Publishe Date: 3:57 PM - 6/15/2014 | Print

President Rouhani: Sanctions Futile, Western Firms Signing Contracts with Iran

Politics - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stressed inefficiency of the US-led sanctions against the Islamic Republic, and said many western companies are now negotiating and even signing contracts with Iran to expand their cooperation with the country.

"The continuation of unfair sanctions against Tehran is impossible and the western firms are now in negotiations (with Iran) and endorsing cooperation contracts with Iran," Rouhani said in a meeting with South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in Tehran on Sunday.

He said that the incorrect and unfair sanctions system put in place by the West against Iran has cracked and is in trouble now.

President Rouhani also referred to the ongoing talks between Iran and the world powers on Iran's nuclear program, and once again stressed that Iran is serious in its talks with the world powers. "The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to reach final results in its nuclear talks with the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) within the framework of the international laws and regulations."

On November 24, Iran and the world powers sealed a six-month Joint Plan of Action to lay the groundwork for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear energy program. They held several round of talks by now and expressed the hope that they will reach a comprehensive deal until July 20.

In exchange for Tehran’s confidence-building bid to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the Sextet of world powers agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Tehran and continue talks with the country to settle all problems between the two sides.

Iran and the six world powers held their fourth round of talks in Vienna on May 14-16. The seven nations have been discussing ways to iron out differences and start drafting a final deal that would end the West’s dispute with Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program.

The next round of multilateral talks between the senior negotiators of the seven nations will be held in Vienna on June 16 to 20.

After the Geneva deal, many European companies have been making increasing demands for cooperation with Iran.

Different European countries, including France, Germany and the Netherlands, are planning to enhance their economic relations with Iran, a business powerhouse in the Middle East region, as sanctions imposed against Tehran are partially suspended.

"Optimism is predominating that there has finally been something of a relaxation in political relations and therefore in business possibilities," Head of Trade Relations at the Association of German Chambers of Commerce Volker Treier said in January.

The association invited the representatives of German private sectors to hold a meeting over doing business in Iran and the interested representatives “filled the room very quickly”, Treier added.

Dutch ambassador to Iran Jos Douma held a similar meeting in the Netherlands in January to discuss the terms of cooperation between Tehran and the Dutch companies which are eager to return to the Iranian market.

Paris is also sending the executive representatives of around 100 French firms to Tehran for "exploratory" negotiations with Iranian officials in a bid to tap into the potential for mutual economic cooperation between the two sides.

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