Broader Iran-Turkey ties to provide greater regional security - IRI envoy

Photo: Broader Iran-Turkey ties to provide greater regional security - IRI envoy / Iran

New IRI Ambassador to Turkey Ali-Reza Bigdeli said here Monday in a meeting with Deputy Head of ruling Justice and Development Party Chavosh Uglu expansion of Tehran-Ankara relations and cooperation would provide for greater regional stability and security.

According to IRNA, Ambassador Bigdeli in the meeting referred to the two countries' top officials' strong will for further expansion and strengthening of bilateral ties and cooperation and interaction on major regional developments, adding, 'There is dire need for remaining alert about the plots hatched by those countries which are after crisis building in the region and destabilizing the regional countries.'

The new Iranian top diplomat to Turkey said that the civilizational and cultural base for bilateral cooperation and interactions is very broad and holding constant consultations and dialogue both between two countries state officials and private sectors is of great importance for both nations.

In the meeting held at the Central Building of the Turkish ruling Justice and Development Party, the Iranian ambassador said, 'My main objective is expansion and strengthening of Tehran-Ankara realtions during my tenure in your beautiful country.'

He reiterated that expansion of comprehensive Iran-Turkey realtions would save the benefits of both great nations and countries.

The two countries' officials during the meeting also surveyed the latest important regional developments including the latest status in internal war-torn Syria.

Moloud Chavosh Uglu, too, referred to the numerous commonalties of Iran and Turkey, as well as the continuous historical status of pace and stability in the shared border regions of the two countries, agreeing with the Iranian ambassador over the point that there is dire need for continuous dialogue and consultations over regional developments, despite existence of differences of opinion over certain issues.

Chavosh Uglu said that continued friendly realtions with the Islamic Republic of Iran under any conditions is among the major priorities of his affiliated ruling party, adding, 'I would in near future have a visit of your beautiful country along with the Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Umar Cilik.'

In May 2010, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan made an unscheduled trip to Tehran in coordination with Brazilian President Lula da Silva to make an agreement to outsource Iranian uranium enrichment to his country to avoid further sanctions on Iran. In supporting Iran after the agreement Erdogan turned the question back on the international community. 'In fact, there is no nuclear weapon in Iran now, but Israel, which is also located in our region, possesses nuclear arms. Turkey is the same distance from both of them. What has the international community said against Israel so far? Is this the superiority of law or the law of superiors?'

This comes after growing pressure from the US and the UK to support sanctions against Iran.

The decision of Turkey to host a radar system to track missiles launched from Iran has been seen by the Iranians as a serious break in relations.

Iran and Turkey also have very close trade and economic relations. Both countries are part of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). Turkey receives many Iranian tourists each year and economically benefits from Iranian tourism.

Bilateral trade between the nations is increasing. In 2005, the trade increased to $4 billion from $1 billion in 2000. Iran's gas export to Turkey is likely to be increased. At present, the rate is at 50mm cm/d. Turkey imports about 10 billion cubic meters a year of gas from Iran, about 30 percent of its needs. Turkey plans to invest $12 billion in developing phases 22, 23 and 24 of South Pars gas field, a senior Iranian oil official told Shana.ir. Two-way trade is now in the range of $10 billion (2010), and both governments have announced that the figure should reach the $20 billion mark in the not too distant future. 50 percent of the gas from three phases of Iran's South Pars gas field will be re-exported to Europe. Turkey has won the tender for privatization of Razi Petrochemical Complex valued at $650 million (2008). On tourism, every year one million Iranians visit Turkey.

First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi announced in October 2012 that the speed of trade exchanges between Iran and Turkey has accelerated and was close of reaching the goal of 30 billion dollars per year. He added that the growing trade relations between Tehran and Ankara indicate the two countries' willingness to strengthen mutual ties.

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