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Iran and Italy enjoy excellent relations, says Ambassador

(AGI) Genoa, June 20 - Iranian Ambassador in Rome, Jahanbakhsh Mozaffari, spoke ...

Iran and Italy enjoy excellent relations, says Ambassador
Jahanbakhsh Mozaffari, ambasciatore Iran in Italia 

(AGI) Genoa, June 20 - Iranian Ambassador in Rome, Jahanbakhsh Mozaffari, spoke during a conference in Geneva with leading figures from the Ligurian economy: "Despite the sanctions unjustly imposed on our country, Italy has always maintained excellent relations with Iran.This is why as soon as sanctions were lifted, our President of the Republic wanted to organise his first visit to Italy and, three months later, Prime Minister Renzi came to Iran. The result of these meetings is a 25-billion-euro MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between the two countries." The ambassador invited the businessmen to visit and invest in Iran: "We are a leading country in the energy sector: the third largest gas reserves in the world and the second largest for oil belong to us. We are one of the five most important countries in the world for mineral deposits, and tenth for tourist attractions. We are third in the world for natural beauty. In the not too distant future we will be one of the most important emerging markets and for this reason we are inviting businessmen and traders to visit Iran." Only last year the country received 15,000 Italians, 1,000 of whom were business people who went to look into new opportunities," recalled Mozaffari. "To revive the economy damaged by unjust and cruel sanctions we need businesses in every sector, especially small and medium-sized, in order to solve the problem of joblessness." In response to the fears of large Italian banks about opening a credit channel to businesses that have decided to invest in Iran, the ambassador stressed: "Our government will give every kind of support. The big banks have problems with the U.S., not with us. They fear that the US will impose sanctions on them. But in the very near future these problems will be resolved. They are psychological concerns, not objective. Just remember that Iran is a bridge of access to all countries and markets of the Middle Eastern region, with its 80 million young graduates. And it is a country that enjoys an excellent location, the safest place to invest in the troubled Middle East. For us Italian business people are welcome: we are awaiting you with open arms," said Mozaffari. The opening of the Iranian market after the end of sanctions is "a great opportunity for us. We should not lose this chance," said Giuseppe Zampini, CEO of Ansaldo Energia and Chairman of Confindustria Genoa employers' association, speaking on Monday at the Iran conference organised in the capital of Liguria. Zampini anticipates that the business initiative of the Genoese association, which in September will carry out a mission in Iran "will involve a limited number of companies from particular sectors. We are contacting our counterparts." Ansaldo Energia, Zampini recalled, was present in Iran before the revolution of 1979. After the end of the sanctions, last August: "I returned and heard from their ministers who are interested in companies that bring technologies and invest in their land. There is openness on their part." Zampini also lamented the difficulties in the system of funding for exporters: "Some domestic banks support these initiatives, but not with the financial skills that the country requires." . .