‘Expansion of Iran-Turkey relations serves regional interests’
TEHRAN (FNA) - Tehran’s Ambassador to Ankara Bahman Hosseinpour said on Tuesday that expansion of ties between Iran and Turkey is in the interest of both countries and the entire region, and urged the two neighboring states to increase consultations over regional issues.Speaking in a meeting with Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, Hosseinpour reiterated, “Iran and Turkey enjoy good capacities for cooperation and we hope that the volume of cooperation increases with the help of the two countries’ officials.”
Elsewhere, he noted the upcoming presidential election in Iran, and stressed that criticizing the performance and positions of the four candidates is an obvious indication of democracy in Iran.
Hosseinpour further extended an invitation to invited Arinc to visit Iran.
Arinc, for his part, pointed to the warm and intimate relations between the two countries’ senior officials, and said, “The trade relations between the two countries have expanded significantly and the two countries share close views on regional issues.”
Iran is Turkey’s seventh major trade partner.
The value of Iran-Turkey trade exchanges in the first nine months of 2008 rose by 41 percent to reach $8.3 billion.
Turkey’s exports to Iran in the said period showed an increase of 64.3 percent and Iran’s exports to Turkey indicated a rise of 36.6 percent compared to the same period the previous year.
The figure stood at $1.9 billion in September 2008, up by 34.34 percent compared to $814.3 million for the same month last year.
Turkey’s exports to Iran reached $153.6 million in September 2008, showing an increase of 42.4 percent compared to the same period a year ago.
Turkey’s imports from Iran were up by 33.1 in September 2007, reaching $940.9 million.
Tehran and Ankara also signed a deal last year on joint gas production and export of Iranian gas via Turkey to Europe.