External Affairs Minister Professor G. L. Peiris, representing President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the inauguration of President Hassan Rouhani as the eleventh President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, conveyed to the new President the warm felicitations and good wishes of President Rajapaksa, and his appreciation of Iranís goodwill and friendship for Sri Lanka.
Soon after the ceremonial induction in the precincts of Iranís Parliament, Minister Peiris called on Mr. Jangiry, First Deputy to the President of Iran. He expressed the view that, with peace and stability fully established in Sri Lanka, and with the rapid development of the economy, the two countries could look forward to strengthened relations. Minister Peiris referred to the substantial assistance extended by Iran to a variety of development projects in Sri Lanka, including the Uma Oya irrigation project and the electrification of 1400 villages. The Iranian dignitary discussed with Prof. Peiris priorities for the future of the bilateral relationship, in the overall context of the trajectory of Iranian policy enunciated in the new Presidentís Inauguration Address.
Minister Peiris also held discussions with Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi, Iranís Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as informally with Dr. Javad Zarif, Professor of Law and former Permanent Representative of Iran at the United Nations, who was named by President Rouhani soon after the inauguration as the Foreign Minister- designate of the Islamic Republic of Iran. At both these discussions Prof. Peiris explained the current priorities and objectives of Sri Lanka in the field of foreign relations. Mr. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Minister for Petroleum Industries, joined Minister Peiris at these meetings.