Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó visiting Tehran

Monday, May 18, 2015

A nuclear agreement with Iran indispensable for the security of Europe and the Middle East stability said Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó after meeting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran.

The Hungarian foreign ministers said extremely worrying developments are taking place in the Middle East - the expansion of the Islamic State, civil wars, escalating conflicts - which destabilize the region and have negative impact on Europe's security.

"Therefore, from the point of view of the stability of the Middle East it would be very important to sign a nuclear agreement deal with Iran before June 30," said Szijjártó. If there is no agreement, the consequences become unpredictable; it is clear that without pragmatic cooperation with Iran it will be very difficult to resolve a number of conflicts plaguing the Middle East he added.

Regarding Hungarian - Iranian bilateral relations the two foreign ministers identified four areas for future development. The first area relates to ​​cultural relations. Hungary has decided to open a Hungarian Cultural Institute in Tehran; Hungary handed over a draft proposal of the planned Cultural Institute to the Iranian side; the institute would organize bilateral scientific and cultural programs between the two countries and offer Hungarian language courses.

The second area would be ​​education. Currently, two thousand Iranian students studying in Hungarian universities. The Hungarian side handed over a draft proposal on educational cooperation to the Iranian side assuring continued operation of Persian Lectorate at ELTE University.

Economic ​cooperation is the third area which has great potential in bilateral relations. The two sides have already started negotiating an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation, which is absolutely necessary to create trust in cooperation between businesses said Szijjártó.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani(R) meets with Hungary's Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto in the Iranian capital Tehran on May 18, 2015

There are four areas in economic cooperation which have great potential: these are the pharmaceutical field, food industries, information technology and water management. Szijjártó pointed out that the steady decline in water reserves in Iran causes a very serious condition in the country, this is why Iran shows great interests in Hungarian water management technologies.

The energy sector was named as the fourth area of potential cooperation between the two countries that the two foreign ministers agreed on. Organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Iranian experts are already participating in educational programs in Hungary. "After lifting of sanctions we want to expand this program even more, and would like to see Hungarian expertise to be used in Iranian power plants" said Szijjártó.

The Hungarian foreign minister pointed out if sanctions against Iran lifted European-Iranian energy cooperation can be expanded for the benefit of both sides. Since Iran has the world's second largest natural gas reserves and the fourth largest oil reserves, it would open up a new possibilities for Europe to diversify its energy sources.


Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó's visit to Iran indicating that Hungary is looking for alternatives to the Turkish Stream in case its Central-European extension can't be built due to the destabilization of Macedonia.

Szijjártó said to Iranian officials that after the lifting of sanctions on Iran energy cooperation with Europe could start immediately. Would this mean the revival of the abandoned Nabucco pipeline project perhaps under different name?

The very fact that the foreign minister considering Iranian gas imports shows that the Hungarian foreign affairs realized that the Turkish Stream Central-European extension for all practical purposes is dead due to the destabilization of Macedonia by the same actors also orchestrated the Ukrainian crisis.

The government of Macedonia has received an ultimatum - either it withdraws from the Turkish Stream pipeline project, or face the consequences. The Hungarian government understands the meaning of the ultimatum so it is looking for alternatives.

(MTI –


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