World, Asia - Pacific

Rouhani concludes Vietnam trip with more trade promises

Vietnamese prime minister congratulates Iranian counterpart on lifting of sanctions

Rouhani concludes Vietnam trip with more trade promises President of Iran Hassan Rouhani (L) and President of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang (R) shake hands during their meeting at Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam on October 6, 2016. ( Pool / Iran Presidency - Anadolu Agency )

By Bennett Murray


Iran's president concluded a three-day visit to Vietnam on Friday after pledging multibillion-dollar cooperation with the Southeast Asian nation.

Hassan Rouhani and Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc -- whose countries both experienced the removal of U.S. sanctions in the past year -- agreed to set a $2 billion goal for bilateral trade turnover, according to the local Vietnam News Agency.

Agriculture, oil and gas exploration and telecommunications are some of the sectors being explored for increased investment on both sides.

While neither Iran nor Vietnam maintains alliances, both nations are part of the non-aligned movement and have been targets for U.S. sanctions.

Iranian-Vietnamese relations have been particularly warm this year following the visit of President Truong Tan Sang, who nominally serves as Vietnam’s head of state, to Tehran in March.

Speaking at a press conference in March during Sang’s visit, Rouhani highlighted Iran and Vietnam’s common historic ground.

“The peoples of our countries have both suffered years of war and economic sanctions. We have shared common experience and have both proved our perseverance,” he said.

During a state visit to Vietnam in May, U.S. President Barack Obama lifted the last Cold War-era sanctions against Vietnam when he legalized arms sales to the country.

In January, the U.S. lifted most of its sanctions against Iran after a United Nations watchdog reported that it had complied with a nuclear weapons deal.

Rouhani -- who arrived in Vietnam on Wednesday -- is to also visit Malaysia and Thailand as part of a tri-nation tour.

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