TEHRAN – Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz has said that Iran and Austria have good economic relations and Austrian corporations are ready to boost ties with Iran.
Kurz made the remarks during a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran on Sunday.
Commenting on the talks between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany), he evaluated the process of the negotiations as positive and expressed hope that the two sides would reach a deal in the upcoming talks.
On the nuclear talks’ effect on economic relations between countries, specifically Iran-Austria economic ties, he said that a long-term deal would positively affect the economy of the region and the world.
Iran and the six major powers -- the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia, and China -- struck an interim deal in November. They have set a July 20 deadline to clinch a long-term deal that would lead to a gradual lifting of all nuclear-related sanctions.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Kurz said that relations between Iran and Austria are based on mutual respect, which comes from the deep history and culture of the two countries.
He also emphasized the need to promote bilateral cultural relations.
The Austrian foreign minister arrived in Tehran on Saturday at the invitation of his Iranian counterpart.
During his two-day visit, he is scheduled to meet with Iranian officials to discuss Tehran-Vienna ties and exchange views on regional developments.
Non-nuclear issues will not be discussed in talks
Zarif said that Iran’s defense capabilities will not be discussed during the nuclear talks.
Chief U.S. nuclear negotiator Wendy Sherman told a Senate hearing in February that Iran's ballistic missile program would be addressed as part of a comprehensive nuclear deal.
Iran will not permit anyone to meddle with its defense capabilities, Zarif added.
Commenting on Tehran-Vienna ties, he said that Iran-Austria relations have always served the common interests of the two countries.
He went on to say that there is great potential for the promotion of bilateral economic cooperation.
Zarif also expressed satisfaction over his Austrian counterpart’s trip to Tehran and said that Austrian President Heinz Fischer plans to travel to Iran in the near future.
The Austrian foreign minister also held a meeting with Iranian Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani on Sunday.