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Joining Eurasian Economic Union good opportunity for Iran's economy: Rouhani

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani (C) speaks to reporters in Tehran on September 30, 2019 before leaving for the Armenian capital to attend the Eurasian Economic Union’s summit in Yerevan. (Photo by

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says joining the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) provides the country’s public and private economic sectors with a very good opportunity to develop their foreign trade activities.

Rouhani made the remarks in an interview in Tehran on Monday before leaving for the Armenian capital to attend the EAEU’s summit in Yerevan.

He said Iran's joining the EAEU would be a very good opportunity for the private-sector businesspeople as well as the public economic sector to expand trade ties with the five member states of the union and to connect to the economy of other regions.

“This is a very important step under the circumstances that the Americans cruelly seek to apply pressure and sanctions on the Iranian nation and Iran's foreign trade," the Iranian president said.

He noted that the five member countries of the union have a population of some 180 million while Iran is a nation of 83 million, and therefore relations between Iran and these countries can be of high significance.

Rouhani said an agreement between Iran and the five EAEU states would become operational and implemented on October 27.

As the first step, some 502 Iranian goods can be exported to EAEU countries by receiving preferential tariffs as a nearly zero tariff will be applied to them, Rouhani said, adding that further steps would be taken in this regard in the future.

He noted that Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Armenia are the five members of the union while Iran, Singapore, Moldava and Vietnam plan to join it.

The Iranian chief executive said he is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with senior officials attending the meeting, including the Armenian president and prime minister as well as presidents of Kazakhstan and Russia and Singapore's prime minister.

The Eurasian Economic Union is an international organization for regional economic integration. It has international legal personality and is established by the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union.

The EAEU provides for free movement of goods, services, capital and labor, pursues coordinated, harmonized and single policy in the sectors determined by the treaty and international agreements within the union.

The Iranian government in June cleared a last hurdle to its bid to launch a free trade zone with the Eurasian Economic Union, a major regional organization which could help Tehran increase its revenues from non-oil export at the time of increased US sanctions.

The spokesman of Iran’s Guardian Council, which oversees government’s accession to regional and international treaties, said that the body had approved an agreement signed on May 17, 2018 between Iran and the EAEU that was meant to facilitate trade between the two sides.

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