Iran's accession to TAC new window for boosting ties: Envoy

Kuala Lumpur, Nov 12, IRNA – Iran's envoy to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) said Iran's joining the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) could be a new opportunity for boosting ties with the 5th economy of the world.

'Iran's accession to TAC is considered an important step towards enhancing political, economic and international relations with southeastern Asian countries, especially in post nuclear deal era, and it will pave the way for promoting the relations to 'dialogue partner', a level that 10 countries are currently enjoying it,' Valliollah Mohammadi, Iran's Ambassador to Indonesia who is accredited to ASEAN said in an exclusive interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

The ASEAN foreign ministers in its 49th meeting agreed on Iran's membership in TAC. However, the membership for being operational needs to be signed by Iran's Foreign Minister or a representative.

'Given the cultural, historical, religious and geographical commonalities, the relations between Iran and the southeastern Asian countries are of significance depth and length, as the relations date back to several decades ago,' he said.

Economic ties with ASEAN countries are getting enhanced, he said, adding that there is still much room for economic, trade, technological, scientific and energy cooperation, and making them operational will contribute to realization of Iran's Economy of Resistance.

'Due to the relief as a result of implementation of the nuclear deal, Iran's political and economic relations with the country members of ASEAN have undergone positive developments,' he said.

Iran and the world major powers signed the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2015, under which Iran accepted to limit its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

'Due to long geographical distance between Iran and the region, and maybe because of insufficient delegation exchange with some member countries, and lack of a good understanding of Iran's real capabilities and capacities, it can be said that there remains much room for boosting relations,' the Iranian diplomat said.

Also, he said, the uncovered capacities of the countries in the region is the main issue in the bilateral relations.

'There is also much room for Iran and ASEAN countries to cooperate on fighting terrorism, extremism and drug and human trafficking,' he said.

ASEAN, formed in 1967, is comprised of 10 membrs: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

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