Italy invites Iran’s Rouhani for Rome visit
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.