Iranian President Hassan Rouhani welcomed the European Union’s launch of a financial mechanism with Iran in order to show its independence from the United States.
President Rouhani made the remarks in a meeting with the new Croatian ambassador to Tehran, who presented his letter of credence to the Iranian president on Saturday.
On Thursday, the European signatories to the 2015 Iran deal announced the launch of a long-awaited direct payment mechanism meant to safeguard their trade ties with Tehran in the face of US sanctions.
Following months-long preparations, the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Britain finally unveiled the mechanism – officially called the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) – on Thursday following a summit in Bucharest.
Referring to the EU’s long overdue first step in launching the financial mechanism to facilitate trade with Iran, the president said, “Of course, we are happy that the EU has showed that it can independently act against the furious face of the United States,” he said, according to the president’s official website.
The president also touched on relations between Tehran and Zagreb, stressing that the two countries can have extensive cooperation in energy and financial ties.
The Croatian envoy said that his country is very happy about the decision made by the EU on trade with Iran, saying that the move can help develop relations between the two countries.
Also on Saturday, President Rouhani received the credentials of the new ambassadors of Turkey, Pakistan, Mali, Tunisia, Venezuela, Sierra Leone and Kazakhstan.
President Rouhani told the new Turkish ambassador, “Today, ties between Tehran and Ankara are closer, deeper and longer than 40 years ago, and without a doubt, these friendly ties are beneficial for the two countries and the region and we can bring about peace and stability for the region with each other’s help.”
In his meeting with the new Tunisian ambassador, the Iranian president referred to the revolution of the people of Tunisia in recent years and its spread to other countries, expressing hope that Tunisians reach their goals in the future.
The president also said Tehran was willing to develop its relations with Tunis in different areas, including culture, communications and science.
Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline
“We should take advantage of the existing potentials and opportunities for further development of relations and cooperation in all fields,” President Rouhani said during his meeting with Pakistan’s new ambassador to Tehran.
“Construction of the gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan is a very important project for the two countries, and we are happy that we have been able to fulfill our commitment in this regard,” he said. He expressed hope that the pipeline would become operational as soon as possible.
He also pointed to the importance of the fate of several Iranian border guards recently kidnapped by terrorists based in Pakistan.
Terrorists kidnapped 12 Iranian border guards near the town of Mirjaveh in Sistan-Baluchestan Province last October and took them into neighboring Pakistan. Five of the captives were later freed and efforts are underway to secure the release of the remaining guards.
Rouhani also held a meeting with Kazakhstan’s new envoy.
During the meeting, he praised the Central Asian country for its active role in Iran’s nuclear negotiations and the Astana process on Syria.
The Iranian president also held separate meetings with new ambassadors of the African countries of Mali and Sierra Leone, during which he called for expansion of scientific, academic, and agricultural relations.