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Tehran open to Japanese investment, happy with $10 billion credit line, deputy foreign minister says

Kyodo

Deputy Foreign Minister Kentaro Sonoura and his Iranian counterpart Abbas Araghchi agreed Saturday in Tehran to foster Japanese investment in the Middle Eastern nation following the lifting of international sanctions in January.

“We had a very good meeting today and mainly we talked about how to expand mutual relations and cooperation in order to prepare needed infrastructure to reach goals in financial and economic issues in the post-sanctions era,” Araghchi said after the one-hour meeting at Iran’s Foreign Ministry.

The two also discussed how to ensure stable means for settling financial transactions to ensure Japanese firms won’t get mixed up in United States sanctions related to Iran’s support for terrorism, Sonoura said.

In addition, they discussed the timing for a visit by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the ongoing conflict in Syria, and the situation in Turkey after a failed coup there.

Iran, with a population of 80 million, boasts the largest market in the Middle East. The Japanese government lifted sanctions on Iran in January and signed a bilateral investment pact in February to help Japanese firms do business as other countries compete for access.

In addition, the state-backed Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance gave Iran a credit line worth $10 billion in February.

“Iran is grateful to Japan for the allocation of the $10 billion credit line and we are sure that this action by Japan will lead to the blossoming of the two countries’ financial ties,” Araghchi said.

The deputy foreign minister also plans to visit Jordan, Israel, and Egypt while in the region.