President Park Geun-hye made a state visit to Iran and held summit talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to discuss cooperative measures for establishing a win-win partnership between the two countries.
Cheongwadae said, “The summit had a fruitful outcome with the signing of a total of 66 memorandums of understanding (MOUs), including 59 that covered business and the economy. This is the first step for Korean firms to take on the Iranian market and thus create a second Middle East boom.”Cheongwadae explained, “The state visit to Iran by President Park Geun-hye is estimated to have won a total of US$45.6 billion worth of projects. A foothold has been secured to help us return to the pre-sanction trade level.”
According to Cheongwadae, the summit laid a foundation to diversify cooperation to encompass investment and construction of such infrastructure projects as railways, airports, and water management and energy facilities as well as various other sectors—high value-added sectors, including healthcare, medical services, culture, and information and communications technology (ICT).
In a joint press conference, President Park said, “This is the first state visit by a South Korean president in 54 years since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1962. This visit is very meaningful in terms of bilateral relations between the two countries.”She also expressed the hope that both countries would work together in order to further develop their cooperative relationship through the signing of bilateral agreements and MOUs in various fields. Additionally, she emphasized that expanding bilateral exchanges in human resources and culture is a very important task, and said that South Korea and Iran would establish central centers in each other’s countries in the near future.
President Park also explained our government’s intolerance of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and asked for Iran’s cooperation. President Rouhani expressed his strong opposition to North Korea’s nuclear weapons development, pushing for a Korean peninsula free of weapons of mass destruction. Japan’s Kyodo News Agency said that the Iranian government had opposed the possession or use of weapons of mass destruction but it was unprecedented for an Iranian president to mention nuclear issues, and evaluated it as Iran’s implicit attitude of trying to stay aloof from North Korea after Iran reached a landmark nuclear agreement with the United States and Europe in July last year.
The Japanese Kyodo News Agency also explained that Iran maintained a close military relationship with North Korea during Iran’s war with Iraq (1980–1988), but it moved in a new direction as the Rouhani government solved the nuclear problem through talks with the United States and Europe.
Iran, the second largest economy in the Middle East, is called the last “blue ocean”of the Middle East. Iran is also at a unique geographical cross-road connecting the Middle East, Asia and Europe, and it ranks the world’s fourth and second largest reserve holder of crude oil and natural gas respectively.