Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, left, meets with his Chilean counterpart Heraldo Munoz Valenzuela in Santiago, August 25, 2016.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has met with his Chilean counterpart Heraldo Munoz Valenzuela, with the two sides discussing reinforcing bilateral relations, especially in the economy sector.
The meeting, which was held in Chile’s capital city of Santiago on Thursday, was the first throughout the history of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
The meeting was held behind closed doors and without the presence of reporters.
The two top diplomats also exchanged views on issues in Latin America and the Middle East as well as international matters.
Zarif arrived in Chile on Thursday morning on the fourth leg of his six-nation tour of Latin America.
During his short stay in the South American state, the Iranian foreign minister is expected to hold talks with high-ranking Chilean officials about developing relations.
Zarif's trip to Chile comes a few months after the reopening of the South American state’s embassy in Tehran, 37 years after the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
In the opening ceremony of a summit of joint financial opportunities, the Chilean foreign minister said Iran’s nuclear agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with six world powers provided a chance for boosting cooperation with the Islamic Republic in all sectors.
“We have entered a new stage of bilateral cooperation with Iran,” he said.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia, plus Germany signed the JCPOA on July 14, 2015, following two and a half years of intensive talks.
Under the JCPOA, all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran by the European Union, the Security Council and the US would be lifted. Iran has, in return, put some limitations on its nuclear activities.
Zarif has so far travelled to Cuba, Nicaragua and Ecuador and is slated to visit Bolivia and Venezuela after Chile.
The Iranian foreign minister has travelled to the region at the head of a high-ranking politico-economic delegation comprising 120 businessmen and financial executives from government and private sectors.
Prior to Zarif’s departure, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said the expansion of ties with Latin American and African countries has always been on the agenda of the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy.
He further noted that Latin American states are important for Iran due to political and cultural commonalities at international organizations and circles, particularly at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).