Iran plans to join WTO post-sanctions: minister

August 29, 2015 - 0:0

TEHRAN – Iran plans to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) after the lifting of sanctions and a relevant workgroup has already been appointed, the IRNA news agency quoted Iranian Industry, Mining, and Trade Minister Mohammad-Reza Ne’matzadeh as saying on Thursday.

“We are seriously planning to make a balance between our exports and imports given its importance,” Ne’matzadeh noted, adding, “Urgent planning is required so as to know what measures to take in post-sanctions era to expand our foreign markets.”

WTO is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business.

WTO received Iran’ membership application on July 19, 1996. The General Council established a Working Party to examine the application of Iran on May 26, 2005. The country submitted its Memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime in November 2009.

Iran’s bid for accession into the WTO has long faced the U.S. veto. Washington agreed to drop its opposition as part of a preliminary nuclear agreement in November 2013.

For the WTO membership, Iran has to radically restructure its economy, slash tariffs and reduce state ownerships.