Iran is eager to work together with Bangladesh in the areas of energy, science and technology and culture and to fight against extremism that tarnished the image of Islam across the globe, its Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said.
"Bangladesh is very important for us," Zarif told a press conference in Dhaka on Wednesday after his ending one-day visit to Bangladesh. The Iranian Foreign Minister arrived in the Bangladesh capital on Tuesday.
He laid emphasis on exploring wider prospect of cooperation with Bangladesh as the sanctions imposed on Iran are expected to be withdrawn soon as Iran inked a nuclear deal with six superpowers in July. These superpowers are Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France and Germany
Once implemented, the July deal will see the decade-old sanctions, which crippled the oil- and gas-rich Iran's economy, lifted in exchange for long-term curbs on the nuclear programme.
Expressing Iran government's eagerness to accelerate the business and trade ties between the two countries, the Iranian Minister said, "A Joint Economic Commission will be established to boost up business and trade, both in public and private sector.
Bangladesh's Finance and Energy Ministers are expected to visit Tehran soon to kick off the dialouge between the two countries, Zarif said.
"We reached a conclusion, during the meetings with the Prime Minister and President and the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh that we would join together to fight terrorism as it is not Islam, but recently the extremist groups are using the religion as a weapon of political gain. We should come forward to fight against it jointly," he said.
Iranian Ambassador in Dhaka Abbas Vaezi and senior foreign ministry officials were also present at the conference.
When asked if Bangladesh will have access to the proposed Iran-China gas grid line, the Iranian minister said, "This proposed line will feed China and Pakistan. However, the tri-party can think about others' proposal."
Prior to his Bangladesh visit, the Iranian Foreign Minister paid a visit to Beijing where he signed a Memorendum of Understanding for the special grid line.
In August last the Iran showed deep interest to develop Bangladesh's energy sector, particularly in restructuring Easter Refinery and producing hydropower to improve power generation in the country.
Iranian Ambassador in Dhaka Hassan Farazandeh said this while briefing some newspersons at his residence.
He said Iran has vast experience in developing oil refinery fields with low cost and urged Bangladesh to consider their proposals deeply. Tehran will transfer technological support to Dhaka in setting hydropower plants in a bid to ease power crisis.
He also regretted that bilateral trade between the two countries does not reflect the potential of the two OIC countries and urged the business leaders of both the countries to identify specific sectors of mutual cooperation with an objective of inviting investment and transferring technology.