Ambassador to Tehran Livia Leu Agosti stressed Bern's enthusiasm for the further
expansion of economic cooperation with Iran, specially in the field of energy.
She made the remarks in a meeting with Iranian President's Chief of Staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashayee here in Tehran on Tuesday.
Agosti also said that Iran and Switzerland have always had useful and constructive cooperation and negotiation and added that although current condition in Europe is not very appropriate, but Bern has always been interested to find opportunities to strengthen and expand relations with Iran.
She stressed that Switzerland, inattentive to a number of problems, has established appropriate cooperation with Iran in the fields of energy and economy and intends to strengthen it, so that currently there are several Swiss big companies working in Iran.
Rahim Mashayee, for his part, underlined necessity of taking independent stances by European countries and said that world current condition is an appropriate opportunity for Europe to start a new era of its life.
He evaluated current Europe situation inappropriate and said that neutralized and positive stances of Switzerland are suitable opportunities to be a frontier for Europe to divide its route from the US and take independent stances.
Underlining necessity of changing view and behavior of Europe, Rahim Mashayee stressed that to begin a new era in its international life, Europe should change its past manner.
The president advisor, by welcoming Swiss diplomat expressing interest in increasing bilateral relations level, said that Iran is ready to strengthen its bilateral and multilateral cooperation with Switzerland.
A number of European countries have recently voiced interest in investment in Iran's energy sector after a gas deal was signed between Iran and Switzerland regardless of US and EU unilateral sanctions.
The National Iranian Gas Export Company and Switzerland's Elektrizitaetsgesellschaft Laufenburg signed a 25-year deal in March for the delivery of 5.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
Iran, which sits on the world's second largest reserves of both oil and gas, is facing US sanctions over its civilian nuclear program. Sanctions are increasingly deterring Western investors from running activity in Iran.
Iranian officials have dismissed US sanctions as inefficient, saying that they are finding Asian partners instead. Several Chinese and other Asian firms are negotiating or signing up to oil and gas deals.
Following US pressures on companies to stop business with Tehran, many western companies decided to do a balancing act. They tried to maintain their presence in Iran, which is rich in oil and gas, but not getting into big deals that could endanger their interests in the US.
Yet, after oil giants in the West witnessed that their absence in big deals has provided Chinese, Indian and Russian companies with excellent opportunities to signing up to an increasing number of energy projects and earn billions of dollars, many western firms are slowly losing reluctance to invest or expand work in Iran.
Iran is negotiating an exploration deal with Asian oil companies for two oil and gas blocks in the Caspian Sea.
... Payvand News - 12/15/10 ... --