At a time when global economic boycotts of Iran are being widely reported, Mehdi Ghazanfari, head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization, has told IRNA, an official Iranian news agency, that five European countries have been Iran’s main trade partners during the past year.

The European countries trading with Iran include: Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and France and are worth $15.4 billion.

“Despite the sanctions imposed on Iran by some Western countries and U.S., the European states are keen on continuing bilateral economic cooperation with Iran,” he said, referring to the figure of trade exchange between Iran and those states.

Meanwhile, Iran’s ambassador to Turkey, Bahman Hosseinpour, has told another official Iranian news agency, Fars News, the volume of trade between Iran and Turkey has reached a record $12 billion. This follows efforts by officials on both sides. He expressed hope the two countries’ trade exchanges would increase to $20 billion in the near future.

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Mr. Hosseinpour made his remarks while speaking at a seminar on expansion of Iran-Turkey trade ties and investments.

Reminding the significant role businessmen play in Turkish-Iranian relations, Mr. Hosseinpour said: “Iran and Turkey as two great states do not deserve such a meager level of trade exchanges. And promoting the volume to a proper level is merely possible through [enhanced activity of] traders.”

He further said although the private sector plays a significant role in international trade on a global scale, the two countries’ governments currently run Turkish-Iranian trade exchanges.

Iranian Minister of Commerce Masoud Mirkazemi is currently in Ankara, Turkey to discuss ways for expansion of commercial cooperation. Mr. Mirkazemi heads an Iranian delegation to Ankara that includes 170 businessmen and exporters from the Iranian private sector.

David Bedein can be reached at


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David Bedein
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.