Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel visits Tehran to boost trade ties in anticipation of sanctions being lifted after a landmark nuclear deal, but Israel remains a sticking point to closer cooperation.
With the ink barely dry on the Iran nuclear deal, Germany has made steps to revive a once close trading relationship with Tehran.
In anticipation of western sanctions being lifted, Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel made the first trip in 15 years to the Iranian capital. He made clear that closer economic ties depended on improving relations with Israel.
“With the recent nuclear agreement and the future events, new issues will be raised for Iran and we have developed the basis, both inside and outside the country, to produce security in the Middle East, and I believe it is for the benefit of Iran as well. Developing security in the region and the security of the state of Israel is of significant importance to us.”
Speaking purely about business, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said:
“We hope to move fast after the sanctions are removed and it seems like the German companies and state have political determination to help Iran put the era of depression behind it, we have never had tense relations with Germany.”
Gabriel is keen to strengthen ties with Iran’s energy sector which at its height produced more oil than Saudi Arabia. However, Tehran has said it needs billions of dollars of investment to revive the industry which has been crippled by years of sanctions.