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Rouhani - page 2

Iran and Russia ties in new phase

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President Rouhani told reporters that Iran and Russia have great potential and the necessary political will to develop cooperation and bilateral relations have entered into a new phase. The Iranian President went on to enumerate main axes of his talks with Vladimir Putin including transit of goods by connecting India to Eastern and Western Europe through Iran and Russia. Rouhani also enumerated other issues on which Tehran and Moscow shared similar views including preferential trade with 5 Eurasian countries, legal regime of the Caspian Sea as well as facilitating visa issuance for tourists as well as expansion of cultural and scientific relations.

Rouhani met Sharif: necessity for closer cooperation between Iran and Pakistan in the fight against terrorism

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, underlined the necessity for closer cooperation between the two neighboring countries in economic fields and in strengthening security along their joint borders. The first have said: “Our borders should remain borders of brotherhood and friendship in a bid to prevent terrorist groups from taking advantage of them” and “To that end” Rouhani added “we are ready for closer cooperation in the fight against terrorism which is a menace for all sides”. He described the two countries economic ties in the past year as “progressive” and at the same time noted that the two sides enjoy abundant capacity to further deepen their ties.The other part said ‏that Iran and Pakistan are “brothers and neighbors” and will remain together irrespective of all possible challenges.

Rouhani cautioned that any lack of commitment to JCPOA will create pessimism about effectiveness of negotiated solution to disputes. He highlighted the ample opportunities for cooperation between Iran and Luxembourg

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani cautioned on Tuesday, during a meeting with Foreign Minister of Luxembourg Jean Asselborn in Tehran, that any lack of commitment to JCPOA will create pessimism about effectiveness of negotiated solution to disputes.“Any measure undermining it (the JCPOA) could make all countries pessimistic and distrustful of effectiveness of negotiations and compromise in the process of resolving regional and international problems” he have said. After this he highlighted the ample opportunities for cooperation between Iran and Luxembourg, referring to “banking and insurance issues” as the key to reinforce the economic relations. Iran can satisfy part of Europe’s demands for energy, and also link Europe to the Indian Ocean and East Asia via a transit route. For his part, the Luxembourgian minister decribed Iran as a great nation in the region, saying his country and the European Union acknowledge “Tehran’s major and influential role” in settlement of regional conflicts.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani: “language of respect and dignity” is the only manner of treating the Iranian nation.

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reminded “rookie politicians” in the Middle East and the US that the “language of respect and dignity” is the only manner of treating the Iranian nation.“We are experiencing conditions in which some novices have come to power in the region, in the world and in the US, as they should all know that they have to talk to the Iranian nation with the language of respect and dignity,” ha have said to people taht attend huge rallies in Tehran on Friday to mark the 38th anniversary of victory of the Islamic Revolution. The president also warned the enemies making threats against the Iranian government or armed forces that the Islamic Republic enjoys an “integrated and vigilant nation”.On Friday, millions of people in capital Tehran, more than 1,000 other cities and towns, and in 4,000 villages, poured into the streets with flags of Iran and some Demonstrators hung Trump in effigy, burned the US and Israeli flags, and paid tribute to the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini.

Iranian President said that the US has greatly lost the leverage to build international consensus to reach its objectives; good opportunity to rely on the potential of the Non-Aligned Movement

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, during a meeting with Venezuela’s ministers of oil and foreign affairs, that the US has greatly lost the leverage to build international consensus to reach its objectives, highlighting the good opportunity to rely on the potential of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to defy unilateral policies in the world.In the current situation, all NAM members should join hands to help the movement play a more active role in regional and international developments, he added. The president then touched on Iran and Venezuela’s common views on many international issues, saying both independent nations have a foreign policy of resisting unilateral approaches in the world.Then the Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez relayed a written message from the Latin American country’s president, voicing Caracas’s determination to deepen ties with Tehran in all fields. She also stressed the need for fully implementing the OPEC agreement for balance and stability in the oil market.

Rouhani in Rome: Italian-Israeli relations at risk?

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The Iranian President Hassan Rouhani begins his tour in Europe from Italy. It is the first time after the lifting of the international sanctions against Iran. A sign of openness towards the West, it also shows Iran’s willingness to restore and strengthen its relationship with European countries, such as Italy.

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The Iranian leader’s trip to Italy has a triple meaning. From a political perspective, Rouhani’s visit comes at a significant moment both for Iran and for the Middle East. Indeed, the lifting of the international sanctions and the nuclear deal boost Iran relationship with the rest of the world, thus ending decades of political isolation. This gives also Teheran a chance to contribute to solving ME security problems.

Secondly, the religious dimension. The meeting between a Shiite Muslim leader and the highest representative of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, is an important event in a time when the sectarian tensions and the increasing threat of Islamic terrorism make it difficult the coexistence between different faiths. In the Catholic Rome, Rouhani portraits the good side of Islam and the Vatican itself talks about “common spiritual values” and the importance of Iran for peace in the Middle East.

Final point on Rouhani’s agenda is economy. Seven institutional agreements have been signed, including an understanding between Mise and the Iranian Ministry of Industries and Mines. New business deals cover also energy and mining, constructions, shipbuilding and transport industries, reaching an amount of about 17 billion.

Despite criticism and controversies (as the one related to the covering up of naked statues in Capitoline Museum), Rouhani’s visit marks a relevant rapprochement between the Islamic Republic and Italy. An Italy that, while adhering to international sanctions, has maintained good relations with the Arab country, based -today as in the past- on mutual benefit.

Politically, strengthening ties with a European country means, for Iran, to be freed from the isolation of the past years and to project again the nation in the European and international environment. To be acknowledged a capillary role in restoring stability in the Middle East gives back legitimacy to a country that has been seen for decades as a threat to regional and global security. On the other hand, Italy acquires a vital ally in the fight against international terrorism and, by mediating the reintegration of Iran in world major fora, it can gain in terms of diplomatic influence.

Economically speaking, the lifting of the sanctions not only comes as a breath of fresh air for Iran, but it also paves the way for new investments in Italy. Iran has a young population, attracted by Western markets, especially those of luxury, car and fashion. Therefore, Iran can be an important partner to relaunch the “Made in Italy”.

However, what will be the reaction of the historic enemy of the Islamic Republic, Israel? Which repercussions could there be in the relationship between Italy and the Jewish country?

Historically, Italy has had good relations with Israel, based on cooperation in the political, economic, scientific, cultural and military areas. A promoter of the peace process in ME and of the creation of the State of Palestine, the Italian government has always worked in order to hinder the spread of anti-Semitism in the region and to facilitate the dialogue between Israel and the neighboring Arab states. The end of sanctions and the nuclear deal (with respect to which Israel has openly expressed his disagreement) have alarmed Netanyahu government about a possible resurgence of Iran. Seeing a traditionally friend state –as Italy- that strengthens its ties with the Islamic Republic, could actually create friction between Rome and Jerusalem.

The key factor in this balance may be the military element. The agreements signed between Rome and Tehran do not include the military sector, neither in terms of military capabilities nor of training. A similar low profile is presumably acceptable to Israel for a twofold reason. On the one hand, it does not affect Iranian military capacity; on the other, the actual opening to Iran is a positive sign for its allies (e.g. Russia). By contrast, a closing attitude towards Iran might stiffen the relationships between the West and Iran’s friends, thus undermining efforts to tackle other common threats, such as the Islamic State.

Hence, it is hard to believe that Italy could opt for an either-or option, which will exclude relations with one of the two countries in favor of the other. In his meeting with the Iranian president, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has pointed out the importance of relations with Israel and the right/duty of the latter to exist as a State. Considering the interests at stake and Italian political traditions, it is more likely, therefore, that the government will opt for maintaining a balanced position: a strategic choice that ensures the benefits of trade with Iran without irritating Israel.

 

Paola Fratantoni

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Paola Fratantoni
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