Economic Goals High on Agenda in Iranian FM’s Latin America Tour: Spokesman

Representatives of a large number of Iranian companies will accompany Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in his upcoming tour of Latin America, signifying Tehran’s plans to boost non-oil exports, the Foreign Ministry’s spokesman said.

In comments on Saturday, Bahram Qassemi underlined that expansion of relations with Latin American and African nations have been always high on Iran’s foreign policy agenda, noting, “Strategically, the Foreign Ministry believes in a balanced approach to all countries and geographical regions in the foreign policy.”

As regards Zarif’s upcoming trip to Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Venezuela, Qassemi said representatives from tens of Iranian companies will be in the entourage in line with Iran’s policy of “export of technical and engineering services and promotion of non-oil exports” to achieve the Resistance Economy goals.

The spokesman also hailed the political and cultural commonalities between Iran and Latin America nations, as well as their common stances in international organizations, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in particular.

“Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran has such a position that it can pick its political friends and trade partners, and does not have to cooperate with certain countries or regions in the world,” Qassemi went on to say.

Zarif is scheduled to begin the six-nation tour of Latin America on Sunday with a 60-strong delegation of trade officials.

A previous trip in May 2016 took Zarif to Brazil, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Venezuela and Cuba.

The visits come against the backdrop of growing interests in ties with Iran after Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) on July 14, 2015 reached a conclusion over the text of the comprehensive 159-page deal on Tehran’s nuclear program.

The JCPOA came into force on January 16 and terminated all nuclear-related anti-Iran sanctions.