New Zealand Embassy Tehran, Iran

New Zealand and Iran

Background: New Zealand’s Middle East interests

The wider Middle East region remains a strategic fulcrum, the stage on which major international political and economic challenges are being played out. New Zealand aims to play a constructive role in regional security issues and maintains a substantial ongoing New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) deployment to Afghanistan.

New Zealand exports to the region, worth over a billion dollars, are mainly traditional foodstuffs and the region remains the prime source of New Zealand oil imports.

New Zealand is represented in the region by Embassies in Ankara, Cairo, Riyadh and Tehran. We also have a Consulate-General in Dubai and a number of Honorary Consuls supporting the work of the Embassies in their accreditations to Afghanistan, Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar and United Arab Emirates. The Embassy in Ankara represents New Zealand to the Palestinian Authority.The Embassy in Paris is accredited to Algeria and the Embassy in Madrid is accredited to Morocco.

Iran

New Zealand has had an Embassy in Tehran since 1975, making it New Zealand's longest-standing mission in the Middle East. In the year to June 2007 New Zealand exports to Iran were worth NZ$129.95 million, with butter, milk powder and wool being the major export commodities. Imports in the same period amounted to NZ$49.72 million and consisted mainly of petroleum products (91%) and dates and figs, along with smaller quantities of carpets and grapes. Iran is a growing market for a range of New Zealand products and services, including education, electronics, software systems, geothermal expertise and CNG technology, air traffic control services, agricultural technology and sophisticated construction materials. A Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) was established in 1985 to discuss and advance trade and economic relations. The last meeting of the JMC (Eighth Session) was in Tehran in April 2002, with New Zealand represented by the Minister for Trade Negotiations. A Political and Economic Cooperation Commission (PECC) has now replaced the JMC. The PECC offers a framework for the continuation of high-level visits and has a broader scope that better reflects the political and commercial relationship. The inaugural meeting of the PECC took place on in Wellington on 7-9 March 2005. The second meeting was held in Tehran on 8 November 2006.

Iran is a growing market for a range of New Zealand products and services, including electronics, software systems, geothermal expertise, CNG technology, air traffic control services and fisheries resource management services.

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