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EghtesadOnline: Iran’s president said the European Union is counted upon to support European firms and banks willing to work with Tehran, assuring them there will be no negative consequences.

Hassan Rouhani added that such encouragement is required to let Iran and Europe fully exploit opportunities emerging after the removal of international sanctions against Iran in January 2016. 

Rouhani was speaking in a press conference with visiting Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven on Saturday, reported.  

The sanctions were lifted when Iran’s July 2015 nuclear deal with world powers went into effect, under which Tehran committed to temporarily limit its nuclear program, according to Financial Tribune.    

Although Europe’s industrial powers have shown great enthusiasm for closer trade ties with Iran since then, the remaining unilateral US sanctions, whose language is vague and levy hefty fines on violators, have frightened European companies. 

The bigger concern for European businesses is the new US President Donald Trump who has vowed to take a tough line against Iran.

Rouhani and Lofven also discussed West Asian conflicts, particularly the situation in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Palestine.

The Iranian president said Tehran and Stockholm are intent on developing bilateral ties and working on easing tensions in the region and improving international peace and stability.

Lofven said the level of his accompanying delegation, which comprises top Swedish entrepreneurs, business people and officials, shows how much importance Stockholm attaches to Tehran ties.

Earlier, Iranian and Swedish officials signed five documents of cooperation in various areas, in the presence of the two leaders. 

The documents covered areas of innovation and technology, higher education and research, road construction, communications and information technology, as well as family and women's affairs.

Lofven is in Iran on a three-day visit. He was expected to meet Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani on Saturday evening.

An Iran-Sweden Business Forum was expected to be held during the visit, covering areas such as automotives, packaging, communications and information technology, materials technology, banking and investment.

The two countries held a joint business forum in June 2016, which was attended by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Swedish Minister for EU Affairs and Trade Ann Linde.

Hassan Rouhani Iran-EU ties Iran-EU trade Iran-Sweden ties Iran business Stefan Löfven