Europe-Iran Business Forum off to good start despite politicking

Iran and the European Union have kicked off a major forum to promote trade and business ties despite efforts to downgrade the event.

2 March 2021
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Iran and the European Union have kicked off a major forum to promote trade and business ties despite efforts to downgrade the event.

The three-day Europe-Iran Business Forum started on Monday as senior figures from the European Union and other international organizations as well as Iranian government officials delivered keynote speeches.

A report on the website of Iran’s Trade Promotion organization (TPO), which is one of the organizers of the forum, said that nearly 3,400 people, including senior business figures and ambassadors of European countries in Iran, were participating in the online conference.

The launch of the forum, which was originally planned to take place in December, comes despite reports suggesting that European business figures and diplomats would boycott the event over political issues, including the fact that the Iranian government has refused to engage in renewed talks with the United States on a 2015 international nuclear deal.

Tehran has indicated that the only precondition to join such talks would be for the US to lift sanctions imposed on Iran by a former government in Washington after it withdrew from the nuclear agreement in 2018.

EU’s external action service was (EEAS) was represented in the forum by Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs, Political Director Enrique Mora. The senior EU diplomat hailed the high number of participants in the event as a sign that both Iran and Europe were ready to significantly increase the size and value of their trade ties, according to remarks covered in a TPO report.

TPO chief Hamid Zadboum also expressed hope in a speech to the event that trade ties between Iran and the EU would boom once political situation on Iran’s nuclear program improves and worldwide restrictions meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus are eased.

Panel discussions in the first day of the event were mostly focused on the economy of Iran and the general situation of the country following a relatively large outbreak of coronavirus, reports said.

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