An Egyptian business delegation visited Iran last week, reported semi-official Fars news agency on Saturday.
The purpose of the alleged visit is to foster economic relations between the two countries, especially in the field of agriculture.
The head of Iran’s Union of Exporters and Importers of Agricultural Products, Seyed Reza Nourani, told Fars that “Iran has offered to export apples and kiwi [fruit], and to buy citrus from Egypt if needed.” He added that the two sides agreed to study the proposal carefully.
The Iranian official said exchanging agricultural products will be the start of improved relations between Iran and Egypt.
The Iranian news agency also reported that President Mohamed Morsy said during his visit to Iran, “there’s no problem between Iran and Egypt.”
The former chargée d’affaires in Iran, Mahmoud Farrag, said the growing cooperation between the two states had followed increased Egyptian diplomatic representation in Tehran.
“We already orchestrated many deals with Iran, including the establishment of sugar factories and exporting media materials to the Iranian Radio and Television Union,” said Farrag.
He emphasised that there were visits between the two countries even during Mubarak’s era and that the transactions were based on common interests.
According to him, Iran is seeking to alleviate constraints imposed by the international community; “they have already many channels with Africa and Asia,” said the former diplomat.
Of Arab Iranian relations, he said there are chronic problems that must be addressed to foster better relations, namely the problem of the borders in the Gulf and Iranian influence in Syria, Palestine and the Gulf.
The chairperson of the agricultural corps export council, Ali Eissa, said of the commercial exchange between the two countries, “we have exported oranges to Iran for many years. We exported 70,000 tonnes of oranges to Iran last year and 100,000 tonnes the season before.”
He said the openness of the Iranian market depends on the local conditions. “Iran cultivates winter oranges, when they consume their harvest they open the market for importation, if they do this early enough we export big quantities to them, but if they open it late we can only export lesser quantities.”
On the market barriers he said there are none imposed by the Iranians, but transportation is always an issue. “All the transportation companies charge vey high prices when exporting to Iran and some of them refuse to go there because of the embargo,” he said.
Another issue raised by Eissa is currency exchange, because the Iranian rial devaluates rapidly which makes transactions harder.
The Egyptian businessman said China is also exporting oranges to Iran, however, Iranians prefer the Egyptian product.
Tehran severed diplomatic relations with Cairo after the signature of the Camp David accords with Israel in 1978. However, after the January 25th revolution, there have been voices from both sides demanding normalized relations.