President Rouhani Calls for Broader Ties with Bolivia
TEHRAN (Tasnim) –Iran is ready to expand its ties with Bolivia, read part of a letter by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addressed to his Bolivian counterpart, in which he also expressed the hope that better bilateral ties could help promote peace and justice.
President Rouhani announced Tehran’s full preparedness to expand relations with La Paz in a letter to President Evo Morales on Thursday, the Spanish language ABI news website reported Saturday.
“Keeping in mind the very broad relations between Iran and Bolivia, I hope the cooperation between the two countries will further expand in the future, with the aim of strengthening the foundations of peace and justice” President Rouhani wrote in his letter.
Relations between Iran and latin American countries boosted during the tenure of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was Iran's president from 2005 to 2013.
Relations between Iran and Bolivia, with its strong anti-US stances in recent years, has been expanding in all social, political and economic fields.
Tehran and La Paz have signed a large number of contracts in various fields. Iran has invested in Bolivian infrastructure and other projects.
Iran's ambassador to Bolivia said his country would open two low-cost public health clinics in the country, which is South America's poorest.
Iranian business attache Hojjatollah Soltani said his country planned to use Bolivia as a base for future Red Crescent medical programs across the continent.
In 2010, when Morales visited Iran, he sought further investments in Bolivia, and asked for "expanding ties, promoting investments, and further enhancement of cooperation."
The trip also entailed discussion for a planned $287 million Iranian investment in Bolivia. This was preceded by a line of credit Iran extended to Bolivia for another $287 million as development aid, in particular for mineral exploration and the textile industry.
And to the dismay of the US and some western countries, Morales has maintained that Iran has a right to peaceful nuclear energy, a right the country has upheld despite numerous sanctions imposed on it.