Iranian Ambassador to Bangladesh Dr Abbas Vaezi has expressed his country’s willingness to import readymade garments (RMG) from Bangladesh.
In an exclusive interview with the daily sun in the capital, he said that Iran imports most of the garments it needs from countries like China and Turkey and sometimes buys Bangladeshi garments from third countries.
“We know that Bangladesh is the second largest RMG exporter of the world. Iran is mulling it over importing garments from Bangladesh directly,” he added.
Suggesting that Iran, a country of over 79 million people, could be a potential big market for Bangladeshi garments, the ambassador said that Iran is trying to establish direct relations with the RMG industry in Bangladesh.
“Though there are some barriers, including high tariff and duty in Iran, to importing garments from Bangladesh, we are working to reduce them to open Iranian markets to Bangladeshi garments,” Abbas said.
He said that the RMG issue will be discussed with enormous importance in the Sixth Joint Economic Commission Meeting between Bangladesh and Iran to be held soon.
He mentioned that Iran is the main importer of Bangladeshi jute for long and that the Gulf nation is working with Bangladesh to exploit potential in fertilisers.
In response to a query, the ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary said the hospitality of Bangladeshis always overwhelms him and “I feel at home in Bangladesh”.
Mentioning that Bangladesh and Iran are connected historically and culturally, the diplomat said the two nations now have relations in all major fields.
Abbas maintained that the bilateral relations are deep and based on mutual interests and it will be strengthened in all fields through the opening up of new avenues in the coming days.
“In a word, I can see that the relations between Bangladesh and Iran have a good future,” he observed.
The diplomat said Iran wish to increase the level of the bilateral trade and that connectivity is very important for strengthening the relations.
“There is no link between Chittagong Port [in Bangladesh] and Bandar Abbas and Chabahar of Iran. It is the cheapest way to export or import goods though those ports,” he maintained.
Abbas said that his country is thinking of establishing direct Dhaka-Tehran air link, which will benefit Bangladeshi migrant workers and businesses of both the countries.
He disclosed that Iran has a plan to import rice from Bangladesh.
In reply to a question, the envoy said that Iran signed a nuclear treaty with the world powers and that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) ratified the deal.
“So, six months after Trump in power, it’s very clear that there is no problem for the deal at all,” he claimed.
He went on saying that Iran is definitely benefiting from the treaty as most of the unfair sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic have gone through the treaty.
“Besides, Iran’s enemies are now not able to sell Iran-phobia to the world saying that Iran is producing nuclear bombs,” he maintained.
The ambassador said that from the very beginning of the Syria crisis, Iran has been arguing that there is no solution to the crisis except for political one, but some courtiers miscalculated the situation, letting a civil war break out there.
Asked why Iran has sided with Bashar al-Assad, he said that Assad is a democratically elected and legitimate president of Syria and that he sought help from Iran.
Abbas mentioned that Bashar’s father Hafez al-Assad helped Iran during the war against Iraq under Saddam Hussein’s administration.
Blaming bad policies of some Arab countries, the Iranian diplomat claimed that the roles of Israel and the US have given rise to the recent gulf crisis.
“We believe that the Middle Eastern crisis could be solved through the intervention of the Gulf States, not through the interference of outsiders,” he continued.