Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani signed a series of economic accords during his 19-22 December visit to Ankara. However, the visit aroused controversy in Turkey, and was criticised by the US.

The accords, which come on top of an earlier gas deal, entail:

The mutual application of most favoured nation status, within the framework of stipulations by the World Trade Organisation and General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade (GATT)

Doubling trade to $2,000 million in the next two years. The two sides will each extend the other $150 million in trade credits

An agreement on the mutual protection and encouragement of investment, and the establishment of a common chamber of commerce

The renewal, on its expiry in April, of a $600 million agreement for the purchase of 4.5 million tonnes of Iranian oil by Turkey, while six- month feasibility studies will be conducted into the export via Turkey of Iranian crude to world markets

Flights to be introduced between Istanbul and Tabriz, and between Ankara and Tehran

Upgrading the rail link between Tehran and eastern Turkey