Iran wants to give new impetus to its relations with Bangladesh

Iran is poised to give a new impetus to its relations with Bangladesh following historic nuclear deal with world powers to lift sanctions.

Published : 1 Sept 2015, 11:33 AM
Updated : 1 Sept 2015, 11:53 AM

Tehran’s Ambassador in Dhaka Abbas Vaezi said they were launching a flurry of activities including high-level visits to give a fresh momentum to the relations, and boost trade and investments.

He was sharing the potentials of bilateral relations at the Diplomatic Correspondents’ Association, Bangladesh (DCAB)’s talk on Tuesday at National Press Club.
The Islamic Republic has an abundance of oil and natural gas reserves, but international sanctions over its nuclear programme have crippled its economy with restrictions on trade.

The Western powers reached a deal only last month after years of negotiations with Tehran on limiting its nuclear activity in exchange for lifting the economic sanctions.

The ambassador said it was a “win-win” negotiation with the major powers because “something we accepted, something they accepted”.

“But through this, most of the unfair sanctions will be removed,” he said, “Iran is ready to have cooperation and trade (with Bangladesh) in many fields.”

“We will be able to help Bangladesh in many ways.”

He said they could buy jute, clothes and agricultural products from Bangladesh and at the same time, could export oil, natural gas and petrochemicals.
He said they had already invited Bangladesh’s state minister for power and energy to visit Tehran to discuss and negotiate all the issues related to cooperation in energy sector.
As Iran was working to roll out a gas pipeline to India through Pakistan, the ambassador said, Dhaka could also discuss with New Delhi to get gas from that channel.
 He said the cooperation could also be extended in the field of science, culture and education.
Iran established diplomatic ties with Bangladesh soon after its independence in 1971, though people-to-people relations date back to several centuries.
The envoy said they would bring ‘Sufi’ festival to Dhaka as it had some historic links with this region, and would hold film festival.
“Our students also want to study in Bangladesh,” he said, recalling the early days after the Islamic Revolution in 1979 when many Bangladeshi doctors served in the human resources-starved Iran.
He said during the period of sanctions, Iran survived with the help of its “brotherly countries like Bangladesh”.
“They imposed inhuman sanctions. Even we could not buy medicines,” he said, calling the action of the Western powers as “double standards”.