By Sara Rajabova
An Iranian official has expressed appreciation for Azerbaijan’s role in cooperation between the European Union and Iran.
Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araqchi said a new chapter will be opened in Iran’s ties with neighboring countries, in particular with Azerbaijan in the post-sanctions period.
He made the remarks during a press conference in Tehran on July 22 while responding to a Trend Agency question regarding the future of Iran-Azerbaijan ties once sanctions were lifted.
On July 14, Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – the US, the UK, Germany, France, China, and Russia – reached an agreement over Tehran’s nuclear program.
Based on the agreement, Iran and the six powers agreed that economic and financial sanctions against Iran will be removed through a Security Council resolution.
Araqchi said due to its unique transit potential located between Iran and Baku would have an important place in Iran’s future cooperation with the EU.
He further underlined Azerbaijan’s importance in Iran’s foreign policy, as a result of the close cultural and historic ties between Tehran and Baku.
The Islamic Republic will pay special attention to the potentials of Azerbaijan and other neighboring countries in its policies, Araqchi added.
Ali Masimli, a member of the Azerbaijani Parliament's Economic Policy Committee earlier said the signing of an agreement between Iran and the world powers will contribute to the development of Iran's cooperation with the countries of the region, including Azerbaijan.
He added that the lifting of sanctions will firstly affect the development of commercial relations between Azerbaijan and Iran, in particular in the border regions.
Azerbaijan and Iran have had diplomatic relations since 1918. Iran recognized Azerbaijan's independence in 1991 and diplomatic relations between the two countries were reestablished in 1992.
Currently, the two countries are focused on expanding their economic ties in various fields, including industry, agriculture, energy, alternative energy, and transportation.
Azerbaijan was the 12th leading importer of Iranian non-oil goods in the previous Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, 2015, according to the Iranian Customs Administration.