The President of Iran and the prime minister of Spain called for the expansion of relations between Tehran and Madrid at a meeting in New York, and voiced opposition to the unilateral sanctions imposed by the US after its withdrawal from the JCPOA.

President Hassan Rouhani and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez met on the sidelines of the 74th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.

In the meeting, held at the residence of the Iranian president, they discussed ways to promote the relations between Iran and Spain, as well as Rouhani’s new initiative for preserving security in the Persian Gulf region, known as the “Hormuz Peace Initiative.”

Highlighting Iran and Spain’s capabilities and extensive potentials, the president of the Islamic Republic emphasized the need for efforts to strengthen the bilateral ties.

“The current sanctions and bullying by the US administration will break up in the long term, but the age-old and historical relations between friendly countries, such as Iran and Spain, must remain solid,” Rouhani added.

The Iranian president also called for the promotion of scientific, academic and technological relations and for the enhancement of cooperation between Iran and Spain in the biotechnology and nanotechnology fields, according to Iranian Government’s official website.

The Spanish premier, for his part, expressed regret at the suffering of the Iranian nation under the current unilateral sanctions, reaffirmed his country’s support for the JCPOA, and underlined Spain’s determination to further broaden relations with Iran.

Sanchez also pointed to Rouhani’s “Coalition of Hope” initiative and hoped that this initiative would help reduce tensions in the region.

The Iranian president has also held meetings with the leaders of France, Japan, the UK, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Pakistan on the sidelines of the UN meeting in New York.