Iran hopes to join WTO in five to seven years

14:25, December 03, 2009      

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Iran hoped to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) in five to seven years, providing there was no political influence, the country's Commerce Minister, Mehdi Ghazanfari, told the WTO ministerial conference here Wednesday.

But the Iranian trade chief declined to elaborate on what kinds of factors might affect Iran's membership bid.

Earlier this week, some developing countries issued a declaration at the WTO meeting, saying politics should not influence the accession process.

Iran applied to join the WTO in 1996, but its application had been blocked by the United States due to concerns about Tehran's nuclear program.

After Washington lifted its objections, the WTO resumed the accession talks with Iran in 2005. At the end of last month, Tehran sent the WTO a memorandum on its trade policies, which would help form the basis of negotiations.

The WTO opened its first ministerial conference in four years on Monday, where trade chiefs of its 153 members were due to review the activities of the multilateral trade body and gather momentum for a conclusion to the Doha Round negotiations.

Source: Xinhua
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