As part of activities to restore their lost relations, Iran and Italy on Monday April 11 signed six cooperation agreements when Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi visited Tehran, the capital of Iran. Among others, Iran signed partnership agreement with Italian electricity and gas company Enel and the National Iranian Gas Export Company following this year’s implementation of the Iran nuclear deal,

Renzi’s visit comes few months after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited Rome in late January to sign billions of dollars of business deals in sectors from energy to infrastructure and from steel to shipbuilding. “This is just the beginning of a journey. There are sectors where we must work closer together,” Renzi said after the signage.

Italy had ranked among Iran’s top trading partners, with 7 billion euros ($7.6 billion) in trade before international sanctions were imposed on Iran over its nuclear ambitions. A landmark deal to remove those sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program went into effect in January 2016. On his part, President Rouhani said in a welcome address to the Italian premier “Before the sanctions Italy was Iran’s budgets trade partner in the European Union and today we want Italy to play that role again,” adding, “Today, we want Italy to play its former role.”

Maureen Nzeogu
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