TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said the number of foreign countries competing to widen and boost ties with Iran has considerably increased after Tehran and the world powers reached an interim agreement in Geneva in November 2013.
“The western countries are racing with each other to improve ties with Iran and invest in our country,” the Iranian interior minister said, addressing a ceremony in the city of Karaj near the capital, Tehran, on Wednesday.
He noted that the enemies of Islam and Iran have tried hard over the past years to prevent Iran from achieving its objectives, and said, “Today we witness that they are desperately entangled in their self-made crises and have been forced to withdraw from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.”
The Iranian interior minister pointed to the efforts made by the arrogant powers to create rift among Muslims, and said, “The global arrogance is seeking to stir war among Islamic faiths and sects by directing terrorist and Takfiri groups.”
Earlier today, the US media reported that for the first time in decades, businesspeople from the United States are visiting Iran in significant numbers, exploring the possibility of future partnerships as Iranian and American entrepreneurs begin to envision a reopening of long-closed commercial channels.
Although sanctions blocking most types of trade between the two countries are still in place, there are no bans on travel to Iran, the Washington Post reported.
For US citizens granted a visa to Iran, local hosts can organize programs, which have included recent visits to investment firms, Tehran’s stock exchange, factories, farms and high-tech start-ups.
The government of President Hassan Rouhani is actively promoting Iran to foreign investors but has said little about the United States specifically, although American oil giants and automakers are believed to have been in ongoing discussions with Iranian counterparts since Rouhani took office.
Longtime partnerships in the energy and auto sectors between Iran and companies in Germany, France and Italy have dwindled in recent years because of the EU’s own sanctions on Tehran.
Despite the drop in foreign investment from western nations, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development estimated that direct foreign investment in Iran is on the rise, reaching $5bln in 2012, funded primarily by Chinese, Russian and Turkish companies.
“There will be phenomenal opportunities for American investors. I would definitely consider investing in Iran, and I think that’s the universal answer,” said Dick Simon, the chief executive of RSI, a Boston-based real estate development and investment management company, who co-organized a recent trip to Iran composed of mostly US entrepreneurs, as well as several that were Canadian or British.
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