TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Saturday that Iran welcomes conclusion of a deal with the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council members for free trade.
“Iran’s volume of trade with Arab states of the Persian Gulf, including the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council members, Iraq, and a few other countries, has been raised to about $20 billion. The country has put on agenda a target of $50 billion worth projects and mutual investments,” Mottaki told a joint press conference with his Omani counterpart, Yousef bin Alawi, here on Saturday.
Mottaki said Iran and Oman intend to raise volume of mutual transactions to the ceiling of one billion dollars from $200 million through expanding mutual cooperation.
Stressing that economic cooperation and relations between Tehran and Muscat should keep pace with their political ones, Mottaki said during Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to Oman early this year, good decisions had been made for activation of their Joint Economic Cooperation Commission and new missions were defined for their foreign ministries too.
He said the important project for transfer of Iran’s gas to Oman and presence of the Iranian experienced contracting companies in Oman over the past few months had been among positive steps taken by the two sides for expansion of mutual cooperation.
The Iranian top diplomat said cooperation with Oman in the security domain and campaign against drug trafficking, organized crimes, and smuggling are within framework of mutual accords.
Alawi for his part hailed Iran’s role in promotion of regional security and stability and said his country has pinned high hope on the discussions held with Tehran.
Yet in a separate meeting in Tehran, President Ahmadinejad told Alawi that regional states are needed to found strong and long-term ties regarding favorable ground available now.
He said as for Muscat, Tehran considers no limit for expansion of mutual cooperation and relations.
He also urged speedy implementation of mutual accords, which was welcomed by Alawi.
In another development, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili told Alawi that Iran’s idea of ‘the (Persian) Gulf of Friendship’ is not a slogan, rather it should be treated as a strategic plan raised by the country for expansion of cooperation among the northern and southern states of the Persian Gulf and an important step for guaranteeing security and welfare of the region.
Jalili said Iran and Oman should concentrate their efforts on consolidation of their “historical” relations and make plans to bolster economic ties and plan for the future.
Alawi said his country is ready to expand cooperation with Iran in the gas sector, make joint investments and raise volume of mutual trade.