Iran and Italy sign bilateral agreements

Iran and Italy signed a series of bilateral agreements during a visit by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to Tehran on Tuesday, signaling both countries' desire to restore ties following this year's implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, The Associated Press reported.

The agreements included plans for cooperation between Italian electricity and gas company Enel and the National Iranian Gas Export Company, according to AP, which cited the Iranian state news agency IRNA.

Enel said the memorandum of understanding lays out details for possible cooperation involving natural gas, liquefied natural gas and related infrastructure. The agreement could include information-sharing, studies, analysis and training, "as well as exploring future opportunities for long term supplies," Enel said.

Other deals include a car component agreement with Danieli Group, an agreement with the Milan Airports company to renovate a domestic airport in Tehran, and another focused on promoting tourism, according to IRNA.

Ali Reza Daemi, deputy energy minister, was quoted as having told IRNA the two countries also agreed to build several biomass, solar and geothermal power plants. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Since the nuclear deal between Iran and the West was announced, energy sector companies and businesses from other sectors have travelled to Iran to seek market opportunities.

In addition, several European countries have reached out as well in an attempt to restore economic and diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic.

In January, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited Rome, where he signed business agreements with Renzi. The Italian Prime Minister said at the time those were "just the beginning" for the two countries.

"Before the sanctions Italy was Iran's budgets trade partner in the European Union and today we want Italy to play that role again," Rouhani said Tuesday during a ceremony to welcome the Italian premier. "Today, we want Italy to play its former role."

Renzi's two-day visit, which began Tuesday, was the first by an Italian leader since Giuliano Amato visited in 2001, noted AP.


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