ROME – Generating economic growth in the Middle East is crucial to defeating extremism, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday, putting forward his country as a regional trade hub and pillar of stability.
Italy announced some 17 billion euros
($18.4 billion) of business deals with Iran on Monday. Mega contracts are also in the offing in France, reflecting EU countries’ keenness to cash in on the diplomatic thaw with the Islamic Republic. “We are ready to welcome investment, welcome technology and create a new export market,” Rouhani told a business forum on the second day of his visit to Rome, saying Iran had ambitions to develop its own economy after years of curbs and hardship. “Under the new conditions, we want to export 30 percent of what we produce in Iran,” he said, calling for rapid investment in “the most secure and stable country in the region”.