Iran, Turkey Seek to Revive Trade in Wake of Nuclear Deal

Report in Turkish newspapers says Iranian, Turkish officials are to meet in near future.

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The nuclear agreement signed between Iran and world powers may result in improved economic ties between the Islamic Republic and Turkey.

According to a report Saturday in Hurriyet Daily News, an Iranian delegation will visit Turkey "in the near future" to discuss the two countries' trade relations, while Turkish Trade Minister Zafer Caglayan is set to travel to Tehran in mid-January.

"There are many areas between Turkey and Iran in which we can conduct trade. We have to revive those [areas],” Iranian Ambassador to Ankara Alireza Bikdeli was quoted as saying by the Turkish newspaper.

Bikdeli made the remarks on Friday during a meeting with the Ankara-based Diplomacy Correspondents’ Association.

Bikdeli reportedly said he expects trade in precious metals to be renewed.

The United States and five other global powers, known as the P5+1, reached a deal with Tehran to curb its nuclear program this past Sunday, opening the prospect that Iran can begin to shake off its economic isolation.

The preliminary accord, which brings up to $7 billion worth of sanctions relief to Iran, could still come unstuck after 10 years of distrust and rancour, leading to yet deeper sanctions that could sink any hasty investments.

The deal, which runs for six months, includes access to a potential $1.5 billion in trade in gold and precious metals, the suspension of some sanctions on Iran's auto sector and petrochemical exports, and opens ways to send and receive payments for humanitarian trade, including medicine and medical devices.

The United States, under pressure from lawmakers skeptical about the deal and from an implacably opposed Israel, has downplayed the likelihood of a business bonanza, even though international firms have expressed interest in reviving trade.

"We don't see on the basis of a six-month agreement business rushing in ... and we will vigorously, vigorously, enforce the vast majority of sanctions, which will remain in place," a senior U.S. administration official said ahead of the talks.

But he conceded: "There is no doubt that some business will return to Iran."

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) shakes hands with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu after a news conference in Ankara, November 1, 2013.Credit: Reuters

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