Mr. Borge Brende arrived Tehran early in the morning of the August 17th for a daylong visit to Iran’s capital. During his first meeting with Foreign Minister Zarif, Brende urged further promotion of Tehran-Oslo ties. One of his key messages to Foreign Minister Zarif was that good opportunities for cooperation have emerged after the removal of international sanctions on Iran. “Oslo is ready to exploit these chances to expand Iran's relations in the post-JCPOA era”, Brende said.
During the meeting with Zarif three memorandums of understanding were signed, which will provide export credit guarantees for development and infrastructure projects. The Norwegian Foreign Minister elaborated on the signing saying that “we have also signed a MoU with Iran regarding allocation of one billion euros by Norway’s Guarantee Fund for the expansion of trade activities with Iran which would help businessmen to invest in the country. Investments are needed in Iran, and Norwegian companies are eager to come back”.
After meeting Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif, Brende met leader of the National Security Council Shamkani, Amirabdollahian, advisor to the Parliament President and Parliament President Larijani, before meeting president Rohani. In the meeting with Rohani they discussed, among many topics, regional issues and the deep concern the countries share about the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria. Brende described Iran as a country that can play a constructive role in helping bringing stability to Iraq and Syria.
Later in the day, Brende visited Oil Minister Zanganeh where he discussed cooperation in energy and especially in the oil and gas industry. Oil Minister Zanganeh emphasised that Iran has always had a good relationship with Norway in the oil sector, and pointed out that the Norwegian companies Statoil and Norsk Hydro were present in Iran only six years ago. Brende ended his day with a visit to Dr. Velayati, advisor to the Supreme Leader.
The Norwegian Foreign Minister was content with his visit to Tehran, emphasizing that concrete possible steps had been discussed regarding how to enhance cooperation between Iran and Norway. After his visit to Iran, he continued his travel to Islamabad, Pakistan.