Iran, Belgium sign comprehensive cooperation MoU
Tehran, Iran, November 9
By Mehdi Sepahvand -- Trend:
Iran and Belgium have signed a comprehensive cooperation MoU, according to which the two countries will expand their cooperation on bilateral, regional, and international issues, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said.
Zarif made the statement during a joint press conference with his Belgian counterpart, Didier Reynders here, in which they discussed views on various issues, including Iran's nuclear program and the Syrian crisis, the Trend correspondent reported from Tehran November 9.
Regarding Iran's attendance at the Syrian talks, he said since President Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to travel to Europe, though it is not clear at what level Iran will participate in the Syrian talks.
He noted that during the upcoming meeting, all sides are going to designate which are the terrorist groups now engaged in the Syrian conflict.
"However, we believe it is clear what groups are terrorists," he said.
Further, Zarif stressed that terrorists should not have access to oil and there needs to be an explanation of how they sell oil and make money.
He further commented on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and said a document has been prepared on redesigning Iran's Arak heavy water reactor.
Talks are still being held on how to sign the document, since not all P5+1 foreign ministers are in Vienna, the Iranian FM stated.
Reynders, for his part, said there is no military solution to the conflict in Yemen, urging the start of political talks to end the fighting there.
Reynders, who is leading a political and economic delegation to Iran, met President Hassan Rouhani before seeing Zarif.
During their meeting, he said Belgium is waiting for sanctions to be lifted in order to boost ties with the Islamic Republic.
The sanctions are to be lifted according to the JCPOA, which was reached between Iran and the 5+1 group, made up of the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany, on July 14.
In 2005, before sanctions were tightened against Iran, Belgium was Iran's 28th largest trade partner. It exported some $733 million in goods to Iran and imported $74 million goods from Iran.
During the first five months of the current Iranian year (March 21 to August 22), however, Iran's imports from Belgium were registered at $131.6 million, while exports hit $14.6 million.