The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Italy issued a joint statement and determined a road-map of development of Tehran-Rome ties in political, economic, cultural, tourism, scientific, and technological fields.

The joint statement was issued to mark the end of President Rouhani’s trip to Italy. The full text of the statement is as follows:

The road map for bilateral cooperation

During his official visit to Italy from 25 to 27 January 2016, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, and the President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic, Matteo Renzi, held friendly and constructive talks geared towards enhancing bilateral cooperation and deepening consultation on the main regional and international issues.

The talks built on the results of previous visits by Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif to Rome, by Italian Foreign Ministers to Tehran, as well as of the meeting between President Rouhani and President Renzi in New York last September 27.

Relying on the historical friendship ties between Italy and Iran, taking into consideration existing agreements between the two Countries, and in accordance with their respective national legislation and international obligations, the two Parties agreed upon the following Road-map to expanding bilateral cooperation and consultation in all areas.

Political Cooperation

1. The parties shall engage into enhanced and systematic political consultations, in the spirit of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two Foreign Ministries signed in Tehran on October 23, 2001.

2. Considering the common challenges facing the two Countries, the Parties will proceed to schedule bilateral political talks, exchanges of visits and any purposeful cooperation within an institutionalized framework, leading to boosting mutual understanding and converging assessments and stances on regional and international issues. Special attention will be devoted to:

  • Supporting the UN-sponsored political process and intra-Syrian dialogue toward a peaceful solution to the conflict in Syria;
  • Continuing the fight against Daesh (aka ISIL) and affiliated terrorist groups, while supporting the Government of Iraq in its efforts to advance governance and national reconciliation;
  • Assisting the Afghan Government of National Unity in restoring conditions of peace and stability throughout the Country;
  • Urging all Lebanese groups and political parties to reach a comprehensive political agreement to overcome the current institutional deadlock;
  • Contributing to solve the crisis in Libya through a swift implementation of the Libyan Political Agreement and empowerment of the new Government of National Accord, thus preventing the risk of terrorism and instability from propagating throughout the Mediterranean;
  • Supporting the efforts to end the conflict in Yemen and to provide speedy humanitarian aid and thus paving the way for intra-Yemeni UN-sponsored dialogue.
  • Encouraging deepening the traditional cooperation between both Countries’ Parliaments as well as between friendship groups.
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3. The Parties shall support, in regional and international organizations, respective nominations for membership and promote joint initiatives concerning regional and international issues.

4. In line with the objectives and principles of the UN Charter and international law, considering the threats against regional and international peace and stability emanating from increasingly aggressive terrorist and extremist organizations, the Parties affirm their commitment to countering violent extremism.

5. The Parties welcome their exchange of experiences in the area of Law and Human Rights and encourage new activities aimed at increasing mutual awareness of both Countries’ legal systems.

Economic Cooperation

The Parties shall encourage the expansion of economic relations in all areas of common interest, with specific focus on:

1. Reactivating the joint bilateral economic committee by holding regular meetings in both capitals;

2. Returning to the previous higher level of trade and investment, and working towards expanding it further, by building on the common interest shown by their respective business communities;

3. Strengthening bilateral cooperation in key areas, and particularly:

Energy; through upgraded industrial cooperation resulting from technology and know-how transfer, joint investments, and marketing of innovative products;

Agricultural policies and agri-food industry; through technology transfer, joint investments and additional sectoral bilateral agreements, including with a view to promoting implementation of the Milan Charter, in line with the principles of Expo 2015;

Transportation; by tapping on the existing potential to strengthen cooperation in the area of infrastructure development, with a view to facilitate respective export flows via land, sea and air;

Environment; through increased exchange of information in the fight against air pollution, drought and climate change.

4. Encouraging bilateral banking and credit relations. In this context the parties welcomed the initiatives undertaken by the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Central Bank of Italy, and other relevant financial and insurance institutions, particularly the Italian Export Credit Agency (SACE), and called for their further expansion;

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5. Supporting ongoing negotiations aimed at solving the issue of SACE’s outstanding credits;

6. Establishing an appropriate executive mechanism to boost mutual investments, consistently with the agreement on the subject of March 10, 1999, and relying upon prompt entry into force of the Convention against double-taxation signed in Teheran on January 19, 2005;

7. Introducing new projects and areas of possible cooperation between small and medium enterprises, including by sharing experiences and best practices in the area of design and management of “technology parks”;

8. Promoting exchange of trade and investment delegations to both countries, thereby strengthening the current positive trend.

Cultural and Tourism Cooperation

Inspired by the depth of their historical and cultural ties, the Parties express their interest in strengthening cooperation in various fields such as art, education, academic, research and sports, within the framework of respective internal laws and values and referring to the existing executive cooperation program on culture, education and research. In order to strengthen relations in cultural affairs and tourism, the Parties:

1. Commit to pursuing cooperation in the area of archeological exchanges and preservation and promotion of cultural heritage, through exchange of experiences and joint programs, mindful of the success of the joint exhibit of the “Persepolis Penelope” and its three copies of Roman time, at the Fondazione Prada’s Museum in Milan and at the National Museum of Teheran;

2. Welcome the upcoming exhibition at the Golestan Palace in Teheran featuring Italian photographers in Iran during the Qajar Age, and the ongoing negotiations aimed at organizing an exhibition of archaeological pieces from the National Museum of Iran at the Museum of Aquileia;

3. Express their interest to foster academic and educational exchanges, particularly in the area of language and culture of both Countries;

4. Look forward to encouraging translations from Persian to Italian and vice versa, including by establishing a dedicated award.

5. Note Italy’s acceptance of Iran’s proposal to participate as guest of honor in the International Book Fair in Teheran in May 2017 and the MAXXI’s interest to host, in January of the same year, a contemporary art collection from the Museum of contemporary art in Teheran;

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6. Commit to strengthening bilateral tourism ties, recalling the MOU signed in Rome on November 10, 1999, by means of initiatives such as negotiating a new MOU on tourism cooperation between public and private organizations of the two countries, encouraging the growing presence of Italian investors in tourism infrastructure projects in the Islamic Republic of Iran and facilitating visa issuance and increase in air links between the two Countries.

Scientific and Technological Cooperation

1. While recalling the MOU on academic and scientific cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Italy signed on September 20, 2015, the Parties expressed their commitment to expanding ties in all areas of mutual interest, and emphasized the need to pay special attention to the following tools:

a. Exchange university students and professors in order to implement key joint projects and plans as defined by the Joint Scientific and Technological Committee;

b. Cooperation among higher education institutions with the aim of eventually granting joint Iranian Italian certificates;

c. Partnerships in the scientific field.

2. The Parties emphasized the need to boost the Joint Scientific and Technological Committee of the I.R. of Iran and the Republic of Italy, with a view to tapping on the whole range of scientific capacities and skills existing in the two countries.

3. The development of bilateral cooperation in the area of Healthcare will be further encouraged and supported through the signature of an MOU between the two Ministries of Health, in the field of medicine and medical equipment, as well as through an MOU on medical education, signed by the Iranian Ministry of Health and the Italian Ministry of Education, University, and Research.

The Ministries of Foreign Affairs of both Countries are called upon supervising implementation of the terms above mentioned.

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