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Spain says keen to expand ties with Iran

Source: Tehran Times (photos by Marzieh Soleimani, Islamic Republic News Agency)

The Spanish foreign minister who was visiting Tehran on Sunday said that Madrid is keen to increase relations with Iran, particularly in economic spheres. Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, who arrived in Tehran on Saturday for a planned four-day visit, cut short his trip to attend an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

Spanigh FM Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo (L) with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif

"We will make every effort to increase our relations with Tehran," Garcia-Margallo said in a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Commenting on the interim deal between Iran and the world powers on Tehran's nuclear program, he expressed hope that the deal would be a comprehensive one and would not need to be extended.

In November 2013, Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) reached an interim accord over Tehran's nuclear program and agreed to work on a comprehensive solution over the next six months.

The chief Spanish diplomat praised Iran for its role in fighting the trafficking of illicit drugs and said that his country is ready to cooperate with the Islamic Republic on this issue.

The Iranian foreign minister also said that bilateral ties between the two countries have suffered a blow due to the Western sanctions against Iran. However, Zarif expressed hope that the two sides would make efforts to enhance their economic relations.

Zarif also said that as the Spanish diplomat had to cut short his trip to Iran, he would visit Tehran again in the near future to continue the talks.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif said that Iran and Spain could work together toward a world free of violence and extremism.

... Payvand News - 03/03/14 ... --

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