Iran FM’s Baku trip marks shift in Rouhani’s foreign policy
Tehran, Iran, March 30
By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's impending trip to Azerbaijan marks a shift in the foreign policy of President Hassan Rouhani, says Reza Rousta Azad, an economy and policy commentator.
Zarif is to travel to Baku, Azerbaijan, in early April to meet with Azerbaijani and Russian counterparts there.
In the beginning of his presidential term, Rouhani sought the cooperation of developed countries, the West in particular, Azad told Trend March 30.
"But now, understanding that developed countries cannot be of much help, he has started improving relations with neighbors," he added.
The expert also said Iran is seeking cooperation with the Non-Aligned Movement's members, Islamic countries and neighbors, in the new phase particularly.
"Recent exchange of visits with Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, China and Russia testifies to the fact," added Azad.
In early 2016, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev led a high-ranking delegation to Iran where the parties inked 11 memorandums of understanding in a wide range of economic and political areas.
Azad went on to say that Iran and Azerbaijan have a lot of areas to improve relations in, including electricity transmission, agriculture, industry, tourism, new technologies, construction, housing, and others.
"I was recently in Azerbaijan, and I could see that Iran's presence in the auto and steel sectors is improving. Iran can improve its cooperation with Azerbaijan in the chemical and petrochemical industries as well," he said.