The Economic and Commercial Office of Spain in Tehran hopes that the economic exchanges between the two countries will return to their prosperous days, said Spanish Ambassador to Iran Angel Losada Fernandez.
Talking to Iran Daily, the top diplomat noted that before the US withdrew from the JCPOA, the trade between Iran and Spain amounted to €2 billion per annum, which has decreased now to €200 million.
He added that despite the significant drop in economic exchanges between the two countries due to the collapse of the JCPOA, his country kept its Economic and Commercial Office open in Iran.
“I am interested in the development of trade deals between the two countries, because Spain enjoys a very flexible economy and has always been keen on developing its economic relations with other countries, including Iran,” Losada noted.
Referring to the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1, the envoy said, “The JCPOA is very important for us as we are waiting for the agreement to be resumed.”
Pointing to the presidency of the Council of the European Union which Spain took over On July 1, he noted that his country is trying to develop relations between Iran and European states within the framework of mutual respect and constructive will.
“Spain's rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union has granted the country a special position, as a result of which I, as the ambassador of Spain, am in charge of the local presidency of the EU, so we are doing our best to establish relations between Iran and Europe based on friendship and with a view to build a better future,” the diplomat explained.
He went on to say that the periodic presidency of the Council of the European Union is effective in converging the views of the member states in various fields, including Iran issues, and therefore we must pay attention to this issue founding our activities on the said basis.
“Currently, Spain has to reach an understanding with its 26 partners in the EU on various issues, as it is important in the case of Iran because 22 EU states have their embassies in Iran.”
Referring to the history of relations between the two countries, Iran and Spain, the ambassador said the two countries have an ancient and long history of relations as according to some documents, the relations date back to 400 years ago.
“Today, the relations between Iran and Spain are based on mutual respect with an eye on building the future,” he noted.
An issue that has affected the relations between the two countries which leaves an impact on the prospects of the relations in the future is the arrest of a Spanish citizen who has been in Iranian prisons since last year, he criticized.
“In my opinion, such issues is not in accordance with the vision of the two countries to build the future which slows down the development of relations,” the envoy added.
In order to solve the problem, Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares Bueno has negotiated with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, he said expressing his hope on resolving the issue as soon as possible.
Culture is another important aspect in the relations between the two countries, Losada said adding that the point is that there is a lot of interest in Iranian culture in Spain, and as I noticed, the same interest in Spanish culture is also observed in Iran.
Referring to the cultural similarities of the two countries, the Spanish ambassador stated that the Granada Botanical Gardens in the south of Spain are one of the cultural heritages of the European country, which are built exactly according to the models of Iranian gardens (paradise gardens).
The paradise garden is a form of garden of Old Iranian origin, symmetrical and most often enclosed. The most traditional form is a rectangular garden split into four quarters with a pond in the center, a fourfold design called chahar bagh (four gardens). One of the most important elements of paradise gardens is water, with ponds, canals, rills, and fountains all being common features. Scent is an essential element with fruit-bearing trees and flowers selected for their fragrance.
“Personally, I am very interested in working on commonalities and cultural similarities that can be witnessed in the two countries,” the envoy concluded.