Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt is scheduled to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during his visit to Iran from 3-6 February and will also hold talks with other officials to encourage continued progress in discussions on Iran’s nuclear technology programme.

Sweden is home to more than 100,000 people of Iranian origin, many of them now Swedish citizens. Most of the Iranians living in Sweden sought asylum after the 1979 revolution. Iran was one of the major export markets for Sweden in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region before the US and EU sanctions were imposed on the country due to its controversial nuclear programme.

The EU has a key role to play in discussions on Iran’s nuclear technology programme after a preliminarily agreement in November in 2013 – between Iran and the US, Russia, China, the UK, France and Germany – under which Iran agreed to halt parts of the programme.

Bildt is visiting Iran in response to an invitation by Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif and this is the first visit to Iran by a Swedish foreign minister since 2002. Further positive progress in discussions on Iran’s nuclear technology programme could lead to lifting of US and EU sanctions, and this could lead to higher trade between Iran and Sweden.