Portugal’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Rui Machete is now encouraging nationals to travel to Iran.
Poised to sign a deal for direct flights between Lisbon and Tehran, Machete said he hoped the new service would “improve business” and see Portuguese “visiting Iran in much greater numbers than up until now”.
Currently touring the country on a state visit, he told a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce in Isfahan that he hoped to sign the air link deal within the next few days.
Portuguese like to do business, he explained. This has been demonstrated throughout history.
Accompanied on the trip this week by businessmen representing 12 Portuguese companies, Machete stressed that commercial exchanges with Iran could “open new fields of business” for both countries.
For example, Isfahan, a city with “monuments of exceptional worth” could create opportunities for the tourist industry, both in infrastructures and construction.
The official Portuguese visit to Iran is the first since 1975.
The high point was billed by Económico website as Monday when Machete was due to meet his counterpart in diplomacy Javan Zarif and the Iranian president Hassan Rohani.
By NATASHA DONN