Italy in­vites Iran’s Rouhani for Rome visit

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Italy on Wed­nes­day in­vited Iran’s Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani to Rome for an of­fi­cial visit, as its for­eign min­is­ter held talks in Tehran fol­low­ing last month’s his­toric nu­clear ac­cord.

Paolo Gen­tiloni de­liv­ered the in­vi­ta­tion from Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter Mat­teo Renzi, Rouhani’s web­site re­ported, a week af­ter France asked the mod­er­ate pres­i­dent to visit Paris in Novem­ber.

Rouhani said he “hoped to visit Italy, which en­joys an an­cient civ­i­liza­tion and cul­ture, at the proper time.”

Sev­eral se­nior diplo­mats have shut­tled in and out of Iran since July 14, when Tehran, af­ter years of ne­go­ti­a­tions, struck an agree­ment with six world pow­ers over its nu­clear pro­gram.

“We can use the at­mos­phere af­ter this agree­ment to the ben­e­fit of both sides and the Euro­pean Union,” Rouhani said in a meet­ing with Ital­ian min­is­ters and busi­ness lead­ers on Wed­nes­day.

“To­day, there are nu­mer­ous grounds for Iran to at­tract for­eign in­vest­ments.”

The nu­clear deal, which

will see eco­nomic sanc­tions lifted af­ter years of poor re­la­tions with the West, has sparked a flurry of in­ter­est from coun­tries seek­ing to deal with the Is­lamic re­pub­lic.

Ira­nian Econ­omy Min­is­ter Ali Tayeb­nia said that trade with Italy stood at US$7 bil­lion (6.4 bil­lion eu­ros) a year be­fore sanc­tions were in­tro­duced.

“That num­ber had dropped to US$1.5 bil­lion due to the re­stric­tions,” he was quoted as say­ing by Ira­nian news sites.

“We should try to reach our past his­tor­i­cal record” of eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion, he added.

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