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Iran – Bonino, an initial step toward peace

For Italy the agreement reached in Geneva on the Iranian nuclear programme opens “new prospects for peace” in the region and, based on new trust, could strengthen exchanges and cooperation. Minister Emma Bonino expressed Italy’s satisfaction and underscored that the accord was “an initial step toward rebuilding that climate of trust that is indispensable to reassuring the international community”. And, while maintaining “due caution”, since there “have been lots of false starts in the past”. Bonino sees “new prospects for peace in the Middle East region”.

Positive impact” on Geneva 2

“We are now hoping” – the minister added – “that the resumption of negotiations with Teheran will also help to encourage the convening of the Geneva 2 conference to put an end to the conflict in Syria and, above all, to open humanitarian corridors as soon as possible in order to bring aid to that war-battered population”. Just last Tuesday negotiator and Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stopped off in Rome before going on to Geneva for the new round of talks with the 5+1 group. What emerged in his meeting with Bonino was Zarif’s “determination” to go to the negotiating table with the sole objective of coming away from it with an agreement in hand. “We are looking at an historic occasion”, the Italian foreign minister commented.

Pistelli’s mission to Teheran

Deputy Foreign Minister Lapo Pistelli was sent on a mission to Teheran to assess newly elected President Rowhani’s real intentions; and in an interview a few weeks ago, Minister Bonino stated: “We know very well that if the sanctions were to be lifted, the race toward Iran would be on. We are putting together a plan for exchanges and cooperation, and not only in the field of energy”.

Trade with Iran

According to Italo-Iranian Chamber of Commerce data, commercial trade rose gradually from 2002 to a maximum peak of 7.097 billion euro in 2011; trade from January to November 2012 was cut in half (to 3.506 billion) following the EU’s extension of commercial sanctions, but Italy has maintained its position as Iran’s top European trade partner.

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