Iran presidential candidate vows to incorporate trade in foreign policy

Tasnim- Iranian presidential candidate Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf pledged to set up a ministry of foreign affairs and international trade if he assumes office, saying the time has come for foreign policy to serve the country’s economic interests in the international arena.

In an interview with Tasnim on Tuesday, Qalibaf described modification of the structure of the Foreign Ministry as one of his cabinet’s top priorities after winning the presidential election.

“Diplomacy should serve the country’s economy,” he underlined, saying it is a pity that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has failed so far to help the country’s economy by marketing Iranian products internationally.

The traditional structure of the Foreign Ministry in Iran would only allow for measures fulfilling political and national security interests, he said, adding it needs to contribute to an economic boom as well.

Making a reference to developed countries like Japan and South Korea which greatly owe their economic progress to the performance of their diplomatic bodies in the post-war era, Qalibaf said a reform of Iran’s Foreign Ministry structure will help find new international markets for the country’s products and result in reduced unemployment, without a need for huge investment.

It is possible to take advantage of the capacity of the regional market with a population of 400 million in the short term to enhance Iran’s economic activities with the help of foreign policy, he added.

Qalibaf has pledged to create at least 5 million jobs after taking the office, describing efforts to cut unemployment as a pressing need, arguing that creating jobs would prevent many social harms and result in successful marriages.

Qalibaf, the incumbent mayor of Tehran, has launched a campaign for the May 19 election in a race with five other candidates, including Ebrahim Raisi, Hassan Rouhani, Mostafa Hashemitaba, Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim, and Eshaq Jahangiri.