Foreign relations of Iran refers to inter-governmental relationships between Iran and other countries. Following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the newly-born Islamic Republic under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini dramatically reversed the pro-Western foreign policy of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Since then Iran has oscillated between the two opposing tendencies of revolutionary ardor - eliminating western non-Muslim tendencies and promoting the Islamic revolution abroad - and moves towards pragmatism - promoting normalization and economic development. Iran's initial post-revolutionary idealistic and hard-line foreign policy and ambitious goals during the Iran–Iraq War were replaced by more pragmatic policies after the Khomeini's death in 1989. During the reformist presidency of Mohammad Khatami, Iran's relations improved with its neighbors, particularly Saudi Arabia. Following the Iranian presidential election, 2005, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has returned Iran to more Islamic revolutionary policies.
Bilateral relations are sometimes confused and contradictory, due to Iran's oscillation between pragmatic and ideological concerns.
Iranians have traditionally been highly sensitive and suspicious of foreign interference in their country, pointing to such events as Russian conquest of northern parts of the country, the Tobacco concession to the British-Soviet occupation during World War I and II, and the CIA plot to overthrow Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq. This suspicion manifests itself in beliefs many foreigners find highly implausible, such as "the fairly common" one that the Iranian Revolution was actually the work of a conspiracy between Iran's Shia clergy and the British government.. This may have been a result of a widely perceived anti-Shah bias in BBC Radio's influential Persian broadcasts into Iran. A report on 23 March 2009 by the BBC explains that many in Iran saw the BBC and the British government as one, and interpreted the perceived bias for Khomeini as evidence of British government switch away from the Shah. It is entirely plausible that the BBC did indeed help hasten revolutionary events.
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During the reign of the Khomeini Iran's foreign policy often emphasized the elimination of foreign influence and spread of Islamic Revolution rather than state-state relations or the furthering of trade. In the words of Khomeini
"We shall export our revolution to the whole world. Until the cry `There is no God but God resounds over the whole world, there will be struggle."
The Islamic Republic's effort to spread the revolution is thought to have gotten underway in earnest in March 1982 when 380 men from more than 25 Arab and Islamic nations, met at the former Tehran Hilton Hotel for a "seminar" on the "ideal Islamic government," and less academically the launching of a large-scale offensive to cleanse the Islamic world of the Satanic Western and Communist influences that were seen to be hindering the Islamic world's progress.
The gathering of primarily Shia, but including some Sunnis militants, "with various religious and revolutionary credentials," was hosted by the Association of Militant Clerics and the Pasdaran Islamic Revolutionary Guards.
The nerve center of the revolutionary crusade, operational since shortly after the 1979 revolution, was located in downtown Tehran and known to outsiders as the "Taleghani Center." At this headquarters groundwork for the gathering was prepared - the use of Arab cadre, recruited or imported from surrounding countries, to spread the revolution - and headquarters for groups such as Islamic Front for the Liberation of Bahrain, Iraqi Shia movement, and militant clerics of the Moros of the Philippines, Kuwaiti, Saudi, North African and Lebanon.
These groups came under the umbrella of the `Council for the Islamic Revolution` which was supervised by Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri, the designated heir of Ayatollah Khomeini. Most of the council's members were clerics, but they also reportedly included advisors from the Syrian and Libyan intelligence agencies. The council reportedly received more than $1 billion annually - contributions from the faithful in other countries as well as Iranian government allocations.
A two-pronged strategy - armed struggle against what were perceived as Western imperialism and its agents; and a purifying process internally to free Islamic territory and Muslim minds of non-Islamic cultural, intellectual and spiritual influences by providing justice, services, resources to the mustazafin (weak) masses of the Muslim world.
These attempts to spread its Islamic revolution strained the country's relations with many of its Arab neighbors and the extra-judicial execution of Iranian dissidents in Europe unnerved European nations, particularly France and Germany. For example, the Islamic Republic expressed its opinion of Egypt's secular government by naming a street in Tehran after Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's killer, Khalid al-Istanbuli.
At this time, Iran found itself very isolated, but this was secondary to the spread of revolutionary ideals spread across the Persian Gulf and the confrontation with the U.S., or "Great Satan," in the hostage crisis.
Arab and other Muslim volunteers who came to Iran were trained in camps run by the Revolutionary Guards. There were three primary bases in Tehran, and in Ahvaz, Isfahan, Qom, Shiraz, Mashad, and in a facility converted in 1984 near the southern naval base at Bushire.
In 1981, Iran supported an attempt to overthrow the Bahraini government. In 1983, Iran expressed political support for Shi'ites who bombed Western embassies in Kuwait, and in 1987, Iranian pilgrims rioted at poor living conditions and treatment and were consequently massacred during the Hajj (pilgrimage) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Nations with strong fundamentalist movements, such as Egypt and Algeria, also began to mistrust Iran. With the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Iran was thought to be supporting the creation of the Hizballah organization. Furthermore, Iran went on to oppose the Arab-Israeli peace process, because it saw Israel as an illegal country.
Relations with Iraq had never been good historically; however, they took a turn for the worse in 1980, when Iraq invaded Iran. The stated reason for Iraq's invasion was centered around sovereignty over the Shatt al-Arab waterway (Arvand Rud in Persian) between the two countries. However, other non-stated reasons are probably more convincing. Iran and Iraq had a history of interference in each other's affairs by supporting separatist movements. Although these interferences had stopped since the Algiers Agreement (1975), Iran resumed support for Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq after the Revolution.
Iran demanded the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Iranian territory and the return to the status quo ante for the Shatt al-Arab, as established under the 1975 Algiers Agreement signed by Iraq and Iran. This period saw Iran become even more isolated—with virtually no allies. Exhausted by the war, Iran signed UN Security Council Resolution 598 in July 1988 after the United States and Germany began supplying Iraq with chemical weapons. The cease-fire, resulting from the UN Resolution, was implemented on August 20, 1988. Neither nation had made any real gains in the war. It left one million dead and had a dramatic effect on the country's foreign policy. From this point on, the until-then-radical Islamic government recognized that it had no choice but to moderate and rationalize its objectives. This was the beginning of what Anoushiravan Ehteshami calls the reorientation phase of Iranian foreign policy.
Like other revolutionary states, practical considerations have sometimes led the Islamic Republic to inconsistency and subordination of ideological concerns, in, for example pan-Islamic solidarity. One observer, Graham Fuller, has called the Islamic Republic "stunningly silent"
about [Muslim] Chechens in [non-Muslim] Russia, or Uyghurs in China, simply because the Iranian state has important strategic ties with both China and Russia that need to be preserved in the state interest. Iran has astonishingly even supported Christian Armenia against Shi'ite Azerbaijan and has been careful not to lend too much support to Islamic Tajiks in Tajikistan, where the language is basically a dialect of Persian.In this regard the Islamic Republic resembles another revolutionary state, the old Soviet Union. The USSR was ideologically committed not to Islam but to world proletarian revolution, led by Communist parties under its leadership, but "frequently abandoned support to foreign communist parties when it served Soviet national interests to cooperate with the governments that were oppressing them."
Since the end of the Iran–Iraq War, Iran's new foreign policy (see Introduction) has had a dramatic effect on its global standing. Relations with the European Union have dramatically improved to the point where Iran is a major oil exporter and trading partner for countries such as Italy, France, and Germany. China and India have also emerged as friends of Iran. Together, these three countries face similar challenges in the global economy as they industrialize and consequently find themselves aligned on a number of issues.
Iran maintains regular diplomatic and commercial relations with Russia and the former Soviet Republics. Both Iran and Russia believe they have important national interests at stake in developments in Central Asia and the Transcaucasus, particularly on energy resources from the Caspian Sea. Russian and other sales of military equipment and technology concern Iran's neighbors and the United States.
The Islamic Republic of Iran accords priority to its relations with the other states in the region and with the rest of the Islamic world. This includes a strong commitment to the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Non-Aligned Movement. Relations with the states of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC), especially with Saudi Arabia, have improved in recent years. However, an unresolved territorial dispute with the United Arab Emirates concerning three islands in the Persian Gulf (see above) continues to mar its relations with these states.
Tehran supports the Interim Governing Council in Iraq, but it strongly advocates a prompt and full transfer of state authority to the Iraqi people. Iran hopes for stabilization in Afghanistan and supports the reconstruction effort so that the Afghan refugees in Iran (which number approximately 2.5 million.) can return to their homeland and the flow of drugs from Afghanistan can be stemmed. Iran is also pursuing a policy of stabilization and cooperation with the countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia, whereby it is seeking to capitalise on its central location to establish itself as the political and economic hub of the region.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran is selected by the President of Iran. Manouchehr Mottaki is the current acting Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs. Hassan Ghashghavi is the official spokesman.
Iran-Iraq relations have been turbulent due to both participants having fought the worst war in modern history, within the region. Iran and Iraq fought an eight year war in the 1980s. However, bilateral relations have improved since the fall of Iraq's former president Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Iran-Israel relations have shifted from close ties between Israel and Iran during the era of the Pahlavi dynasty to hostility since the rise of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Iran has severed all diplomatic and commercial ties with Israel, and refers to it as the "Zionist entity " or the "Zionist regime."
Around June 1982, Iran dispatched more than 1000 Revolutionary Guards to the predominately Shi'ite Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. There they established themselves, taking over the Lebanese Army's regional headquarters in the Sheikh Abdullah barracks, as well as a modern clinic renamed `Hospital Khomeini` and the Hotel Khayyam. Pasdaran were active in many places, including schools, where they propagated Islamic doctrine. Iranian clerics, most notably Fazlollah Mahallati, supervised.
From this foothold, the Islamic Republic helped organize one of its biggest successes, the Hezbollah militia, party and social services organization loyal to the Khomeini principle of Guardianship (i.e. rule) of the Islamic Jurists (Velayat-e-Faqih), and loyal to Khomeini as their leader. Over the next seven years Iran is estimated to have spent an estimated $5 to $10 million US dollars per month on Hezbollah, although that organization is said to have become more self-sufficient now.
As Hussein Musawi, a militia commander of Amal militia who quit Amal and joined Hezbollah put it:
We are her [Iran's] children. We are seeking to formulate an Islamic society which in the final analysis will produce an Islamic state. ... The Islamic revolution will march to liberate Palestine and Jerusalem, and the Islamic state will then spread its authority over the region of which Lebanon is only a part.`
NATO Iran for the first time in 30 years has held informal talks with NATO. NATO negotiator Martin Erdmann met Iran's ambassador to the European Union, Ali-Asghar Khaji in mid-March 2009.
The Islamic Republic of Iran favours Palestinian national ambitions and officially endorses the replacement of Israel with a unitary Palestinian state. However, Iran has also stated its willingness to accept a two-state solution if the Palestinians find this acceptable.
The Iranian government regularly sends aid to various Palestinian causes, everything from transporting injured children to hospitals to supplying the Palestinian Islamist militant groups Islamic Jihad and Hamas with arms. Streets and squares named after Palestine crisscross the nation.
Due to various political and cultural clashes throughout history, relations between the two nations have been greatly strained. Saudi Arabia and Iran established diplomatic relations in 1928. (history from 1928-66 also needs to be briefly mentioned). In 1966 King Faisal of Saudi Arabia visited Iran with the aim of further strengthening the relationships between both the countries. The then Shah (King) of Iran reciprocated by paying an official visit to Saudi Arabia which eventually lead to a peaceful resolution of the islands of Farsi and Arabi. It was agreed between Iran and Saudi Arabia that the island of Farsi will be possessed by Iran and the island of Arabi will be under the control of Saudi Arabia. The unique feature of agreement is that it only designate the territorial water to the Islands but it did not designate the continental shelf to either island. In 1968, when great Britain announced to withdraw and vacate from the Persian Gulf, Iran and Saudi Arabia took the primary responsibility for peace and security in the region. During 1970s , Saudi Arabia’s main concern over Iran was firstly, Iran’s modernisation of its military and its military dominance all over the region secondly, Iran’s repossession of the Islands of Big Tunb, Little Tunb and Abu Moussa in 1971 which challenged the United Arab Emirates claim over the Islands. But it is more importantly to note that the relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia was never as friendly as between the years 1968 and 1979. After the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Khomeini and other Iranian leaders openly attacked and criticised the character and religious legitimacy of the Saudi regime.
Relations between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Iran date back to the common prehistoric Indo-Iranian heritage (which connects all of Greater Persia with Indus Valley) from 3,000-2,000 BC and the Indo-Parthian and Indo-Scythian kingdoms of antiquity to the strongly Persianized Islamic empires in India in the 13th to 19th centuries. Pakistanis and Iranians are neighbours, connected by the sparsely populated Balochistan region split between them. There is a long history of contact and mutual influence between the two nations, with segments of Pakistani culture directly descended from Iranian cultures. However, today their relations are complex, driven by Pakistani geo-political aspirations, religious affiliations, Iran's relations with India, and internal and external factors. |}
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
|Afghanistan||See Afghanistan–Iran relations
Afghanistan shares a long and intertwined history with Iran. There are also deep ties in language, its people and culture. As an eastern dialect of Persian, Dari Persian is the dominant language of Afghanistan, especially in terms of education and business. Despite such close ties, Afghanistan's relations with Iran have fluctuated in modern times, namely due to the control of the country by the Taliban in the 1990s and with periodic disputes over the water rights of the Helmand River as the current main issue of contention. Iran is situated along one of the main trafficking routes for cannabis, heroin, opium and morphine produced in Afghanistan, and designer drugs have also found their way into the local market in recent years. Iran's police said in April 2009 that 7,700 tonnes of opium was produced in Afghanistan in 2008, of which 3000 tonnes entered Iran, adding that the force had managed to seize 1000 tonnes of the smuggled opium.
|Azerbaijan||1918||See Azerbaijan–Iran relations
Azerbaijan has an embassy in Tehran and a consulate-general in Tabriz. Iran has an embassy in Baku and a consulate-general in Nakhchivan City. Both countries are full members of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
|Bangladesh||See Bangladesh–Iran relations
The government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is seeking to deepen ties between the two states, with Iranian investment in Bangladeshi industry. Bangladesh has also supported Iran's controversial nuclear program, claiming it is for peaceful purposes. The Bangladeshi interim government also called for Iran's full membership of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation; it is currently an observer member of the organisation.
Bangladesh and Iran signed a preferential trade accord in July 2006 which removed non-tariff barriers, with a view to eventually establishing a free trade agreement. Before the signing of the accord, bilateral trade between the countries amounted to US$100 million annually.
In mid-2007, the Bangladeshi government requested Iran's help in the construction of a nuclear power plant in Bangladesh, in order to offset the decline in the availability of gas for power generation. Bangladeshi Minister of Power, Energy and Natural Resources also requested Iranian assistance for the construction of new oil refineries in Bangladesh.
|Template:Country data India Republic of India||See India–Iran relations
After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Iran withdrew from CENTO and dissociated itself from US-friendly countries during the Cold War, at that time Pakistan, which automatically meant better ties with India. Although, some important sources suggest that Iran's Islamic revolution could have been the indirect influence behind India's current problems with separatism in Kashmir.
Currently, the two countries have friendly relations in many areas. There are significant trade ties, particularly in crude oil imports into India and diesel exports to Iran. Iran frequently objected to Pakistan's attempts to draft anti-India resolutions at international organizations such as the OIC. India welcomed Iran's inclusion as an observer state in the SAARC regional organization.
Lucknow continues to be a major centre of Shiite culture and Persian study in the subcontinent.
In the 1990s, India and Iran both supported the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan against the Taliban regime. They continue to collaborate in supporting the broad-based anti-Taliban government led by Hamid Karzai and backed by the United States.
The warm relations between the two countries has also been attributed to the fact that the Persian language was once the lingua franca of India, and many components of Iranian culture have been incorporated into the culture of India due to the frequent interaction between these two regions throughout history.
|Template:Country data Japan||1926||See Iran–Japan relations
Throughout history, the two countries have maintained a relatively friendly and strongly strategic partnership.
|Template:Country data North Korea||See Iran – North Korea relations
Iran–North Korea relations are described as being positive by official news agencies of the two countries. Iran and North Korea pledge cooperation in educational, scientific, and cultural spheres. Nuclear program of Iran.
|Pakistan||See Iran–Pakistan relations
Relations between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Iran date back to the common prehistoric Indo-Iranian heritage (which connects all of Greater Persia with Indus Valley) from 3,000-2,000 BC and the Indo-Parthian and Indo-Scythian kingdoms of antiquity to the strongly Persianized Islamic empires in India in the 13th to 19th centuries. Pakistanis and Iranians are neighbours, connected by the sparsely populated Balochistan region split between them. There is a long history of contact and mutual influence between the two nations, with segments of Pakistani culture directly descended from Iranian cultures. However, today their relations are complex, driven by Pakistani geo-political aspirations, religious affiliations, Iran's relations with India, and internal and external factors.
|File:Flag of the People' People's Republic of China||See People's Republic of China – Iran relations
Iran today continues to align itself politically with the People's Republic of China as the European Union and United States push forward with policies to isolate Iran both politically and economically. Iran has observer status at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and aspires to membership to this organisation, in which China plays a leading role.
In July 2004, Iranian parliamentary speaker Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel stressed China's support for Iran's nuclear programs.  China's Foreign Minister, Li Zhaoxing also said that his country opposes Iran being referred to United Nations Security Council over its nuclear program, and claimed that the Iranian government had a very positive attitude in its cooperation with the IAEA. 
|Turkmenistan||1991||See Iran–Turkmenistan relations
Iran and Turkmenistan have had relations since Turkmenistan's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Iran was the first nation to recognize Turkmenistan as an independent nation. Since then, the two countries have enjoyed good relations and have cooperated in economic, infrastructure, and energy sectors. Trade between the two nations surpasses one billion dollars and Iranians are the second-largest buyers of Turkmen commodities, mainly natural gas. The $139 million Korpeje-Kurt Kui gas pipeline in western Turkmenistan and the $167 million Dousti (Friendship in Persian) Dam in the south of the country were built through a joint venture.
The Caspian Sea territorial boundaries is a cause of tension between the two. Iran's Islamic theocracy and Turkmenistan's secular dictatorship also prevent the development of a closer friendship.
The two countries have deep cultural and historical ties, and Uzbekistan is considered as a part of Greater Iran. Iran has been especially been active in pursuing economic projects and social, cultural, and diplomatic initiatives in Uzbekistan. The two nations have also worked on overland links and other joint ventures. Although the difference political governments, Iran's Islamic theocracy and Uzbekistan's secular dictatorship, prevent keep the two nations apprehensive, it has not deterred them from further improving relations.
There have been several instances in which Iran and Morocco have mostly or completely severed diplomatic relations.
Iran cut off all diplomatic ties with Rabat in 1981. This was in response to King Hassan II's decision to give asylum to the exiled Shah. It was almost a decade before relations would thaw enough to renew ties. It was almost one decade after that before Abderrahmane Youssoufi, Prime Minister of Morocco at the time, would lead the first Moroccan delegation to the Islamic Republic of Iran.  Economic ties increased greatly in recent times.
On March 6, 2009, the King of Morocco severed diplomatic ties with Iran, offering several reasons. Morocco's Foreign Ministry said in a press release on Friday that Morocco has cut its diplomatic ties with Iran following Tehran's remarks over Bahrain. It also cited that Iran spreading its Shi’ite brand of Islam in Sunni Morocco was interfering in Morocco's domestic affairs.
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Senegalese counterpart Abdoulaye Wade had a joint press conference along with a close meeting in Feb 2008 in the city of Mashhad, both side pledged to expand the bilateral ties in the fields of economy, tourism and politics in addition to increase the efforts for empowering the OIC.
Also the giant Iran-based automaker Iran Khodro established an assembly line to produce Iranian cars in Senegal and dispatch them to the African markets directly from Dakar. This Iranian-Senegalese company has the capacity to produce 10,000 Samand cars annually.
South Africa and Iran share historical bilateral relations and the latter supported the South African liberation movements. It severed official relations with South Africa in 1979 and imposed a trade boycott in protest against the country’s Apartheid policies. However, in January 1994, Iran lifted all trade and economic sanctions against South Africa and diplomatic relations were reestablished on 10 May, 1994.
Owing to various cultural and historical compatibilities, Iran and Sudan have generally sought a very cordial and friendly relationship. The two nations share membership in the OIC and the Group of 77. Although they differ in ethnic identity (Iran is predominantly Persian, while Sudan is a mixture of Afro-Arab and African) and denomination (the two nations are Muslim, but the former is mainly Shi'a, while the latter is Sunni), Iran and Sudan share a common strategic bond with both The People's Republic of China and Russia, and a common animosity towards the United States. Relations between Tehran and Khartoum have continued to grow, especially since April 2006, when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad voiced his opposition to the deployment of Western United Nations Peacekeepers in the Darfur region. Sudan ardently supports Iran's nuclear program. Both countries are also firmly against Israel.
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
|Belarus||See Belarus–Iran relations|
|Bulgaria||See Bulgaria–Iran relations|
|Croatia||See Croatia–Iran relations|
|Cyprus||See Cyprus–Iran relations|
|Czech Republic||See Czech Republic – Iran relations|
|Denmark||See Denmark–Iran relations|
|France||See France–Iran relations|
|Georgia||See Georgia–Iran relations|
|Germany||See German-Iranian relations|
|Greece||See Greece–Iran relations|
|Holy See||1954||See Holy See – Iran relations
The Holy See and Iran have had formal diplomatic relations since 1954, since the pontificate of Pius XII, and have been maintained even during the most difficult periods of the Islamic revolution.
|Hungary||See Hungary–Iran relations|
|Italy||See Iran–Italy relations
Iran-Italy trade stood at $US 2.7 Billion in 2001 and 3.852 Billion Euros in 2003. In 2005, Italy was the third largest trading partner of Iran with 7.5% of all exports to Iran. Italy was the top trading partner of Iran in the European Union in early 2006. Commercial exchanges hit 6 billion euros in 2008.
|Russia||See Iran–Russia relations
Relations between Russia and Persia (pre-1935 Iran), officially commenced in 1592, with the Safavids in power. Past and present contact between Russia and Iran has long been complicatedly multi-faceted; often wavering between collaboration and rivalry. The two nations have a long history of geographic, economic, and socio-political interaction. Since then, mutual relations have been turbulent often, and dormant at others.
|Switzerland||See Iran–Switzerland relations
Switzerland has had a consulate in Tehran since 1919 which was raised to the status of embassy in 1936 and also represents the interests of some countries including United States and South Africa in the Iranian capital Tehran.
The mutual ties between the two countries have been generally fair and friendly because of cultural cognations. There are agreements between the two countries on air traffic (1954, 1972 and 2004), road and rail transport (1977), export risk guarantees (1966), protection of investments (1998) and double taxation (2002). Iran is one of Switzerland's most important trading partners in the Middle East. A trade agreement was signed in 2005 but has not yet been ratified.
|Turkey||See Iranian–Turkish relations
A period of coldness passed after the 1979 Iranian Revolution which caused major changes in Iran and the world's status quo. Today Iran and Turkey cooperate in a wide variety of fields that range from fighting terrorism, drug trafficking, and promoting stability in Iraq and Central Asia. Iran and Turkey also have very close trade and economic relations. Both countries are part of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). Turkey receives many Iranian tourists each year and economically benefits from Iranian tourism.
Bilateral trade between the nations is increasing. In 2005, the trade increased to $4 billion from $1 billion in 2000. Iran’s gas export to Turkey is likely to be increased. At present, the rate is at 50mm cm/d. Turkey imports about 10 billion cubic meters a year of gas from Iran, about 30 percent of its needs. Turkey plans to invest $12 billion in developing phases 22, 23 and 24 of South Pars gas field, a senior Iranian oil official told Shana.ir. Two-way trade is now in the range of $10 billion (2008), and both governments have announced that the figure should reach the $20 billion mark in the not too distant future. 50 percent of the gas from three phases of Iran’s South Pars gas field will be re-exported to Europe. Turkey has won the tender for privatization of Razi Petrochemical Complex valued at $650 million (2008). On tourism, every year one million Iranians visit Turkey.
|United Kingdom||See Iran – United Kingdom relations
The Herald Tribune on 22 January 2006 reported a rise in British exports to Iran from £296 million in 2000 to £443.8 million in 2004. A spokesperson for UK Trade and Investment was quoted saying that "Iran has become more attractive because it now pursues a more liberal economic policy".
Iran has a productive trade balance with Cuba. The two governments signed a document to bolster cooperation in Havana in January 2006. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called relations "firm and progressive" over the past three decades.
Political relations between Iran and the United States began in the mid to late 1800s, but had little importance or controversy until the post-World War II era of the Cold War and of petroleum exports from the Persian Gulf. Since then an era of close alliance between Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's regime and the American government was followed by a dramatic reversal and hostility between the two countries after the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
Opinions differ over what has caused the decades of poor relations. Explanations offered include everything from the "natural and unavoidable" conflict between the Islamic Revolution on the one hand, and American "arrogance"  and desire for "global dictatorship" and "hegemony" on the other; to the regime's need for an "external bogeyman" to "furnish a pretext for domestic repression" against pro-democratic forces, and bind the regime to its "small but loyal and heavily armed constituency".
The current presidents of Venezuela and Iran, President Hugo Chavez and President Ahmadinejad, respectively, have both described themselves on the world stage as opposed to US imperialism. Citing this commonality of opinion, they regard each other as allies, and they have embarked on a number of initiatives together. For example, on January 6 2007, the two announced that they would use some money from a previously-announced $2bn joint fund to invest in other countries that were "attempting to liberate themselves from the imperialist yoke", in Chavez's words.
CP, ECO, ESCAP, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, International Maritime Organization, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, SAARC (observer) SCO (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO WFTU, WEF, WHO, WMO, WTO (observer)
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