who was speaking at a meeting with Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani in Tehran on Saturday, said there are good opportunities for bilateral collaboration in the fields of transport, energy, mining and information technology.

Pointing to chaotic conditions in the Middle East, Lofven stressed the need for the restoration of security and stability to the region, as the spread of terrorism there has created real troubles for its inhabitants as well as European nations, ICANA reported.

"The cause of the formation and expansion of terrorist groups like the [self-styled] Islamic State are social problems such as poverty, unemployment and identity problems that lead youth to join terrorists. These factors should not be underestimated," he said.

Lofven said drug trafficking is another common concern for Middle East and Europe, which has affected many people in the two regions, calling for comprehensive plans to fight it.

  Democracy Can Help Fix Regional Problems

Larijani expressed satisfaction over Lofven's trip to Iran, saying there are huge untapped potentials for Tehran-Stockholm cooperation.

The speaker said longstanding conflicts in Yemen and Syria are major hotbeds of terrorist activity that has made the region insecure, blaming some regional countries for their wrong belief that their military power can end the conflicts.

"This is while we believe a political solution promoting democracy and establishing national unity governments is the best way to cease these hostilities," he said.

"A problem is that certain countries are escaping democracy and do not pay attention to the role it can play in maintaining stability of countries. This is while today, no country should stand against the wave of democratization, as suppressing democracy-seeking [movements] would lead to worse consequences for the region."

Lofven arrived in Iran on Saturday at the head of a politico-economic delegation for a three-day visit. On the same day, he met the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani.

On Saturday, Iranian and Swedish officials signed five documents of cooperation on innovation and technology, higher education and research, road construction, communications and information technology, as well as family and women's affairs.

Lofven's visit comes against the backdrop of the July 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, under which the anti-Iran international sanctions imposed over unproven nuclear allegations were lifted in January 2016.

Although Europe's industrial powers have shown great enthusiasm for closer trade ties with Iran since then, the remaining unilateral US sanctions, whose language is vague and levy hefty fines on violators, have frightened European companies.

Another concern for European businesses is the new US President Donald Trump who has vowed to take a tough line against Iran.

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