Wallström and Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif at the joint press conference. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT
Wallström and Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif at the joint press conference. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Iranian foreign minister leads trade delegation to Sweden

For the first time since UN sanctions were imposed against Iran in 2007, Sweden is hosting their Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and a large trade delegation.

During the visit, the Iranian delegation will meet with Swedish government officials and Business Sweden, a trade and investment council owned by the Swedish government and industry professionals, to discuss Swedish-Iranian business relations.

Iran's Zarif met with Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, EU Minister Ann Linde and Industry Minister Mikael Damberg today. In a press conference following the meeting, Zarif talked about the benefits of cooperation.

“We can now work together in many sectors. Swedish companies are already active in our transportation industry. There is a lot to be gained including in our fuel industry, mining industry, and oil industry. We have an educated population and many engineers that can step into large roles in Swedish industry,” said Zarif.

But not all of the bilateral talks were so positive.

According to Margot Wallström, she and Zarif had “a frank discussion” where she expressed Sweden concerns regarding Iran’s human rights violations.

Zarif did not respond kindly, saying that Sweden's support from countries like Saudi Arabia is nothing to be proud of.

Even with the concerns about human rights violations, there is still money to be made. Business Sweden estimated that exports to Iran could reach 10-15 billion kronor a year compared to the current figure of 2.5 billion kronor a year.

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