Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, second left, welcomes Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for their meeting in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
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Turkey and Iran aim to more than double trade to $30 billion next year from $13.5 billion in 2013 despite strained relations, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday.Iran's election last June of President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate who says he wants to thaw ties with the West, and shared concern over the rise of Al-Qaeda in Syria, have spurred hopes of a Turkish-Iranian rapprochement.Erdogan spoke during a ceremony to sign three cooperation agreements that include reductions in tariffs on 220 Turkish industrial products and on Iranian food products.That could change following a landmark November deal between Iran and the major powers that went into effect last week.Before leaving Ankara, Erdogan said he welcomed the agreement and hoped it would lead to a definitive deal on removing sanctions.
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