Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaks condemning the attacks in Belgium, during a news conference at Palazzo Chigi in Rome, Italy, March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini(reuters_tickers)
ROME (Reuters) - Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi will visit Iran next week, his office said on Monday, three months after the Iranian president came to Europe to rebuild ties as years of economic sanctions ended.
The two sides signed business deals worth billions of dollars during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's visit in January, and Renzi said then that they were only the beginning of future cooperation.
Europe countries and businesses are eager to establish trade ties with the $400 billion economy, which rejoined the global trading system in January following a deal to lift crippling sanctions in exchange for limiting its nuclear ambitions.
Italian companies including shipbuilder Fincantieri, Ansaldo Energia and state railways Ferrovie dello Stato have all signed deals with various Iranian companies. Fashion house Roberto Cavalli and leather firm Piquadro have opened shops in the capital Tehran.
Renzi's office said he would be in Iran on April 12 and 13, without giving further details of his itinerary.
(Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Tom Heneghan)