Tehran attaches importance to its ties with Moscow – official (Exclusive)

Business Materials 1 July 2018 16:56 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, July 1

By Kamyar Eghbalnejad, A. Shirazi - Trend:

The chairman of the Agriculture, Water and Food Industries Commission in Tehran Chamber of Commerce said Tehran attaches great importance to its trade ties with Moscow.

“The volume of trade exchange between Iran and Russia has not witnessed a tangible change in the past months, and we are currently doing our business transactions with some Russian banks,” Kaveh Zargaran told Trend on July 1.

He added that Iran still does not know what policies Russia would adopt in its trade with Iran following Washington’s pullout from the JCPOA and new anti-Tehran sanctions, stressing that Tehran attaches great importance to its ties with Moscow.

Elsewhere in the interview, he said Iran is carrying out agricultural projects in Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

“Due to water shortage in Iran, the government has put overseas farming high on the agenda,” Zargaran said.

Noting that this method will continue to go on for the upcoming years, he said Iran has signed agreements with Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Kazakhstan over extraterritorial farming.

Brazil and Ghana have also been cited in Iranian media among the places which Iran was pushing for long-term leasing or ownership of farmland with higher agribusiness potentials.

Iran relies on imports for 90% of its requirements for water-intensive products such as oilseeds. Other water-guzzling crops such as watermelons have a steady army of critics in a country where aquifers are critically overdrafted.

Elsewhere in the interview, Zargaran took a swipe at a move by the government to unify the rate of foreign currency and said it has worsened the situation in the market and affected the country’s process of export.

He urged the government to find a solution to this problem and distribute more currencies to the open market.

In an effort to halt the slide, Iranian authorities announced in April they were unifying the dollar’s official and black market exchange rates at a single level of 42,000, and banning any trade at other rates under the threat of arrest.