Tehran - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is to visit Italy, as a sign of the revival in relations with the Islamic republic, said Foreign Minister, Paolo Gentiloni. He was welcomed in Tehran by the reformist president. He delivered a letter of invitation
from Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. "[Mr] Rouhani accepted the invitation and will let us know when," said the minister. The president has said that after the Vienna agreement on nuclear weapons, "Iran can play an increasing role of stability in the region against terrorism," pointed out Mr Gentiloni. "We can attempt to work together on some specific issues, such as Syria and Lebanon," he said. The Italian mission was also succesful in terms of economic relations. Minister of Economic Development, Federica Guidi, joined Minister Gentiloni in Tehran, and said Italy could return to the level of trade with Iran before sanctions, when it was worth more than seven billion euros. However, among other things it could be "better distributed in more sectors", including some new ones. Italy is, "in a very good position, because the relations that it had, also at critical junctures, have not been forgotten" and Tehran pays attention to "history and relationships", said the minister. Oil and gas giant Eni is one of the Italian companies ready to return to Iran, but is calling for an amendment to buy back contracts and the settlement of an outstanding debt of 800 million euros owed by Tehran. It says it is working on a solution. Mr Gentiloni considers it "very likely" that Iran will review the contract models "in the interest of companies that want to invest". Ms Guidi confirmed the need for an amendment of the buy back contracts to "conditions that are nowadays universally recognised as normal". She said: "The presence of Eni is historic. It is reasonable to think that Eni will confirm and maintain its interest in investments in the country." The agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme continues to divide the United States and Israel. President Barack Obama, meeting leaders of the U.S. Jewish community, said that if the agreement were rejected by Congress it would increase the possibility of U.S.
raids on Iranian nuclear facilities. This would mean the Shi'ite militia Hezbollah, allied to Tehran, could respond by launching missiles at Tel Aviv. "Israel would pay the price of an American attack" on Iran, he warned. The U.S. president also said he would be ready to meet Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has so far refused to avoid giving any impression of consent to the Vienna agreement. (AGI)