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Iran Seeks to Deepen Ties with Kazakhstan

By Orkhan Jalilov April 8, 2021


Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Kazakh counterpart Mukhtar Tleuberdi signed the memorandum of understanding in Nur-Sultan on April 7, 2021. /

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that his country pays particular attention to cooperation with Kazakhstan within the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

“Our cooperation within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union is of high significance,” Zarif said at an official meeting at the Kazakh Foreign Ministry in the capital city of Nur-Sultan.

“Along with this, we noted the need to use the Caspian Sea for peaceful purposes between Iran and Kazakhstan, including with other Caspian states. Particular attention was paid to strengthening the connection between the Caspian countries. We support Kazakhstan’s access to the Bandar Abbas port and create conditions for this,” he added.

The meeting focused on prospects for cooperation and important bilateral, regional, and international issues between the two countries. Iran’s government officials expressed special gratitude to Kazakhstan for its support for Iran and its nuclear program in the international arena.

“In turn, we also support many endeavors of Kazakhstan’s First President Nursultan Nazarbayev and his initiative to create a nuclear-weapon-free zone,” Zarif said.

According to Kazakh Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tleuberdi, the trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Iran amounted to $237 million in 2020 and decreased by 37.2 percent compared to 2019.

“In this regard, we discussed ways to provide comprehensive support in increasing the volume of bilateral trade, which has slowed down due to various circumstances,” he said as part of the meeting.

Officials from Iran and Kazakhstan also signed a document of cooperation between the two countries’ foreign ministries on April 7.

The memorandum of understanding envisages for expansion of the existing collaborations and finding new areas of cooperation. The document is supposed to help remove possible obstacles based on positive political will and a comprehensive, purposeful, and long-term approach. It also emphasizes mutual interests in developing cooperation within the framework of the UN Charter and internationally recognized norms. The document also notes the importance of holding regular consultations at various levels in the political, economic, social, humanitarian, environmental, military, security, and cultural fields.

Earlier this month, Iran’s Kish Air company launched its first flight between the northern Iranian city of Gorgan and Aktau, the administrative center of western Kazakhstan’s Mangistau Region. The plane landed in Aktau on April 1. The flights will be carried out once a month, but the frequency of the flights is expected to be increased in the future.

Iran’s trade with Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) member states amounted to $1.9 billion in the period between March 20, 2020, and February 18, 2021. The figure decreased by 9.4 percent compared to the same period in 2019-2020. Iran exported 2.4 million tons of goods worth $933 million to EEU countries over the past 11 months. Its volume and value decreased by 17 percent and 4 percent, respectively, compared to the same period of the previous year.